Remember what it feels like
to squish mud between your toes, pack mud pies, or dig in the warm sand
at the beach? That’s the feeling I have when my hands are in wet clay.
It is the source of creativity for me. The dialogue begins between me
and the clay. The forms emerge.
I love working with clay and fire. It is
challenging and liberating to explore the relationship between the clay,
the kiln, the fire, the shapes, and my own intention. The process of
integrating these elements over 35 years has been an organic one, moving
from early animal shapes and vessels to the human-like forms and
abstract wall reliefs of recent decades.
Clay led me to bronze as each piece begins in
clay. My bronzes can be so intimate that you can hold one in your hand
and so large that you can sit in its lap. The largest bronze figures are
permanently exhibited in Jing’An Sculpture Park, Shanghai.
The influence of the Japanese
aesthetic on Joy’s ceramic and bronze sculpture springs from her
childhood in Japan and apprenticeship in traditional Japanese ceramics.
The rounded forms and natural materials of clay and bronze convey the
heavy gravity of stone; the expressions and gestures transcend that
weight, suggesting a warmth, a lightness of being.
Joy has exhibited in
galleries and museums in the United States, Europe, and Asia. Her
three-dimensional wall installations have been commissioned by hospitals
and schools in the U.S. and Japan. Her work has been featured in the
New York Times, International Herald Tribune, Art News, House and
Garden, and Ceramics Monthly. In 1998, she co-founded Still Mountain
Center, a nonprofit arts organization that fosters East-West artistic
exchange. In 2003, Joy received the Ruth Steinkraus-Cohen Memorial
Outstanding Women of Connecticut Award.