“A child of medical missionaries to Japan, I spent eighteen years of my life there. After college in the United States, I returned to Japan to work as an apprentice in pottery for four years. In the rigorous discipline of a traditional Japanese apprenticeship, working with clay became a way of life. During that time I was required to make thousands of cups, never firing one. Submission to the demands of this process tought me the technical skills, a disciplined concentration, and an understanding of and respect for the clay. It also taught me that my experience while working with clay is just as important as the finished piece. Whether it is a pot or a sculpture, ceramic or bronze, the piece will reflect the spirit in which it was made.
I now work in Kent, Connecticut, where I built a 28-foot-long Japanese style anagama wood-firing kiln. A year of my work is fired at once, in an intense 24-hour-a-day, week-long firing. The resulting warm rich colors and rugged texture are gifts of heat and ash to the clay, bringing life to the unglazed forms. For the past 18 years I have also been working in bronze, making my figures small and larger than life size. This opens up opportunities to have larger works in public places. Joy Brown’s ceramic and bronze sculpture has been exhibited in galleries and museums in the United States, Europe, and Asia, and has been featured in the New York Times, International Herald Tribune, Art News, House and Garden and Ceramics Monthly.”
In 1998 she co-founded with Denny Cooper, Still Mountain Center, a non profit art organization to foster East-West artistic exchange (www.stillmountaincenter.org). In 2003 she received the Ruth Steinkraus-Cohen Memorial Outstanding Women of Connecticut Award. I have learned that art is a way of perceiving the world, of living with a sense of mystery, curiosity and passion. Living out of that creative place in ourselves we are most alive, connected and fulfilled.