Joy Tanner | Episode 246
Joy Tanner has been a studio potter in Bakersville, NC for 12 years. She received a BFA in Ceramics at UT Chattanooga, was a Resident Artist at the Odyssey Center for the Ceramic Arts, Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts and the EnergyXChange.
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How do you balance your life as a mom and a maker?
Well I’m still trying to figure that out a little bit and I probably will be for the rest of my life. But I think it is important for me to have a lot of good quality family time with both my daughter and my husband. But also I need to have quiet time to myself. I love going on walks or doing yoga or going hiking and I love to cook and I love to garden. I also just love that quiet time in the studio when I am making pots or carving clay. So I think if I can get a balance of all that in one day, every day, then I’m doing good. It doesn’t always happen every day but I aim for that.
How has becoming a parent inspired your work?
It hasn’t changed my work yet, that I can see. But just watching her grow up the last two years and watching her take joy in the little things that she sees when we are walking down the road, I’m thinking about the destination of where we are going but she is slowing down and looking at the bug on the road or the leaf on the road and that brings me right back to what I want to do with my pots, to show the beauty of the natural world in my pots and all the little details in it. When life gets really hectic and busy I tend to lose sight of that sometimes. She is a great reminder of what I want to do with my clay.
What motivates you to be a maker?
I guess my hands.I like keeping busy making things. The focus that comes from working in clay is really exciting, just that concentration you can get when you are really in a groove. I also really enjoy making functional pots so food can be served on them. I love to cook so thinking about food that can be put on those pots inspires me back in the studio.
What do you enjoy most about being a maker?
Probably just the making process. Being at the table, feeling the wet clay, dipping the pots in the slip, i’s just a beautiful soft surface before it’s fired.
How important is playfulness to your creativity?
It is very important because it keeps the energy going and it keeps that momentum of your idea moving forward. Otherwise I just might get bored making the same thing all the time. But by playing around and exploring new forms and new pattern on pots, that keeps me growing and keeps things changing and evolving.