Thursday, February 3, 2011

Featured Artist - Joan Miller

Featured Artist: Joan Miller – Fleetwood PA

Joan Miller Porcelain



Joan Miller has one Etsy artist I have had in my favorites since my very first days on Etsy. I must admit I was thrilled when she agreed to do this non Sateam interview.

The very first thing that drew me to her work was her sugar skull beads. Their toothy grins really made me want to smile a toothy grin, and her colors are always bright. Her dolls always make me wonder at the detail and I can see them hanging above a work station, sending good creative kharma.

My current favorite is her Ribbed Beads. I love the texture in them!

How long have you been working in your medium?

22 years

What drew you to this medium?

I have always loved working in clay. I didn’t really find my direction while in art school but it gave me a great foundation. After graduation I found myself drifting and not knowing what to do. I took a class at a local ceramic art center that was near my home and the rest is history.


What is your favorite thing about your art?

The unlimited possibilities of ceramic art. I think they are even broader on the small scale of beads because you can really push the boundaries of what clay can do.

What's your favorite piece?

It changes constantly. Usually whatever I am working on that is new to me or takes a little different direction.

What's the hardest piece you've ever made?

I really don’t think of any piece as hard to make. Time consuming: yes. Some of the pieces I make would have been hard for me to make five years ago. Longevity in a single media hopefully gives one mastery in a large number of techniques so there is usually a way to bring an idea into being without too much struggle.

What’s the one favorite tool you cannot live without?

Small detail and liner brushes. I buy them by the dozens and then there are still favorites as I break them in. Sometimes losing a hair or two makes them perfect, but it never lasts.

What’s your favorite thing about your workspace or studio?

Well there I am a bit lacking. My studio is a jumbled mess crammed in a 10 X 11 bedroom. Guess my favorite thing is a really don’t need much more than 6’ table space to do my work. My other favorite thing that is frequently in my studio space is my dogs.

What is your other craft?

Assembling jewelry, but other than wiring my doll pendants together I don’t get to do a lot of it.

Who or what inspires you? ( include links if you have them)

I am very process inspired but certain popular imaged always sneak in or a customer asks me to do something and I find I really like it.

What's your favorite inspirational saying?

I don’ t have a specific saying but as an artist working and selling for 2 decades there have been ups and downs. The downs used to really get me down until one day I realized when things are going really well business-wise you don’t have time to experiment and be really creative. You wind up doing what is already working and new ideas go on the back burner. Since then I have learned to cherish the slow times and take advantage of the creative opportunities they provide. So my saying would be "Cherish the slow times."


What's one thing you've never done you always wanted to do?

Right now. Electroform on ceramic beads. I bought supplies( three years ago) to do it but haven’t gotten around to it.


Pretty Things said...

Joan Miller is one of the first bead artists I ever met. We saw each other on the same plane, heading to Bead and Button (we live fairly nearby) and I was trying to eye her necklace without seeming too obvious about it! I adore her lovely spirit.

Lisa Godfrey said...

Great interview! Joan's work is absolutely amazing!

Libby Leuchtman said...

I love the coffee bead charms, the fire hearts, the ribbed beads, oh heck it's all good. Great link Nic.