Joy Gauss
On Technique

I have created my own alphabet out of drawings, textures, verbiage, colors and shapes.  Using this alphabet, I create a New Orleans narrative on the surface of my distinctive, hand built clay forms.  I celebrate my muse, New Orleans, and share my appreciation of the richness of her nature, history and heritage. 

My signature clay shape forms are hand made by me, using a roller, extruder, potters wheel or all three.  By carving, drawing, impressing and sculpting, I build my story narrative in layers onto the surface of each clay piece. Water is removed and clay becomes ceramic during a bisque kiln firing.  I underglaze each piece to accent detail, then hand paint with multiple colors of glaze.  Most sculptural pieces will be individually Raku fired.  I use this very hands on, ancient Japanese process to create deep matt black areas wherever unglazed.  Raku smoke also accents tiny glaze fractures creating a unique, aged look.  Smoke leaves its own kiss of the kiln.  Functional pieces are fired in an oxidation kiln.

About the Artist

  Joy is a full time clay artist experiencing life in New Orleans, surrounded by a turquoise studio/house, many pets and three grandchildren.  She is mainly self taught, but has an early ceramics background from Missouri University.  She grew up Catholic in the midwest, moved to New Orleans (became a sailor), Kansas City (became a mother), Houston (found a big blue sky) and back to stay in New Orleans (found music).  Joy's creativity has always been an important part of her life.  After the disruption of life caused by Hurricane Katrina, she began to sell her art at the Bywater Art Market, which eventually led to her career as a full time artist. Joy's art is represented by the Dutch Alley Artists Co-op and at Kako Gallery in the French Quarter of New Orleans.