Gallery: Jennifer Joyce [4 Images] Click any image to expand.
by Anne Batty
Obscurely hidden in a former woodworking shop on one of San Clemente’s roads less traveled; Jennifer Joyce - a noted ceramic artist and sculptor - is not only creating art, she is helping others to do the same.
After plying her trade in Santa Monica, CA for the major part of her career, Jennifer says it was the frenetic life in LA, increasing rents and her friends’ encouragement that eventually lured her to San Clemente. In the process she has finally fulfilled her dream of providing a creative space where artisans of all artistic genres can come to share their talents and produce beautiful art … while at the same time helping others get in touch with their creative selves.
“I’ve always wanted to establish a co-op for artists,” Jennifer shared. “When I came to San Clemente in 2013 and found this shop I knew it would be perfect, not only for my work and my teaching, but it was large enough to share with others. So I set about instantly resurfacing the floors and creating rolling walls so that each artist would be able to create a space uniquely their own.”
Joyce calls her artisans’ collective - located on Avenida Navarro adjacent to Avenida Pico - The Artists Studios of San Clemente. A visit to the site reveals artists from beginners to professionals busily creating in a large warehouse space, complete with sturdy elongated tables, tool-filled shelves, four potter’s wheels and a firing room with three kilns. And it is here that Jennifer has come to focus, not only on her own handiwork, but on her passion for teaching and bringing others together to create beautiful art.
The Story Behind the Artist
Educated from an early age in the innovative Oakwood School in LA, Jennifer Joyce’s education was equally weighted with art and social studies. All subjects taught there had an artistic bent. Whether language or math, Joyce still remembers color being integrated into the teaching of most every subject offered there.
After experiencing several careers, one as a principal dancer for a modern dance troupe in Costa Rica, and another doing archaeological research at UCLA, she found herself working as a bookkeeper in a ceramics studio. And while dabbling in clay during the evenings after work, she became interested in pottery making.
With her passion ignited, Jennifer became a mentor student in sculpture, furniture and product design at Santa Monica College. She studied figurative sculpture with sculptors Jonathan Bickart, Tanya Ragir and Robert Cunningham, and attended workshops with ceramic artists/sculptors Arthur Gonzales, Patti Warashina, Peter Vandenberg, Anne Currier, Esther Shimazu and Debra Fritts. She also joined master potter Richard McColl as a studio partner and collaborator for five years, and taught the summer ceramics program at the Marlborough School in LA, the Crossroads Summer School and the Oakwood School in North Hollywood CA.
Jennifer’s says that she is constantly learning and that her approach to her art is continuously in flux; changing with whatever type of work she might be doing. After traveling to a workshop in Santa Fe, NM, Joyce explained that she became infatuated with the art of its indigenous people, and then upon visiting Italy she discovered Majolica pottery, a glazed pottery that uses color decorated onto a white background. She has since incorporated a bit of both into her work. Her repertoire varies from hand-built or wheel, functional and decorative ceramics, to figurative sculpture, large murals, and most recently to an innovative technique of transferring photography onto clay.
Jennifer’s creations have been featured in the Venice Art Walk, in numerous art galleries and private collections, international hotels and casinos. She has a Tree of Life Seder Plate placed in the permanent collection of the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles.
Her creative endeavors range from very small pieces to extremely large, and often include commissioned work. In collaboration with artist Cari Guerin, she was called upon to construct a wall mural for the Aria Hotel in Las Vegas, NV, consisting of over 900 individual, interlocking ceramic loops. She was also hired to sculpt four busts depicting indigenous island women for the Malliouhana Auberge Anguillan Resort on the island of Anguilla; and she has 18 sculptures featured in the Four Seasons Hotel Resort on the island of Lanai.
Jennifer has worked with schools, developers and homeowners adding decorative elements to their structures. In that capacity she has created ceramic gazebos, whimsically sculptured floor to ceiling palm trees, sculpted figures and more.
“For me, the process of creating is a combination of storytelling, dreams and fantasy. Working with clay has given me endless possibilities and reasons to create,” Joyce stated. “Every day in the studio is a new adventure and it’s exciting to share that passion with my students and other artists.”
To that end Jennifer offers small classes in her well-appointed studio, giving students opportunity to get their hands muddy while listening to music and creating something unique. Her most recent offering was a Valentine workshop, Open House and gift sale.
“I love encouraging students to explore their own ideas, but will also give them projects along with any help and direction they might need,” she said.
Private wheel, hand building or sculpting classes can be arranged for most any time of the day, as can birthday, office, and girl’s night out parties, plus any other desirable workshops. Two and a half hour classes include clay, tools, glazes and firings, two-hour parties or workshops include making/glazing your own creations.
To book a class, workshop or party, call (310)392-4626 or for more information