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Featured Artist of the Month – Patrick Joyce

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 Photo credit Martin Stewart

Patrick Joyce is in his final year as a Fellow with Digswell Arts at The Farmhouse, Stevenage.

1) How would you describe your current practice (e.g. materials, techniques, themes, key questions, approach)?
I am particularly interested in the unique finishes created during the raku firing process and using textured, groggy clay to create organic forms. My burnished pieces often feature spiral or celtic patterns.

2) What are you working on at the moment (forthcoming exhibitions, events, workshops etc)?
I am currently working towards producing work for several upcoming exhibitions, one with my fellow Farmhouse artists, and another with Suman Gujral who have exhibited together previously. I am the Herts Visual Arts Ceramics Group Co-ordinator and will be exhibiting and demonstrating at Living Crafts at Hatfield House in May with other members of the Ceramics Group.

3) What are your plans for the coming year?
I am planning on several brick pit and raku firings in the coming months in which I like to include other friends and fellow artists. I am also enjoying learning more about kiln maintenance and repair, and I am having a go at building a new lid for my raku kiln. I also intend to continue building links with other local artists and organisations and am in the process of sourcing local venues that may house studios in the St Albans area.

4) What is the question you get asked most about your work and how do you answer it?
I am often asked about how I produce the smooth but patterned finish to pods and how that is achieved. The handbuilding and burnishing process is time intensive, but produces a warm, smooth surface that invites viewers to hold and touch the pieces.

5) What or who inspired you to be an artist and why?
I have a supportive and creative family and have always enjoyed creative hobbies and experimented with different mediums including photography, computer graphics, and engineering. I had the opportunity to take an evening class in pottery through Oaklands College and my interest grew from there. I was encouraged by my tutor Marlene Tanti to apply to the Trust and initially shared a studio at the Farmhouse with Jo Atherton, who has since gone on to become successful with her flotsam weaving.

6) Which artist do you most admire and why?
I love the work of land artists like Andy Goldsworthy who work with natural materials creating organic pieces and installations. I also appreciate the beauty in well made engineering and art that incorporates this like the work of Buckminster Fuller and his geodesic domes and Theo Jansen and his amazing, kinetic art structures.

7) How has your relationship with Digswell Arts Trust strengthened your practice as an artist?
The Trust has provided me with the space, support, community spirit and opportunity to meet with so many other artists and get involved in collaborative projects.

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