Artist StatementNeolithic stone structures found in the artist’s ancestral Ireland inspired a series of sculptural and functional vessels. Contemporary interpretations of ancient Irish constructs, monuments, and landscapes, both hand-built and wheel-thrown, result in forms that explore how celestial light interacts with stone surfaces and openings. The result honors the Neolithic understanding of celestial bodies and our relationship with the past. The artist developed custom high-fire porcelain clay bodies and flashing slips for sodium vapor glazing in reduction. In addition, a series of tests determined the range possible responses best suited to imitating the light of the sun passing over the Irish landscape. The result is surface coloration reminiscent of the stark, angular daylight found in Ireland. Openings in the forms feature interior spaces. Circular portholes offer views through the vessels. Functional and sculptural wares convey the effects of sunlight upon Neolithic Irish edifices.
Denise Joyal is an Adjunct Professor of Ceramics at Wilson College in Chambersburg, PA and a Ceramic Arts Instructor at the Frederick Clay Studio. Her work focuses on functional and sculptural stoneware and porcelain forms inspired by Neolithic Irish stone constructs, the interplay of light and shadow, and the use of negative space as a featured element. A passion for atmospheric firing allows for subtle variations that continue to be a source of inspiration. Ms. Joyal currently fires the majority of her work in a propane-fired soda kiln.
Ms. Joyal graduated from Washington College in Chestertown, MD with a Bachelor’s degree in Art. She received her Master of Fine Arts in Ceramic Arts in 2014, and her Master’s Certificate in Ceramic Arts in 2010, from Hood College in Frederick, MD.