Joyce Michaud is a ceramic artist and professor at Hood College where she serves as founding Director of the M.F.A., M.A. and Graduate Certificate in Ceramic Arts. Her research, Structural Strength in the Wheel Thrown Form and East Asian Wedged Coil Technique, explored the physics involved in creating with clay and the breadth of skills needed for successful teaching the confluence of science and art that is inherent in the ceramic arts. Her work is represented in numerous public and private collections including the Wuxi Museum of Art in Yixing, China and the permanent collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum's Renwick Gallery. Her home and studio are located in Frederick County, Maryland where she is a member of the Frederick County Arts Hall of Fame.
The artist's early work in oil, lithography and mixed media created a world of great depth, with a myriad of texture and rhythmic line that celebrates life, the perfect architecture of nature, and form that follows function. Her ceramic art extends the concept of color, line, and texture from the two dimensional world into the reality of three dimensional space. Continuing the exploration of color, depth, texture, and intricate pattern, her ceramics also encompasses a sensual aspect that not only regales the eye but invites the touch. Inspiration by nature to the study of physical forces brings the artist full circle. The expression of beauty in form and function continues only with the understanding and harnessing of these natural forces and the organic markings which are the gift of the fire. The record of the lick of the flame depends on the pot, the clay, the kiln, the placement in the kiln, the fuel, the temperature, the firing schedule, the weather, the cooling and other variables inherent in the firing process. Joyce Michaud's work addresses the interplay of form and finish contrasting the extremes of strength and fragility, matt and gloss, smooth and textured, graceful gesture and harsh reality that reference the delicate balance which is the essence of life itself. Each piece, each firing has its own voice, tells its own story.