Joy Bridy


Artist Statement



Joy Bridy is a potter living in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. Her travels have taken her coast to coast, from Seattle to Maine, to explore the hands-on world of clay and fire wood and salt kilns with curiosity.

Born and raised in Northwest Indiana, Joy received a BA in Studio Arts from Indiana University, Bloomington, IN. After college, Joy explored the worlds of social work, moving from Head Start to group homes for people with autism, to a battered women's shelter and transitional housing complex, singing a cappella all the way.

While in Pennsylvania, where she auspiciously tumbled into a studio assistant position at Juniata College, she began teaching evening community classes, firing wood and soda kilns, growing blueberries, and hitting the gym in the afternoons. Her natural tendencies to explore and travel have come in handy, leading her to Haystack Mountain School of Craft, Maine, as a Technical Assistant, a month on a Rotary sponsored cultural exchange in South Korea, and a summer residency at Pottery Northwest, Seattle, where she fired a new soda kiln, joined a recreational rowing club, walked from neighborhood to neighborhood, discovered the best coffee of her life, and got a taste for urban culture.

In Washington, DC, she continued her urban perambulations, working out of the Lee Arts Center in Falls Church VA, the Eastern Market Pottery, and the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop in her Eastern Market neighborhood, where she managed their clay studio and taught children and adults, handbuilding and wheel work, function and sculpture. Urban living encouraged Joy to continue traveling, firing wood kilns across the country and visiting wood firing artists to discover first-hand the intensely rich and diverse culture of wood that is building momentum and personality.

Joy is currently working and teaching in her solo studio in the rolling hills of Jefferson County, WV, among neighbors of cows, horses, and peach orchards. After designing and building her hybrid bourry box wood kiln, she's thrilled to be deep in the creating cycle for the next firing, plus combing the local crevices for kiln firing crew members, creating the balance between personal work and community building that she loves best.