Joanna Wason is a Cornish potter. She studied at Exeter College of Art and Liverpool Art School in the mid 1970s and then became a figurative and portrait sculptor rimarily working in clay, although much of her work was then cast.
In the 1990’s she began assisting Janet Leach at the Leach Pottery, St Ives until Janet’s death and continued at the Leach Pottery until its temporary closure and expansion in 2006. Here she started making her own slab-built and thrown glazed stoneware pots. She now works from her own studio near St Just. Joanna makes stoneware studio pieces in the Leach tradition and fires them in a gas kiln.
Her work is exhibited at Lemon Street Gallery, Truro and Withiel House Sculpture Garden, Cornwall.
“As well as figurative sculptures I make pots, and one great advantage of showing pots is that nobody ever asks ‘what’s it a pot of? ‘ but the same cannot be said of sculptures.
The idea for making these figures originally came from seeing extremely simple but compelling Mycenaean sculptures in books and in the British Museum, and wanting to try to make something similar for myself. As time has gone on they have developed their own identity.
To bring my sculpted figures to life I try to focus their attention on something, otherwise they can look self-conscious. They are often reading a book or listening to music, which seems to provide a frame, or at least a sense of containment.
The manipulation of the physical proportions in my figures is there to give emphasis, stature and visual strength; and also to ensure that they can never be mistaken for dollies.”