Joanne Kirkland has been a ceramic artist since 1980. She started making pots in a barn in norther Illinois after graduation from Eastern Illinois University. As of 1984, Madison, Wisconsin has been her home where she still makes pottery. Most of her pots are made on the wheel with porcelain clay, sometimes altered by paddling, stretching or adding slabs. She likes the dynamic surface decoration with figurative and abstract imagery inspired by the elements and environment of her daily life.
Travels and studes in the Southwest, Mexico and Japan have been major influences in her work while historic traditions of her medium are something she constantly refers to. She uses a wax resist glazing technique where wax is painted on a first layer of glaze in a design and then resists the next color. When this is fired to about 2400 degrees F, the wax burns out leaving the colored design.
Kirkland's utilitarian pieces are made with function in mind and they are dishwasher, microwave and lead free safe. Kirkland has taught ceramics in the past and still creates in her studio in Madison, WI.