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UFO Sighting Joan Miller

~~~~UFO Sighting~~~~

UFO for us means.....Unique Fabulous Originals!

Every now and again, we will sneak into our Professional Artisan Team members stores and snap a picture of some of their Awesome pieces of Art. Then we will bring it back here for all to see. 

Today's UFO sighting comes from the store of:
Joan Miller
Joan Miller Porcelain

Who are you?  
Joan Miller

Where do you live?
Inverness, FL as of March this year after over 20 years in PA and all of my life in the North East.  This is a big change for hubby, dogs and me.  I am enjoying the sunshine and the change of scenery.  The humidity not so much.  I adore all the little visitors to my yard.  Florida seems to provide and endless assortment of little chameleons, frogs and toads.

What do you call yourself? 
(Artist? Hobbyist? Professional Ceramicist?)
 call my self a Bead Artist, Ceramic Artist, Bead Maker, Porcelain Bead Artist. They all fit.  I am particularly happy when someone looks at my beads and declares them "little works of art" then I know I've done my job.  

How long have you been creating 
Ceramic Beads and Pendants?
consider my start to be around 1988.  I had gone full time by 1989/1990.  My first incarnation was primarily flat pieces that I turned into pins and earrings but I did the occasional bead.  Somewhere around 2000 I caught the bead bug and my business was pretty much turned around to all beads all the time by 2002.

What inspires your work? 
I usually say nature, anything with pattern,etc.  but really the answer is everything.  The key for me is it has to slosh around a bit in the gray matter and then it comes out at some later point having gone through the Joan filter.  To me that is the key, not taking inspiration too directly.  My other big inspiration is just process.  I love working and rarely do I make something that doesn't suggest some new variation.  "What if I did.........(fill in the blank???) happens a lot. 

What is your process? 
  I have been working with colored porcelain slips for over 20 years and there is still plenty to be explored.  I do hand forming, casting, traditional slip trailing, not so traditional slip trailing and raised slip work, cutting, tumbling, assembling.......and lots of combinations of techniques.  When I cast, most often it is just to get a larger hollow form.  

Favorite Clay type? 
Porcelain of course!  More specifically Bell's transparent Orchid Casting Slip.  

Mostly clear glaze but when I stray from colored porcelain work I have a near addiction for Georgie's Sculptural glazes and Coyote Clay glazes.  Copper Patina, Cool Lime Matt and Creamy Speckled Matt are some of my faves.

Favorite Themes or design inspirations?
Halloween and skulls.  Just too much fun and some of my best sellers over the years. Fish and ocean life are another favorite that carried over from my earlier days of flat pins and earrings.
Dragonflies, frogs, lizards, spiders....just about anything creepy crawly.  And lot of pattern favorite, checkerboard, dots, netting.....

Who do you admire in your field and why?
Lots of people.  Many Lampworkers make my hit parade.  When I started out there were not so many professional Ceramic Bead Artist.  Michael Barley, Patti Cahill, Sharon Peters and many more were early inspirations of what an art bead could be.  
Among my fellow Ceramic Bead Artists just a few of my many favorites,  Melanie Brooks for continually evolving her work and yet being always recognizable as Earthenwood. Diane Hawkey for her folksy whimsy.  Lisa Peters for being so prolific but treating each piece as an individual work of art.  Marsha Neal for her vision and direction.  Marla James for being our ring leader, cruise director, and always willing to share the space under her rock.  

What are your favorite tools or equipment?   
Squeeze bottles( I usually raid either the beauty supply store or the restaurant supply store,)  plaster slabs and molds, needle tools, bamboo skewers, o-rings, detail and liner brushes, straws, metal ribs and sponges.  I use o-rings on my bamboo skewers to hold the bead in place while I decorate. 

Any advise for newbies? 
Don't wait until your "ready."  Just get out there and figure it out along the way.  There are people to meet and opportunities to be had that won't happen trying to figure everything out in the studio before you present yourself to the world.  . 

I just go by Joan Miller Porcelain.  I use porcelain because many people will mistake what I do for glass or polymer, so I like to have my material in the name. 

http://metalmudandsand.blogspot.com/ Blog share with Kim Van Antwerp, glass and metal bead artist.

Keep your eyes on the skies
for more UFO sightings
Check back here on Mondays!


  1. I have a wonderful set of Joan Miller Halloween earrings that my husband puchased for my birthday several years ago. I simply love them and wear them every year during the month of October. Joan's work is fabulous!
    Lori In Atlanta

  2. I'm sure there was no hidden meaning to putting the pic of witch with the caption " Who are you?" LOL Actually I think its hysterical. Thanks for the opportunity to be UFO. Thanks Lori. Great husband! Glad you enjoy your earrings.

  3. I love your beads! Your interview was interesting and I love your tip.


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