Thursday, November 12, 2009

Making Ceramics by the Sea

Joanna lives in Deia, Mallorca and is a ceramics artist. Originally from Chicago, IL she left 30 years ago after graduating from university. Since a very early age Joanna was around sailboats, sailing with her family on Lake Michigan and later doing charters in the Caribbean. This gave her a taste for the sea and living a simple life on the islands.

Joanna says she always knew she wanted something different than the typical life of a housewife in Chicago. She has always shown respect and concern for the environment. She wanted a simple life and especially to get away from the weight of American consumerism. She dreamed of a life on an island by the sea and the mountains where she could focus on creating art. So, in her mid-20’s she flew down to the Caribbean and posted signs up offering her services as crew on a boat. She worked a few odd and end jobs on boats until she got a job as a cook on a luxury yacht headed for the Mediterranean. She was commissioned to cook “healthy” food for the crew and owners, which suited her well since she was a fan of healthy shakes, muesli dishes and lots of fish and salads.

Her employer cruised all over the Mediterranean throughout the summer season. Like many other yachts, her's ended the season in Palma de Mallorca. One day Joanna decided to take a drive into the mountains to a little town called Deia, not too far from Palma. The visit proved to be a prelude to her destiny as she met her husband on that trip and has never left. She and her Austrian born husband created a life together in Deia owning various successful restaurants and a ceramics business. They also had two children. Today, a lot has happened since 30 years ago. Joanna is no longer married to the Austrian man and now has a lovely Norwegian boyfriend. She still lives in Deia and runs the ceramics business. Her customers come from all over the world and her pieces are displayed in various top hotels around the island.

I asked Joanna where she gets her inspiration for her art? She said most of it is definitely from nature, from the various plants all around, the mountains and the sea. This is apparent in her creations since often her pieces have flowers and greenery painted on them. She still lives a simple life, in a relatively small house, for American standards. She takes pride in driving a small car, when she's not walking, and generating a low carbon footprint. And she continues to love creating ceramics surrounded by the sea and the mountains on the beautiful island of Mallorca.

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