Growing up as the only child in an eccentric artist family in coastal Maine was an interesting experience, most of which I took for granted at the time. Looking back, the greatest gift of this experience was the unwavering sense of the value of life and the absolute necessity of not settling for anything less than spending your time in a way that makes you feel alive and free (while of course balancing that freedom with making enough money to get by—always an interesting juggling act).
While I’ve never been interested in making ceramics; the self-sufficiency and exciting feeling of creative exploration that comes from making things is very important to me. When I feel the urge to make things, my preferred medium is video. Always a fan of the immersive and persuasive power of movies, as a kid I adored Buster Keaton in The General and gobbled up anything directed by Akira Kurosawa, while recording short dramas starring my favorite stuffed animals. As an undergraduate at College of the Atlantic I took a more serious look at film and focused on Documentary Video Production under the guidance of the wonderful Nancy Andrews. Most recently I have worked on a series of documentaries raising awareness of the Penobscot Indian Nation’s current challenge with the State of Maine’s attempts to steal the jurisdictional rights to the section of the Penobscot River that flows through the Penobscot Nation’s reservation islands—one of these was nominated for a 2016 New England Emmy Award. For a more in-depth look at my video work, check out my Vimeo channel here.
Here at Maine Kiln Works I primarily work in the marketing and media side of the business, but am also quickly learning quite a bit about pottery production and particularly enjoy running the filter press, pugmills, and glazing. And of course unloading the glaze kilns is always an exciting event.
When I’m not occupied working at the Kiln Works I can be found either outside hiking or working on my latest video project.
— Joanna Weaver