First Name
Last Name
10 Dufferin St
B0J 2C0
Wheel-thrown and assembled studio pottery
Artisan Profile



Joan Bruneau is a professional Studio Potter and Regular Part-Time Ceramics Faculty at NSCAD University. She maintains her studio/showroom, Nova Terra Cotta in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.

Joan Bruneau was born in 1963 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Her love of travel and food sparked her desire to become a potter, after discovering the authentic cuisines and pottery traditions of Europe on a trip in1983-84. She went on to earn her BFA from NSCAD University in 1988, and MFA from the University of Minnesota in 1993.

Bruneau’s work is exhibited throughout North America and is in recognized private and public collections including the AGNS, Canada, Sykes Gallery, USA and Jingdezhen Ceramics Institute, China. She has had two recent solo exhibitions, “Season Of Miracles” at the Clay Studio in Philadelphia, 2014 and “Full-Circle” ( 2012) at the Mary Black Gallery in Halifax and a two person exhibition, “Chroma” Secord Gallery, Halifax 2014.

Bruneau’s work is also published in current Ceramics publications includingthe feature article, “Idyllic Place; The Work Of Joan Bruneau” by Andrea Marquis in Ceramics Monthly magazine ( April 2014)

American iPottery by Kevin Hluch , 2014. ( ebook available through itunes),

In A Potter’s Kitchen by Sumi Von Dassau, 2014

Bruneau was the 2009 recipient of the Established Artist Recognition Award Nova Scotia Arts and Culture Partnership as well as the 2005 recipient of the Winifred Shantz Award which funded her residency at La Meridiana Ceramics Residency in Italy in 2005.

Joan was Assistant Professor at Emily Carr University ( Vancouver, BC) from 1998-2002 and has taught in the Distance Ceramics Diploma Programs at Red Deer College, the Australia National University and the Glasgow School of Art.

Artist Statement:

My intent as a studio potter is to inspire interaction with my pots through their sensual forms and colorful surfaces. The pots function as decorative objects which are activated through use. Interaction with the viewer/user completes their aesthetic potential as they contain, deliver or present food and flowers. Preparing and presenting an inspired meal or arranging flowers in a specific vase, affirms our connection to identity, while elevating domestic rituals from banal to beautiful.

The confluence of function, symbolism, technique and composition drive the evolution of new forms, patterns and glazes. My pottery forms and surfaces take cues from various cultures and periods in ceramics history, natural phenomena and ornament. Shape and surface compositions may evoke a season, landscape, architectural detail, or flower. The variables of form and surface possibilities offer the potential to layer meanings and influences.

Using the red earthenware native to Nova Scotia, my wheel thrown and constructed pottery is decorated with slip, sgraffito, under glazes and polychrome food safe glazes. The forms are wheel thrown and reconstructed using “Cut and Paste” technique characterized by gestural throwing lines, dynamic volumes and structural seams. The surfaces are treated with brushed white slip, sgraffito, under glazes and polychrome food-safe glazes. A residency at La Meridiana International Ceramics Center in Tuscany in 2005 provided the opportunity to research and explore maiolica decoration which has influenced the evolution of the sgraffito decoration on slipware.


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