As a little boy growing up in the country, Joseph Sand loved to scoop up clay in the root cellar and form little cubes with it. It wasn’t until his early 20s, though, that he knew he would one day make his living as a potter.Born in 1982 and raised outside the small, southern Minnesota town of Austin (pop. 24, 718), Joseph excelled at art at an early age. He stored Play-Doh for his creations in the family’s broken dishwasher and learned to draw hockey players and other athletes while studying with a sports illustrator.
After graduating from high school in 2001, Joseph went to the University of Minnesota-Duluth. He planned to study graphic design, but after feeling detached from an art form that required him to use a computer, Joseph changed his mind. In 2006, he earned a BFA in general studio art with a ceramics emphasis.
Prior to graduating college, Joseph studied art for one year in Cortona, Italy, through the University of Georgia-Athens. It was there that he sat at a pottery kick wheel in a 12th Century building and knew instinctively how to center clay. His future career was born.
Back in the States, Joseph received the very competitive Katherine E. Sullivan Scholarship from the University of Minnesota. He used the scholarship to study art and design at the University of Wolverhampton, England.
Joseph combines the styles of traditional, Southern alkaline glaze ware and East Asian design, among others. Using two wood-fired kilns, he produces both salt and ash-glazed wares, ranging in size from very large sculptural vases to planters and a variety of beautiful, functional tableware. In 2015, he expanded his creative range to include large, hand-built sculptural ceramics.