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Joy Day

Colour In your Life Joy Day

Featured artist Joy Day appeared on Colour In Your Life Season Eleven (11). Read a little bit about the artist here and support our site by joining and watching the episode below.

Joy Day grew up for most of her life at her grandmother’s. Something she always said to Joy was ‘you sit, you do something with your hands’, so craft and art were something that came naturally to Joy from a young age. Joy’s father was also an inspiration; he painted cartoon characters on a fuse box at the bus depo where he worked, which Joy still remembers fondly.

When Joy was at high school she was told she could draw and found herself in an art class. Joy was in seventh heaven with the lady teacher; she had a mass of red hair and was quite young, but her approach to art was brilliant. At this stage, Joy was no good at lettering but her wonderful teacher helped her tidy up her work and find direction without changing her style.

While living at her grandmother’s, Joy came across a doily holder that was created in poker work. The colours and the method fascinated her, and she first tried her own version working with a hot wire heated over the stove, but it lost heat quickly. Joy then investigated alternatives and moved on to a soldering iron. This too proved hard to use. It was then she came across a more expensive machine, the heat-regulated nichrome wire poker work machine. She had finally found her tool and has used it now for over 40 years. Joy says they do last as she is only on her second one; nibs, however, she goes through many, but the machine she says is magic.

Joy’s work is now mainly on pure timber, as any constituted timber has glues that are toxic when burnt, and any imported timbers are treated before entering the country.

When Joy married a farmer they travelled to a lot of wood shows Australia wide. Wood burning is accepted into wood show exhibitions. The detail of the wood is special to Joy; she feels that you are working with a piece of timber that is going to age and colour differently, and the grain is going to change your colour or depth of work.

Joy has won many prizes in local shows and also teaches folk art & poker work. In 2000 Joy won the Art Purchase Award at the Adelaide Royal Show with a piece consisting of a picture of lilies from Lilly farm, just out of Tanunda. Joy also exhibits paintings through the Victor Harbour Rotary Art Show and has exhibited at the Gomersal Wines during the Barossa vintage festival.

Joy has always believed that if you give a person some tools to work with, eventually the skills will develop and become second nature, and they will bring out their own style to it. Joy still has that original piece of her Grand Nanna’s poker work in her head, inspiring her.

You can contact Joy via her website at 

Episode: S11E13

Original Air Date: 15th January 2016

Buy or rent from Vimeo on Demand

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