About Me

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Joy Serves G*d in Joy as a passionate performing percussionist, poet, publisher, photographer, publicist, sound healer, spiritual guide, artist, gardener and Gemini. "Ivdu Et Hashem B'Simcha" -Psalm 100:2 ....... Joy Krauthammer, active in the Jewish Renewal, Feminist, and neo-Chasidic worlds for over three decades, kabbalistically leads Jewish women's life-cycle rituals. ... Workshops, and Bands are available for all Shuls, Sisterhoods, Rosh Chodeshes, Retreats, Concerts, Conferences & Festivals. ... My kavanah/intention is that my creative expressive gifts are inspirational, uplifting and joyous. In gratitude, I love doing mitzvot/good deeds, and connecting people in joy. In the zechut/merit of Reb Shlomo Carlebach, zt'l, I mamash love to help make our universe a smaller world, one REVEALING more spiritual consciousness, connection, compassion, and chesed/lovingkindness; to make visible the Face of the Divine... VIEW MY COMPLETE PROFILE and enjoy all offerings.... For BOOKINGS write: joyofwisdom1 at gmail.com, leave a COMMENT below, or call me. ... "Don't Postpone Joy" bear photo montage by Joy. Click to enlarge. BlesSings, Joy

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Anagama Firing at ISOMATA
Idyllwild School of Music and the Arts
Idyllwild Town Crier,  July 12, 1984

More Ceramics Bio

Anagama workshop  July 22 - August 2, 1984

Joy Krauthammer was a student for two weeks.
Daughter Aviva attended ISOMATA day camp at this time, and also for the prior summer.
Prior summer I studied with Susan Peterson in Raku and salt glaze workshop.

Students chopped trees.
Over five cords of split wood will be fed regularly into the new kiln this week at ISOMATA. Ceramic students till take turns keeping the fire going for three days, day and night. The temperature must rise very slowly to prevent pots from breaking and a new load of wood will go in every 20 minutes.

Kiln builder Fred Olsen had to dig down to create an upward slope. In Japan, this type of kiln is built on a mountainside. The pottery will pick up glaze from woodash and rice hulls during the next three days in the kiln. NY potter Paul Chaleff fired up the Bizen kiln this week at ISOMATA. He and Fred Olsen learned techniques for building a Bizen kiln from Japanese potters who use wood for firing. More than 100 pots made by ISOMATA students and staff were loaded. The kiln built of fire bricks and cement mixed with earth must be heated gradually to more than 2,300 degrees over a steady period of three days.

The Anagama kiln is a tube shaped chamber built partially into the ground that gradually inclines upward from the front fire mouth to the rear exit flue. Traditionally, unglazed greenware is stacked into the kiln and surface treatments are dependent on high temperature, fly ash deposits and charcoal buildup in the choking pits which come into contact with the pieces. This kiln is an adaptation in that it incorporates a second chamber more similiar in design to the multi-chambered hill kilns of Japan. The second chamber can be stacked in Anagama fashion or fired with glazed pieces. The two chamber kiln shares a 20 foot chimney with a fast fire wood kiln.

We stacked the kiln with materials such as rice hull ash and seashells, and fired the kiln to get the rich colors, and patinas and ash glazed surfaces.
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Joy Krauthammer
wood chopper

Anagama Kiln stoked 24 hours each 3 days with the chopped wood
© Joy Krauthammer 

Fired Pots in the Anagama Kiln
My pot is the tall Anagama directly behind front 4 pots.
The teachers put theirs in the front because the good Anagama pots sell for a couple thousand dollars each.
© Joy Krauthammer 

Joy Krauthammer

Joy Krauthammer

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Ceramics Monthly magazine
summer 1985

Letter to the Editor
by Joy Krauthammer

Text of Letter to Editor is below this page.

text of Letter to Editor is below:

Regarding "Anagama!" in the March issue, I would like to direct attention to the last paragraph written by Fred Olsen. I take exception to his list of "assistants preparing the wood for the first firing." Also assisting with schlepping the wood, chopping and stoking were paying ISOMATA female students" Megan Quinn (Rock Island, Illinois), Claire Hughes (Idyllwild, CA) and myself, Joy Krauthammer (Northridge, CA).  The second week Sharon Powell (Stinson Beach, CA) and Lisa Wolkow (NYC) joined us. 

I find it interesting that every male involved in the two-week workshop had his body or his pots photographed and mentioned in the aricle, but not one woman was accounted for. 

It was difficult unexpected work because the wood had not been prepared (3 to 5 cords) and we all slaved away chopping wood. It was an unwelcome surprise to find that after only three days of potting, our time as paying students would be spent trying to find axes and gloves in this San Jacinto mountain town in order for us to prepare the wood before we stacked and stoked the kiln.

One design I would certainly change on the Anagama is the pit where we had to stand directly in front of the front-loading tube chamber, stoking until the temperature reached Cone 10 (2,300 degrees) over a three-day/night period.  Instead, add a pit area to the side of the fire opening. 

Joy Krauthammer
Northridge, Calif.
March 1985 regarding 1984 ISOMATA summer program
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ARTS Movie Review

As Seen Through These Eyes
Movie Review 

Nov. 9, 2009

by Joy Krauthammer

With my sister, I went to the Laemmle Theatre to see "As Seen Through These Eyes," a documentary about several child and adult survivors of the Holocaust. These Shoah victims survived through their art.

They had a NEED to paint what they saw, which is what we hear them say, now as adults. We see their eyes, their engraved numbers on their arms and hear their emotional words and silence.  By putting down on papers their monstrous visions, their expressions of life and death, they could have some control of their lives, when otherwise, they had no other controls in the death camps.

Although lives of the dead could not be salvaged, their memories could be held by others, the artists. Yesh M'Ayin / something from nothing. Whatever paper and pencil stub could be found, artists left their imprints and their vision. We are shown their awesome creations. Men and women were killed by the Nazis when their art was discovered. Others were successful in hiding their art under the bunks. 

"As Seen Through These Eyes" is a meaningful, moving, powerful movie. Yes, it is filled with the most obscene historical and painted scenes, and even I, crying, managed to sit through the film which is the least I can do for the survivors and those who perished at the evil hands of the Nazis.

As an artist, I understand the compelling cathartic drive to create and to survive. In addition to my art forms, I remember that when my husband, zl,  was sick, paralyzed, and on life-support, I could go into the garden and WEED. I could control what should not be in the life of my garden. A simple act of intense weeding with a ferocity of yanking and pulling and destroying what should not be in my life. whew. I also planted! The artists may have painted in RED and black, or in beauty, to survive their captors.

In the eighties at a Jewish conference, I met a poet, Suzanne Sekeley, z"l. Over the years Suzanne would share her poetry with me in letters and on the phone and tapes. She wrote to survive her childhood memories of the Holocaust. She wrote to spew it out of her life. A Jewish magazine wanted me to write monthly for them.  I took the Jewish Calendar Magazine job only on the condition that I could include poetry.  I immediately published dear Suzanne's poetry so that I could help her live. Other Los Angeles poets found the space with me in the magazine.
To personally survive the years of illness and death of my husband, I wrote (and drummed), and I sent out my poetry for publication because I was told by other that my words do and could inspire others. This movie has inspired me with how the human soul endures.

Although the film is not currently locally scheduled, it will be available in DVD for home. It is an official film for the UN Kristallnacht commemoration 2009. As I write, it is that horrific anniversary from 1938.  My recommendation is that you see the film. There are local producers and distribution people. www.menemshafilms.com.

In the' eighties' I was running an art gallery I had opened for the Jewish community, North Valley Jewish Community Center. An artist came to me, and yes, I showed his work. The artist, a Jewish, former Argentinean prisoner, had found a way to create art on the inside papers of cigarette wrappers. After I did give the survivor a show, his work was shown on Public Television.

Yes, I was moved by this movie. You will recognize some of the survivors in the film, now not all alive, but their art lives on. I am grateful that I had the privilege to hear live (at Hadassah) the harmonica player, Henry Rosmarin, z'l.

My sister, an art historian and English teacher, hopes to show the film to her High School students. Contact the distributor, Neil Friedman, to show it to your group. Tell them Joy sent you. (I paid for my tickets.)
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Arts & Torah Teachings

"The primary talent of an artist is his ability to step away from the externalities of the thing and, disregarding its outer form, gaze into its innerness and perceive its essence, and to be able to convey this in his painting. This is how an artist can serve his Creator." — The Rebbe

Can an appreciation for artistic creativity bring us closer to the divine? 
How can art be used as a medium for spiritual development?
I express my spirituality through the ARTS.  - Joy Krauthammer

Adin Steinsaltz offers: Bezalel's Creativity: Art as an Expression of the Divine
God chooses Bezalel to build the sanctuary in the desert because he was filled with "the spirit of God."
Explore God's role as creator and its implications for humankind, as we are created "in the image of God." 
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My beloved Jerusalem chareidi Reb Yosef Ben Shlomo Hakohen, z"l, formerly known in NY as Jeff Oboler, wrote on Torah and the Arts.  In his zechut/merit I include some links and excerpts to view.  - Joy Krauthammer

Blog I created for Reb Yosef:  http://yosef-ben-shlomo-hakohen-myrebbe.blogspot.com
A Jewish Perspective on the Arts,   excerpts

 Dear Friends,

The artist expresses the desire and the potential within the human being to be creative. What is the source of this desire and potential? The beginning of the answer can be found in the Torah’s teaching that the human being was created in the image of the One God Who created the universe (Genesis 1:27). We were created in the image of the Creative One, and we therefore have within us the desire and potential to be creative.

... Through the process of creation, the Creator gave life to the world, and we, who are created in the Divine image, are to “go in His ways” (Deuteronomy 26:9). The artist therefore has a sacred responsibility to emulate the Life-Giving One by engaging in creative forms of artistic expression which increase and/or enhance life; moreover, the artist is to avoid all forms of artistic expression which diminish and/or degrade life. 

The artist can gain a deeper understanding of this sacred responsibility through the following Torah message: After describing the Divine creation of the human being, the Torah reveals the Divine mission of the human being:

“Hashem God took the human being and placed him in the Garden to serve it and to guard it.” (Genesis 2:15)

... “Everything bestowed upon you – mind, body, fellow human being, material goods, other creatures, every talent and every power – all are merely means to action, l’avdah u’l’shamrah, to further and to safeguard everything.” (The Nineteen Letters – Letter 4)

... What is important is that you have the intention in mind to help others with your actions, as well as earning money.” (Cited in “Consulting the Wise” by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin, Aish HaTorah Publications)

We can apply this teaching to the creative work of artists, for there are various ways in which their work can benefit others; in fact, the very beauty of their work becomes an act of chesed, as it brings pleasure, joy, and inspiration to others. If artists start their day with the kavanah that they wish to do the mitzvah of chesed through their work, then their work becomes a sacred service, even if they get paid for their endeavors.

All of the above insights can help us to understand the sacred service of Betzalel, the spiritually-enlightened artist who served as the leader of the artists who were involved in the building of the Holy Tabernacle during the period when we were journeying to the Land of Zion. Regarding this leader of the artists, the Torah states:

“Hashem spoke to Moshe, saying: ‘See, I have called by name: Betzalel, son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. I have filled him with a Godly spirit, with wisdom, with understanding, and with knowledge, and with talent for every type of creative work.” (Exodus 31:1-3)

“I have called by name: Betzalel.” – The name “Betzalel” means, “In the Shadow of God.” This name alludes to his spiritual ability to emulate God. According to the noted sage, the Maharal of Prague, the Name of God which appears in this artist’s name refers to the Divine compassion which leads to overflowing Divine goodness and chesed. (Gur Aryeh on Exodus 34:6)  

The name “Betzalel” therefore reveals that this spiritually-enlightened artist had the ability to emulate the Creative and Life-Giving One Whose compassion leads to overflowing goodness and chesed.

May we be blessed with a Shabbos of life and shalom.
Yosef Ben Shlomo Hakohen 

Hazon – Our Universal Vision:  www.shemayisrael.com/publicat/hazon