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

JOY'S POEMS ... "You G*d are the Compassion, the Strength, the Beauty, the Victory, the Splendor, and the Foundation of everything in Heaven and on Earth." (1 Chronicles 1:29) ... I see Your Face in All Nature that I photograph. ... ... http://joys-poems.blogspot.com/ . . . Click "Older Posts" on lower right of each post page for MORE earlier posted stories and art.



- by Joy Krauthammer

When I was a potter,
some pots needed orphanages,
whether birthed or aborted, a mistake.
Too raw, I recycled them into
mud once more, back to the earth.
No ritual burial, no chanting Kaddish.

Kneading clay back to fertile birth
spinning centeredness and stillness
turning round and round
mound of moist mud
ecstasy through my embracing fingers
and all over my soaked
clay-caked body.
We were one.

Clay called to me,
"Come play with me, form me, caress me,
harden me, color me, use me, delight in me."

Vessels of ceramic beauty,
weird, altered, exploding pots
push past boundaries
and respond to my touch.

"In what fire will you finish me?
In what kiln will I cook?
Electric or Raku or Anagama?
Heat high my body -- transform me
until I am birthed firm and beautiful."

When I did what I loved,
and I loved what I did,
in delight and joy
night and day
on the potter's wheel,
although I didn't understand Oneness
I was Oneness.
No separation.
Then, I didn't know "G*d".
or did I?

Thank you, G*d,
for the glory of creation,
of immersion and joyous passion fulfilled.

Today I am a Pot
May my outer self portray
My inner self --
awakened, conscious, mindful
of the wholeness, the harmony,
the strength,
the character, the integrity,
and the honesty of a good pot,
half-filled or half-empty,
standing upright,
glazed or not.

Gaze upon me
or fill me with nature's treasures:
tea leaves, a sunflower, pebbles, a pod,
seashells, lavender buds, fruit, or a feather.

Discover even more pleasure
and truth
when you look inside.


"Surely G*d was in this (sacred) place, and I, I did not know."
"Achen Yesh HaShem, B'makom hazeh, v'anochi, lo yadati."
Parsha Vayetze, Genesis 28:16.

"Like the clay in the hand of the potter - he expands it at will - so are we in Your hand, O Preserver of loving-kindness..."
ArtScroll Yom Kippur Machzor, page 121, evening service.

"And now Hashem, You are our Creator, we are the clay and You are our Potter, and we all are the work of Your hand." Isaiah 64:7
ArtScroll Siddur, page 127. Tachanun read before Torah, weekday mornings.

OTTO HEINO, potter extraordinaire, died July 2009. Otto showed me his first place, award winning pot from the International Ceramics show in Paris, and exclaimed to me that he "won FIRST PLACE because it was an HONEST POT" . That emet / truth has permeated my being. Today I held one of his baby pots.

Joy wrote TODAY I AM A POT, because her soul still yearns to play in the mud, and her heart is touched by all the memories deeply shared for the last four decades with wonderful creative and talented pottery friends and teachers.

TODAY I AM A POT reprinted from "The Deronda Review" Vol. III. No. I Fall-Winter 2009-2010
a journal of poetry and thought. http://www.pointandcircumference.com/
published in American Ceramic Society Design Chapter, ACS-DC Newsletter,
March 2013, Vol. 14, Issue 22, page 12.

Published also in The Jewish Woman 2010

Huffington Post. Religion blog, Sephirat HaOmer 2013

TODAY I AM A POT,  Aleph's KALLAH 2011, Univ. of Redlands, CA (by Joy Krauthammer)
TODAY I AM A POT,   Makom Ohr Shalom, Encino, CA (by Joy Krauthammer)
TODAY I AM A POT, Sound and Light studio opening, Sherman Oaks, CA

Joy Krauthammer, MBA, following Queens College, and before becoming a NY medical social worker, a weaver, sound healer, performing percussionist, publisher, poet, etc., --received a Max Beckmann full scholarship for her graduate ceramics work at the Brooklyn Museum School of Art. She continued her ceramics studies and passionate exploration in California.

In the 1970's, Joy taught ceramics to adults at Cooper Square Art School, NY, opened a children's Arts school for the City of Los Angeles in the late 1980's, and taught ceramics for them and at other schools. Favorite memories include 24/7 chopped-wood stoking the firing for her pots in the Anagama mountain kiln at ISOMATA, Idyllwild, San Jacinto Mountains, AND belonging to the American Ceramics Society, Design Chapter, and travelling with 63 other divine potters led by Patrick Crabb to New Mexico to visit Indians on their sacred lands.

Joy's award winning art has been exhibited in many shows.

Before the 1994 Northridge earthquake struck her town, Joy thought that her beautiful pottery took up too much space and decided that if she became a drummer, the music would be 'ethereal', taking up NO space. Joy has spent the last couple decades travelling around the world collecting drums for her performing as a spiritual percussonist. Drums and pots are everywhere!
~ ~ ~

For years, I was a "hippie" potter in mud 24/7 and loving it. Taught ceramics in NY and LA.  With a dream manifested (while doing my MBA), I opened an art school for the City of Los Angeles and taught for them. (Found space at a Jewish Center in the late 1980's.)
Although blessed, I never understood then the sanctity of potting connected to the Creator (having no formal religious education) when I meditated for hours on the stillness of the clay's center point.  I was creating ceramic art from the Kabbalistic Sephirot grounding place of Tiferet/harmony and Yesod/creation. I was with Oneness even then, just did not know it.  I continue to learn and understand this truth.


"Our words must not differ from our thoughts; the inner and outer person must be the same; what is in the heart should be on the lips...  We are forbidden to deceive anyone... Honest speech, integrity, and a pure heart--that is what is required of us.” 
- Maimonides

End of poem is metaphor for the holy Temple:
Exodus, Terumah 25:11  "You shall cover it with pure gold, from within and from without shall you cover it.."


“As you are surely aware, 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. Thus the object is revealed as it has never before been seen, since its inner content was obscured by secondary things. The artist exposes the essence of the thing he portrays, causing the one who looks at the painting to perceive it in another, truer light, and to realize that his prior perception was deficient.
And this is one of the foundations of man’s service of his Creator.”
 - Menachem Schneersohn, The Lubavitch Rebbe
~ ~ ~


Charles Sherman said...

The voice of a true artist.
: )
You are one of the most connected people to people, nature, G*d and clay.
XO c

Susan J. said...

Thank you for the beautiful poem, Joy.
It was a delight to read and to think about.
And a delight to meet you too. (at the Ceramics exhibit)
Warmest Regards,

Patrick Crabb said...

Hello Joy,
It was just wonderful to meet you again. I had a terrific evening at AMOCA with all my friends and colleagues.

I read your poem below. Like a good pot, it reveals all the spiritual wonders within you...a terrific human for this planet. Stay in touch...always.

Ruth Broyde Sharon said...

Just read your Today I Am A Pot poem--exquisite, Joy!
I was not aware of your potter's history.
May you go from poem to poem!