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Handmade in the Heartland: Earthen Joy

Posted: 2:41 PM, Nov 22, 2017
Updated: 2017-11-24 19:27:44Z
Handmade in the Heartland: Earthen Joy
Handmade in the Heartland: Earthen Joy
Handmade in the Heartland: Earthen Joy
Handmade in the Heartland: Earthen Joy

Pottery and ceramics has been a passion for Joy O'Conner for as long as she can remember. but before the days of working in a studio, it was her solace. 

"I've got two kids. Delaney is 9 and Paxton is 6," she explains. O'Conner says she was a stay at home mom when working pieces on the wheel became her way to relax. 

"Working it with my hands was so therapeutic and so it was like as soon bedtime hit, I was in there until midnight. So it was like three or four hours of me time."

From there, the projects quickly grew. O'Conner started making ornaments and posted them to Facebook. 

"My friends were crazy over them, and so then they suggested a couple of places in town to try selling them." 

Fast forward five years. Now Joy's a full-time maker, working out of her studio at Bench Omaha while her kids are in school. She sells her pieces out of here and at craft shows on weekends. She's also collaborated with Omaha Fashion Week and had pieces worn by models on the catwalk. It's a small successful business. A dream this mom says she's had since her middle school days. 

"I'd be in my room at night and be like, 'oh someday I want to be in a big city and I want to look out my window and I've got my art over here and the city skyline over there. This is it. I got the studio downtown and I'm doing my art. (It's) better than I could have imagined. She said. 

Joy is selling her work at Handmade Omaha annual winter craft show this weekend. For more info, visit