Joanne’s first career was as a secondary school teacher, first of all teaching geography and then ICT and business studies. However, she had always made her own jewellery and as time went on she sold her work at local craft shows and in a couple of local galleries.
Combining her love of making jewellery with her teaching skills Joanne taught jewellery making workshops both at her school’s summer school and at one of the galleries she supplied, and started writing projects for craft magazines too. By the time her eldest son was born she had a fledgling business, so it was a case of now or never for setting it up properly!
Seven years on Joanne still teaches City and Guilds Jewellery Design evening classes, writes articles and projects for UK and US magazines and books, teaches privately in her studio, and of course supplies galleries in the UK. Joanne absolutely loves the fact that she is using skills that have been around for hundreds of years, and is passionate about passing these skills on. She loves the link between the history of the techniques and tools that she uses and the contemporary twist she adds to her designs.
One of her favourite techniques is Keum Boo, a Korean technique that literally translates as “attached gold”. A combination of heat and pressure causes 24k gold foil to bond with fine silver at the molecular level. The foil is thick enough to cut with scissors, and so creates a thick layer on the silver. The process is almost magical, and it is a beautiful way of adding the warmth of gold to silver jewellery without breaking the bank.
Joanne’s new studio is just outside Southampton which she shares with other residents including illustrators, leather and fabric designers, costume designers and both fine and modern artists, and it is a wonderfully creative and supportive environment to work in.
Joanne’s aim is to create jewellery that is special enough to be passed onto the next generation, yet perfect for wearing every day.