This weeks artisan is Jo of Glassprimitif, who creates beautiful Items from coloured glass. She has some gorgeous sparkling heart pendants for sale right now. Perfect as Valentine gifts for a loved one.
Hi, my name is Jo and I am a glass artist. I sell fused art glass to galleries in the UK and on-line too. I always wanted to be an artist from a small child and I trained as a textile artist before becoming a freelance designer. I started with glass after I was given some simple glass tokens and I thought "I can do that". I also work in a gallery, part-time, and as a resident artist in local schools so Saturdays are my only day off.
2.What led you to take up your craft?
My daughter did some enamelling on copper at school and her pieces turned out beautifully. We got a small enamelling kiln but all MY enamel was awful! I was working for as picture framer at the time and had access to lots of clear glass, which I melted in the kiln. I soon had a large collection of "experiments" and then I invested in a larger, more suitable kiln.
3. Which part of your work do you most enjoy?
I love designing for glass, filling sketch books with ideas, plans and drawings. I also love cutting glass and grinding difficult shapes. Every time I lift the lid of the kiln after firing, it's like a new surprise.
4. Which part do you find hardest?
It's hard to accept when I have spent hours designing and making a piece of glass and then it turns out to be a disaster. Working with glass has its ups and downs because sometimes the outcome does not live up to my expectations (that's the fault of the designer) or something calamitous happens in the kiln during firing (usually the fault of the designer too).
5. Where do you hope to be in 1 year’s time?
I made a couple of New Year's Resolutions so it will be interesting to see if I have kept to them by the end of this year. I have resolved to get my glass out to more galleries in the UK and to list every day on Etsy. Aside from glass, I am hoping that my contract at the gallery will be renewed as it is subject to arts funding and it is a job that I love.
6. What is the best advice you have ever been given?
I'm not good at taking advice and rarely ask for it - being stubborn is in my genes (!) I was recently given some very good glass advice about removing kiln wash from the underside of glass dishes - but if I told you then I would have to kill you.....
7. Name other artisans sites/shops would you recommend are worth a visit?
I belong to a great glass support group, the Creative Glass Guild of Etsy (CGGE) and we have some absolutely fantastic glass artists as members. Rather than laboriously pick them all out I recommend a visit to http://cgge.org where you will find all the members on the website. The variety of glass in this group is just amazing - so many distinctive styles and originality too.
8. What is your favourite sandwich filling?
Cream cheese and walnuts - when I was pregnant this is all I could eat!!!Thank you Jo for being our Artisan of the week. Here's hoping the Art's funding comes through and good luck with your resolution!