Homegirl London pays homage to Jo Davies. She makes charming ceramic vases, bowls, cups and lighting. Her work brings together contrasts, for example, wet and dry, wriggling and still, sharp edges and blunt forms. The bases of her designs are still but their decorative components are described as “an evolution of my visual language,” by Jo. She strives to strike a balance between humour and sophistication in her work to produce “an elegant style which sometimes teeters on the edge of vulgarity.” She loves the exploration of clay and experimenting with glazes to enhance each object. Jo works at her studio in Stoke Newington to create ceramic sensations like her Zsa Zsa and Dolly Vases and Tangled Lamps. I caught up with Jo to ask her a few questions …
Q: Tell me more about your ceramic background.
A: I studied at the Royal College after doing my first degree at Bath School of Art. Having discovered clay when I was a teenager, I’ve been exploring it ever since.
Q: Where did your love of ceramics come from?
A: I grew up in quite an idiosyncratic household. I was always surrounded by ‘things’, ‘ornaments’ and the discussion of the home and how to make it look and work practically, was always in the air. I grew up with building and making around me – the house is seen as an on-going project. This has informed many of the interests in my work. This, in conjunction with growing up in Herefordshire where a lot of very famous 20th-century studio potters based their workshops was a perfect combination for influencing my future. The ceramics room at school helped to crystallise this.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I’m interested in making forms that are clean and clear but never rigid. Each design should always have a sense of movement and I find that white or another monochrome helps to show off the form.
Q: Tell me more about your business.
A: I have run a studio, at least on a part-time basis, since 2002. My practice and business, as it is now, has been going since 2007 when I graduated from the RCA. Keeping a studio has always been really important to me, even when I was working for someone else full-time back in the beginning – not as an escape but as a way to be myself. Working with this medium is under my skin.
Q: How can people buy your products?
A: People can buy direct from me, I’m always happy for people to make an appointment to view the work at the studio or to get in touch to place an order that I can send to them. I stock the whole range but the following is a selected list of places to buy and view some of the range: Contemporary Applied Arts, Percy Street, London / Merchant Archive, Kensington Park Road / Welcome Home Store, Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow / Culture Label.
Q: What are your 3 bestsellers?
A: The Zsa Zsa Vases, the Finch Bowls and the Cups.
Q: What are you up to for the rest of 2012?
A: I will be at Ceramics in the City at The Geffrye Museum on 21-23 September. Then I will be at Made London at One Marylebone on 26-28 October – a huge exhibition showcasing handmade objects from British designer-makers based around the country – plus, from 13-17 November I’ll be in the Craft Central Showcase in Clerkenwell.
See some of Jo’s creations below. For more information go to Jo Davies. Credits: text by Homegirl London, images courtesy of Jo Davies, special thanks to Jo Davies.
Choker vase £45 / Finch bowls £20 / Cups £10 each or 2 for £15 / Hoop egg cups £9 / Shift bowl £95
Shift bowl, £95
See vase, £45-50
Vivien vase £45 / Zsa Zsa vase, £190 for small size and £380 for large
Speak vase £35 for one opening, £40 for two openings and £45 for three openings