Jo's work is a bringing together of contrasts – wet and dry, wriggling and still, sharp edges and blunt forms. Each design is made up of two parts: the moving, decorative part and the base. The bases of each design are still and squeeze and constrict their more decorative, sometimes bodily-ambiguous, counterparts. Each design is the product of an evolution of her visual language, developed over several years. The bringing together of the plain circle or oval with the femininely sensual is a device used to show the qualities of each, and to create a tension between them. By appropriating architectural, decorative forms and using them to create objects that have a light hearted sensuality, we move away from the formal rigidity of architecture, and into irregularity.
There is also a humour in the work, an element of the ridiculous, but also an element of sophistication. Her work emulates this coupling of humour with sophistication and tries to exist where these two meet, creating an elegant style that sometimes teeters on the edge of vulgarity.
The exploration of clay is probably the most important aspect of this work. As Jo sees it, an object made is best when it crystallises the liquidity of clay in the final ceramic. The glazes Jo uses are chosen because they enhance this sense of water and flow created in the object’s making on the throwing wheel. This work is not an allegory and does not have a scripted narrative; it is instead the result of an intuitive enquiry into clay, using a visual language that is gradually unfolding with each piece made.
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