In this week’s Spotlight interview, we’re featuring Jo from Jo Irvine Jewellery.
Like so many other makers, Jo actually started off in a different creative industry and fell into jewellery by chance! She’s had her jewellery described as, “Quiet statement jewellery”, and is inspired by a mix of urban landscapes and countryside sunsets.
Read more about her story…
What’s your name and the name of your business?
Jo Irvine – Jo Irvine Jewellery
Where do you live and what do you love about it?
In the Cotswolds (West Oxfordshire). We moved here four years ago from Nottingham and it did take a while to get used to not having everything on your doorstep, but now I love everything about it. It’s so beautiful and so much to discover in every direction. The countryside is stunning, the sunsets are unreal and the pubs are pretty good too!
What do you make/create?
I make precious metal jewellery, using different coloured and carat recycled golds with sterling silver.
How would you describe your work?
Architecturally-inspired minimalist jewellery with a twist. I use solid recycled rose, yellow and white golds with sterling silver and love layering and mismatching pieces.
What do you love about what you do?
My two loves of art and fashion combine in jewellery. I’ve always loved making and creating things and I love that I can make every part of the process my own. From designing to making, to photographing the end piece. You then often get to meet your customers in person at a show, see them trying something on and fall in love with it is a pretty special thing.
Making things that people will wear, treasure and hopefully be around for a very long time is quite awesome.
What/who inspires you and why?
The shapes and lines in my pieces are influenced by city skylines and urban architecture harping back to my roots in Nottingham, while the rainbows of gold stem from the glorious colours of the West Oxfordshire sunsets where I now live.
The merging of city to country life harmonises into pieces that are unique and collectible. It’s been described as “quiet statement jewellery” and I love that.
What’s your favourite piece and why?
My rainbow and sunset rings. I love the graduations of the different colours of gold and I can see so many different ways I want to take them in the future.
Also my mismatched earrings, the collection of those is expanding a lot at the moment.
How did you get into doing what you do?
I completed a BA (hons) in photography at Nottingham Trent University. After a few years of working in film, fashion and portrait photography I decided to try silversmithing part-time. At first it was just a creative release but quite quickly it really took a hold of me. I absolutely love photography and still take a lot of pictures for myself and others now, but I found for every interesting and exciting job, there were twenty other less creative jobs. And it became a bit stifling.
Jewellery felt like a natural progression as I always had an obsession with the details, accessories and styling in my photographs.
Where would you like to see your business in five years’ time?
It’s really important to me that my business is sustainable so I already use recycled golds and eco-friendly practices and packaging etc, but recently I’ve also been making one-off pieces, reinventing people’s old gold jewellery.
Not melting it all down and starting again but taking it apart and using elements of it within my work. So I’d definitely like to explore more of that. I’d also have many ideas of how I’d like to incorporate stones into my pieces so that’s a strong possibility.
Generally, I really hope to be still doing what I’m doing, maybe in a little studio rather than our spare room and with a bit more freedom (i.e. money) to be able to let my imagination go – rather than trying to reign it in to make it financially viable.
Who’s your dream customer – if you could pick anyone (dead or alive!)
Oh that’s hard, really anyone who falls in love with a piece is a dream customer! But if we’re talking celebrities, then Anya Taylor-Joy, Tilda Swinton and Jennifer Lawrence are all awesome stylish ladies and dream customers.