An exciting discovery!
In order to serve my customers well and cater for differing styles, I like to provide my shoppers with their own jewellery department store at their fingertips as well as showcasing designs that they would otherwise not easily find. When you’re as passionate about jewellery as I am and particularly love supporting British designers, there is nothing more exciting than discovering a new talent.
At the beginning of this year I was doing my usual round of trade shows when, tucked away on a tiny stand, I came across JoJo Blue Designs displaying some unusual, colourful jewellery and scarves that immediately caught my eye and required further investigation! Fast forward several months to today and I’m excited to share with you the launch of an exclusive collection on the Sophisticato website.
So who is JoJo Blue?
JoJoBlue is in fact a daughter and mother partnership. From their home in Scotland Sheena Johnson handcrafts the jewellery from acrylic and resin, creating one-of-a-kind pieces that are truly unique, while her mother Mary hand paints abstract designs onto silk.
By way of proper introduction to the world of JoJo Blue I conducted a brief interview so that you could hear their story in the words of the artists themselves:
Q. What is your background and how did you come to be working in jewellery design?
“I came to jewellery design via a rather unusual route. After graduating from university with a degree in Biology I spent 10 years working in environmental management for a global manufacturing company. However I had always harboured a creative side and wanted to pursue a career that would allow me to express this. In 2016 I established JoJoBlue, together with my mum, Mary, to bring together our passions and talents and allow me to create beautiful things.”
Q. You work in resin and acrylic. Why did you choose these materials?
“I love colour and working with acrylic allows me to combine and explore all sorts of colour combinations. The way I work with the acrylic also leaves an element of surprise in how the colours are going to combine together an effect the end design and I just love this! The acrylic is then encased within 2 layers of glossy resin which really brings the acrylic to life and allows different pigments and colours to shine through. Each pour of the resin is allowed to cure for 48 hours before each piece is then sanded and polished by hand.”
Q. What led you to use acrylic? How did you know this was the best medium for you?
“Through a process of experimentation largely. We looked at different materials and I learnt which I enjoyed working with. Acrylic and resin are very adaptable. Also my mum had worked a lot with acrylic over the years so we decided to explore this and over time developed a process of working which produced the result we were wanting in terms of colours and abstract designs which would be unique. It gives me the freedom to create anything from delicate earrings to chunky pendants in an infinite range of colours with a beautiful glossy finish
Q. How would you best describe your design style?
“At JoJo Blue Design we believe in the power of colour and art to express our individuality, inspiring a range of contemporary designs that are individual and truly unique. Each piece is handcrafted and inspired by our love of colour, abstract form, and the natural world. We want our designs to encapsulate the beauty of nature while paying tribute to the freedom of the unexpected.”
Q. What have been your influences in your style of design?
“We are strongly influenced by the world around us and many of our designs are inspired by our trips around Scotland, where we live, and further afield, where we take the colours of the surrounding landscape and use them to inspire new combinations of colour for our jewellery and scarves.”
Q. Where did the name JoJo Blue come from?
” We spent a long time deliberating over the name for our business. We wanted something that reflected how the business started i.e. mother and daughter team bringing together our passion for creativity and as our surnames are Johnson we came up with JoJo. We also wanted something which reflected our love of colour and we both love blue! Hence JoJo Blue Design was born.”
Q. What’s it like working with your mum?
” It’s been great being able to share this journey with her. She has such a breadth of experience in the creative industries, from painting through to fused glass, from silk painting to sculpture and her creative flare has been an endless source of inspiration for me and my own work.”
Q. What is your background in design Mary?
“I have always experimented with different art media and was introduced to textile and jewellery design as part of the combined studies degree I undertook at Edinburgh University.”
Q. How did you come to be hand painting silk scarves?
“I was drawn to the wonderful texture of pure silk and silk painting allows me to work with my favourite mediums of painting and textiles.”
Q. How do you come up with your designs?
“ I usually have the beginnings of an idea in my mind before I start working on a scarf but as I draw straight onto the silk with a resist, the drawing evolves intuitively as I work.”
Q. What have been your influences in your design style?
“I’ve been influenced by the abstract painters of the 20th century such as Kandinsky and Miro but recently I have also became interested in the abstract potential of the natural world.
Q. How are you enjoying being part of JoJo Blue design?
“Being similarly inspired as Sheena by colour and abstract design the silk scarves complement the jewellery and I love working with the soft beauty of silk which I source in the UK, to create unique, wearable pieces of art.
Contemporary, artistic, unique!
What talented ladies and how lovely that 2 generations of women are working together on their passions.
Hope you love it as much as I do!