Jo Davies

Jo Davies

As part of our media sponsorship of Heal’s Modern Craft Market (until Feb 13th), allow us to introduce you to some very nice and talented people…

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What do you specialise in making?

I specialise in making vessels, vases, lighting and tableware by hand from porcelain. I use a combination of wheel-throwing and hand-building techniques.

What part of the making process do you most enjoy: the arrival of an idea or the crafting of the finished piece?

I enjoy those final stages of making with wet clay, when the shape of the object is visible and I have high hope that it will maintain its finesse through the kiln-firing when it will have to withstand temperatures over 1,200 degrees Celsius. This is where the rush of satisfaction is for me.

Can you remember the first thing you made?

As a child, I used to make a lot of things from paper and Fimo but it was the day of an art exam that I remember as a game-changing moment when I had five straight, amazing hours to make something. On a whim I turned up in the clay room at my school on the day of the exam without realising I needed to have arranged it beforehand (I now recognise this is a typical personality trait!). Twenty years later I am still turning up in the clay room, still slightly feeling like I didn't get permission…

Does your craft shape the way you consume products?

Yes and no. I increasingly buy things from – and swap my own work with – other makers, but I don't see mass-production as being on the other side, as something that is not valid or opposite to what I do. There's a place for it because it often makes life cheaper and we can't all afford hand-crafted objects all the time. My feeling is that finding a place for as many of these craft objects in my life is the right thing to do.

Where are you happiest outside of your workshop?

My home, which is a barge boat. The close proximity of water, wildlife and London keep me happy.

A hole-and-corner is a secret place hidden away from the hustle and bustle of daily life: Where is your own hole-and-corner?

Rather boringly the answer to this can only be: my studio, which I now occupy on my own.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

Just keep doing what you love and sooner or later people will see that you love it and they will love it too.

Jo Davies

Photograph: Jon Cardwell