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Campsodella Handmade Jewellery – Sunday Artist Interview

Sunday’s have never been the same again since I started these around 6 months ago! I have luckily had lots of very willing artists to interview and have a list of more as long as my arm – so here’s today with the lovely Joanna at Campsodella Handmade Jewellery…

First of all, who are you?

Ayup!  I’m Jo, the brains, brawn and beauty behind Campsodella Handmade Jewellery ?

I live in South Yorkshire with my wonderful husband and Akita, Bear.

I enjoy creating jewellery and other little trinkets. More often than not these are from old coins and discarded items.  I’m a keen believer in ‘waste not, want not’ and am always upcycling, recycling and re-purposing.

Campsodella has been my full-time occupation now for several years, but took a while for me to get off the ground. I use traditional metal working techniques to craft individual pieces and love a good challenge.

When you were asked (all those years ago!), “what do you want to be when you grow up?”  What did you answer?

Oh, I so wanted to be an Astronaut! And a jazz musician. I always loved science and wanted to explore the unknown. Travelling into space is still on the bucket list, however I think that will require some sort of miracle and a massive lottery win now.  I still have my sax, might have to dust it off and give it a blast.

In the back of my mind I always wanted to be a jeweller (think I must have been a magpie in a previous life), but for some reason thought that would be impossible!

What is the funniest thing as an artist that has ever happened to you?

Not sure I’ve had a funny thing happen as an artist, but I find it wonderfully amusing that after years study and a successful career in the pharmacy world I now hang with the creative crowd and can be called myself ‘Artist’

What is the hardest part of being creative?

Being creative is the easy part. Finding the time to be creative and protecting your creatively is another matter….and being tidy. Finding what I’ve made is sometimes quite a task.

What advice would you give to an artist just starting out?

There are no short cuts, so be prepared for a long hard slog. Always be yourself and don’t give up!

What subjects inspire you?

I’m constantly inspired by my surroundings. I’m very lucky to live very close to a nature reserve so the Yorkshire countryside is right on my door step. I’ve always had a thing for bunnies, and now I get to see them, and hares leaping around on a regular basis.

Who are the 3 greatest living artists in your opinion? (they don’t have to be famous!)

I wouldn’t be where I am now without the encouragement and support of the most amazing talented and generous folks I’ve become friends with though the Facebook community ‘Handcrafted Uniquely’. Although they may not be all that famous, one day I’m sure they will be! Shame I can only pick three, but here goes…

First up is Justine from Jakeart, a wonderful imagination and big big heart that she shares with people through her paintings and drawings. Check out her steampunk pieces, they are spectacular.

Second is Lorraine White, recently publish children’s author who is also an extremely talented hand stamper and the best mentor.

And then there is my good friend Caroline Brogden. A fellow jeweller also loves nature and shares a passion for upcycling. Her newest range takes old surfboards and turns them into unique ‘stones’ set and set them for jewellery. How fabulous it that?

Who are the 3 greatest dead artists in your opinion?

Without even thinking about it the first one that pops into my head is Dali. At university I really had a thing for surrealism and had a huge print of ‘Swans Reflecting Elephants’ on my wall. Every time I looked at it, I saw something new.

Then it would have to be Escher and Hokusai, in no particular order.

What is your favourite work of art you have ever produced?

That’s such a tricky question! My favourite changes all the time, but tends to be something new, that I’ve really struggled with but got there in the end. Stef from Agni Prasada Burning (sneakily squeezing in a forth favourite living artist here ? ) created a stunning piece called ‘The Locker’. I took her artwork and turned it into a chased and repoussé piece in copper for her.

What was the last piece of art you sold?

I sell something most days, this one was a recent commission. Think someone has a big birthday coming up…

And finally… Because this is really important….

What’s the best type of cheese?  (haha)

Wedding cheese! Me and Mr Campsodella recently got wed and we had the most amazing cake with layers of full British cheeses. It was (and still is, as we had plenty of left overs) divine!

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