Thursday 22 September 2011

Introducing...Jo Rhodes

If you are after my BEAD SOUP POST then click here!

Welcome to the second in my new blog series - Introducing....This week it's local (to me!) jewellery artist and all-round stupidly clever person, Johanna Rhodes of Fire Phoenix Creations. Jo was one of my first partners in a couple of Lori's bead soup swaps and I still have some of Jo's pretty lampworks, waiting to find the perfect home. Without further ado, I'll pass over to her.....

Q1.How long have you been making jewellery and what led you to begin?

A1.  I remember my grandad taking me to Lichfield when I was a little girl, and I discovered Spellbound Bead Company!  I bought a stack of beads and made a simple strung necklace when I got home later that day.  I dabbled a little bit in my youth, but I didn’t take jewellery making up as a serious hobby until my first year of university.  It was exam season, and I was getting incredibly stressed out, and needed a way to ‘chillax’.  A friend had bought me a beaded necklace for my birthday, and I thought ‘I could do that!’  And so, after another trip to revisit Spellbound Bead, I started making simple bits of jewellery. 

Q2.What do you get out of creating jewellery – be that emotionally, physically, mentally?

A2.  Physically, creating jewellery can be very painful!  I’ve sustained various injuries from jewellery making (stabbing your finger with memory wire, anyone?!).  It can also be really frustrating mentally when something just. Won’t. Go. Right.  But putting aside those couple of negatives, there are a lot of positives: Mentally, I get a lot of calm whilst creating jewellery.  It’s my zen time.  Emotionally, it gives me a great high when I’ve completed a piece, and I feel very honoured and special when people say they like my work!

Q3.What do you find inspiring?

A3.  Really geeky stuff, like science!  Having a career in science means I see patterns in all sorts of things, and wonder how they can translate into jewellery.  For example, the structure of DNA: it’s a double spiral, which is represented perfectly using seed beadweaving into a spiral rope. 

Q4. Describe your workspace – are you lucky enough to have a studio set up or are you like me and work in odd corners of your house?

A4. I am lucky enough to have my own lampwork studio – my lovely fiancĂ© converted our outhouse into a little studio for me!  However, I don’t have a dedicated space to make jewellery.  I tend to spread out over the living and dining rooms, and really enjoy making jewellery sitting on the sofa with a good film on!

Q5.What are your favourite materials to work with and why?

A5. I have a guilty pleasure for seed beads so I can do beadweaving pieces – I really like Rachel Nelson-Smith’s ‘Seed Bead Fusion’.  I find beadweaving quite relaxing to do, and the finished piece always gets lots of compliments!  I also really like using polymer clay and lampwork beads in my work, and try to make my own components as much as possible.

Q6. Do you have a favourite bead or supplies shop you could share with us?

A6.Spellbound Bead!  The staff there are really friendly.  But I do buy a lot of my supplies online: Bead Sisters for basic components and a recent find,

Q7.If you were to give a shout out to a favourite designer or artist, who would it be and why?

A7.  Ooo definitely the delightful Rebecca Anderson!  I am in awe of all of your creations!  I’m also a huge fan of Lori Anderson, for making stunning jewellery and organising the Bead Soup Party; Erin Prais-Hintz, who makes amazing polymer clay components; Julie Fountain, a lovely lady who introduced me to lampworking; and Andrew Thornton, who always seems to effortlessly create amazing jewellery.

Thanks so much!

Thanks so much Jo for taking the time to answer my questions, I've loved finding out about you and your jewellery! And those pretty lampworks....Check out

If you have enjoyed this post, why not check out my original with New Orleans jewellery artist, Heidi Post. Or last week's inteview with Malin de Koning. 

And if you are interested in taking part in my Introducing....series, then just drop me a line here.


Cillaw said...

Way to go Jo! She was my Bead Soup partner! Awesome post!!

Jo said...

Another great interview! I loved Jo's bead soup creations.

Anonymous said...

Squeeee! Exciting stuff :D thank you kindly for hosting me Rebecca, looks fab.

Heidi Post said...

Nice to meet you Jo! I loved your bead soup creations too - and I'm humbled by your beadweaving!!! Following your blog now :)


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