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Three Dimensional Design

Manchester School of Art


Jo Mitchell

Graduated 2000

Glass Artist And Freelance Designer
Joanne Mitchell Glass Design & Juo Ltd

I am artist and designer producing contemporary glassware for galleries, public and private commissions, and freelance product design for the glass industry.

Based at the National Glass Centre in Sunderland, I produce a range of sculptural pieces and limited edition glass vessels that combine blown, cast and wheel cut glass. They go beyond function to express the inherent qualities of the material and their production, blurring the boundaries between the functional and sculptural. Recently my work has moved towards more one-off works, using abstract forms to explore themes of movement, physical interaction and identity.

I'm also party of a joint venture, Juo Ltd, in partnership with glass artist Jessamy Kelly. This company produces bespoke fused glass artworks that are aimed at design-conscious businesses and individuals for corporate or domestic interiors. Since 2005 I have also been coordinator of Cohesion News: the newsletter for the Cohesion Glassmakers' Network and been visiting tutor at the University of Sunderland for the Daum Verrerie design competition.

I really enjoyed my time on the Three Dimensional Design course. It was structured so that it provided a rounded knowledge of many materials as well as the skills needed to produce specialised work. In my final year I specialised in hot glass and metal and produced a range of blown glass stemware with metal elements as my final body of work. The course gave me solid understanding of the process of design development as well as placing my own work in a contemporary context.

The self-directed study part of the course enabled me to analyze my own practice, as well as take constructive criticism, and apply this to my ongoing creative work since graduating. It was also great fun and I got to know some fantastic and talented people. In addition to the making skills, the skills involved in design in general have been very important – approaching a brief and researching and developing a project through to finalisation have been invaluable as they can be applied to many different types of project.

Following my degree I won a scholarship to study for a Masters Degree in Glass Product Design (Edinburgh Crystal Scholarship) with the University of Wolverhampton. After completing my MA I was taken on as an in-house designer for the renowned glass manufacturer Edinburgh Crystal.

My advice to students would be: Enjoy what you do and be prepared to work hard!

British Glass Biennale, International Festival of Glass, Stourbridge. 2004
Solo exhibition, The National Glass Centre 2006
Exhibition of Juo Ltd, National Glass Centre 2007
'Collect', at the Victoria and Albert Museum
'Blast!' at The Gallery, Cork St. London
Glass3 and Artomatic, Washington D.C. 2009

Selected Commissions for Annual awards:
Equality North East,
Tekla Structures,
The Great North Run Hall of Fame

Selected One-Off Commissions
City of Sunderland Council,
Nissan Europe,
Omega PLC,
HSBC's Premier Banking Art Prize Draw at the inaugural NewcastleGateshead Art Fair;

As Juo Ltd:
produced a unique artwork representing Sunderland for Harbin Museum, in China.
commissioned to produce a series of artworks for Newcastle Building Society's flagship building in North Tyneside, for which they won the Pearsons Glass Prize 2008 for 'Best Use of Glass in Retail and Interior'.
Currently working on an installation for the NHS Trust in Newcastle city centre.

Selected Publications
Cohesion's 'Directory of Glass' 2007;
'Glass North East' - Peter Davies 2007;
'50 Distinguished Contemporary Artists in Glass' - Lisa Hoftijzer 2006.

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