Jo McAllister – Maker in Focus

2 February – 13 March 2016

Hand made in fine silver 999, 18ct yellow, green white and rose gold, Jo McAllister’s jewellery demonstrates a simplicity of form but not content. Initially prompted by the deceptive qualities of desert light and the desiccation of natural and man made textures within those landscapes, her work continues to be concerned with light and space.

Much of the collection is inspired by the delicate outlines of Honesty seed heads. Brooches fix invisibly and appear to float on the garment, sometimes casting a shadow. Earrings have elegant long wires reminiscent of flower stems.

Using rocks and stones found on beaches or mountains as her hammers and anvils, McAllister creates granite surfaces with burnished, undulating edges as glinting counterpoints. Reminiscent of earthly and lunar landscapes, these intimately land-marked textures accentuate the whiteness of pure silver and reveal the rich, varied colours of high carat golds.

Born and raised mainly in Gloucestershire, Jo McAllister lived and worked in London for twenty years during which she trained as a mature student at The Cass in Aldgate, graduating with BA (Hons) Silversmithing, Jewellery & Allied Crafts in 2001, and MA in 2003. She was awarded a Crafts Council Development Award in 2004, is a peer mentor and an occasional visiting lecturer. She produced ‘Rooms for Ideas’, a group exhibition of jewellery at Hastings Museum & Art Gallery in 2011 and secured Arts Council Funding for the accompanying book. Since 2005, McAllister has lived and worked in St Leonards On Sea with her husband, photographer Alexander Brattell and their son. She exhibits regularly with The Sussex Guild, twice yearly at the Barbican with the Designer Jewellers Group and at various fairs and exhibitions throughout England, most notably at Goldsmiths’ Fair in 2014 and 2015, as well as exhibiting internationally.