I have known Jo McAllister for a number of years, we first met at the Designers Jewellery Group exhibition at the Barbican Centre in London, where I bought a brooch from her ‘Sketchbook Series’ which was featured as a Brooch of the Month in May 2015. I first spotted the ‘Pencil Case’ at the Goldsmiths’ Fair, a great venue for catching up with my favourite designers and spotting new talent. At that point it was not a brooch at all, but a ring.
Jo first conceived ‘The Ring Cycle’ in 2015 as a narrative set of rings based on words ending in ‘-ring’.
This photo is from the Sieraad Art Fair, Amsterdam, 2017. L – R: Feathering No2, Conkering, Towering, Colouring, Conjuring, Powdering, Flowering and Wandering. I remember one lady trying on the ‘Powdering’ ring and yes it contains real powder and a dainty puff to dab one’s shiny nose. The whole ‘ring’ concept fascinated me, but I don’t wear rings, except my engagement and wedding rings. Jo knew brooches are my thing, I remember us having a discussion as to which might or might not work as a brooch.
‘Colouring’, or as I call it the pencil case is made of silver. The brooch comes with a complete set of coloured pencils, so I can co-ordinate colours to an outfit. There is even a miniature sharpener in case any pencil loses its point. The brooch is made in two parts which slot into each other ensuring the pencils are secure when worn and allows easy swapping of colours. This is a one-off brooch made by Jo especially for me. I love the whole concept, its playfulness and its interactiveness.
Jo’s latest design in the ‘Ring Cycle’ is ‘Pouring’ the perfect present for the person who loves a cocktail.
Jo McAllister ‘Pouring’ made of silver with 24ct gold vermeil inside.
Jo confesses to having a long list of possible words taped to her studio wall, a quick internet search reveals well over 1300 words ending in ‘ring’.
To find out more about Jo and her work visit Jo’s website Jo McAllister