About Joanna Young - Me!
In 2005, I started a 3-year evening class in silversmithing at the Bristol School of Art. This has intertwined with other skills I've learnt on courses in fusing glass with John Dunn in Brighton and working with Precious Metal Clay with Chris Pate and Kathleen Reeve in Chew Magna. In 2007, I started Fired Up Jewellery to enable me to sell some of my creations, in 2008 I completed my silversmithing class and in 2009 I started learning stained glass.
About Dichroic Glass
Yes, I can hear you now..."Di-what?" Pronounced 'die-crow-ick', which means 'two colour', dichroic glass is glass which has been coated with a layer of metal oxide applied in a vacuum. The effect it produces is to reflect one colour and transmit another - which means vivid, shimmering colours and a metallic iridescence reminiscent of exotic beetles' and butterflies' wings. It comes in an amazing array of colours and textures, all of which have a disinctive character and irrepressible charm - and the combinations are limitless. To make pieces of jewellery, I cut and layer up the glass then fire it for several hours in my kiln to quite staggering temperatures until it fuses together. I started with pendants, finished with sterling silver and 18k gold-plated findings, but I have recently extended my collection to include rings, cufflinks and stud earrings.
About Precious Metal Clay
A seriously exciting material! Made in Japan, PMC as it's known, is pure silver in fine powder form, combined with an organic binder to make a dense and heavy clay. It's completely pliable and can be shaped into a number of ways that would simply be unthinkable with solid metal. Once shaped, you dry it out and fire it, which causes the binder to burn away and the silver to fuse together leaving behind fine (pure) silver. It comes in a (frighteningly expensive) gold version too. To watch it go from malleable clay to solid metal never fails to astound! Most of my work with PMC involves stamping the damp clay with a design and cutting out shapes, before embellishing with tiny cubic zirconia.