Throughout the duration of our current exhibition “Holy Tools!“, the blog of LA Joaillerie invites you to discover the artists participating in the exhibition. Through a tool-Portrait, discover their considerations on tools, their views on crafts and handmaking.
Born in Chiswick, London, Jo Pond is a British art jeweller. After discovering jewellery making at the Berkshire and Loughborough Colleges of Art & Design, she established her design process some years later during her Masters at the School of Jewellery, Birmingham. Today she lives and works in Staffordshire, where, alongside her practice as a studio jeweler, she is employed as a lecturer at the School of Jewellery.
– If you were a tool ?
If I were a tool, I’d want to be comfortable, well-designed, possibly have multiple functions, I’d want to be indispensable.
– If you were a gesture ?
If I were a gesture I’d be subtle, a smile, an infectious one!
– What is your first or most significant memory related to tools ?
As a child my parents bought me a stone tumbler. We would collect pebbles from the shore and tumble them for weeks on end, patiently working through the polishing grades. Eventually, the contents would be ready, polished smooth and shiny, to be stored in a jar where they remain to this day.
– Which is your favourite tool and why ?
I have two favourite tools, firstly my buff-stick, just a certain piece of wood that I’ve had for many years, marked with my name and for wrapping polishing papers around. Secondly, my Maun parallel pliers. The most versatile and functional set on my bench.
– Why did you choose working with your hands (and brain!) and what does it provide you ?
Why do I do this – making ? Creating something brings a sense of reward, wonder, a sense of completion. There is something magical in the moment when a finished item is decided, an item that didn’t exist now becomes. For me, making is a compulsion, I need to create, make, compose, I always have… it is part of who I am, if I can’t, I become unhappy.
– How do you consider the growing importance of technologies and machines (modelisation, laser, etc..) and the vanishing of ancient know-hows? How does this affect your practice or extend your possibilities ?
I worry about core trade skills vanishing. I teach, to help retain these, but I am aware that as time goes on these skills are watered down through transmission and are replaced with new ones, some being lost forever. In contrast to this worry I also embrace modern technologies, and particularly enjoy laser welding. This technique offers me new construction methods and the potential for new finishes, enabling me to mix and embrace a diversity of materials. Within my practice it is important to me to bring both new and old techniques to my bench, and to keep my skills alive.