Crowd Funding is HERE!!

You guessed it. My Indiegogo crowd funding campaign to get to the Royal College of Art  is now live. The response has already been amazing and rewards are selling out fast so if there is anything you like it’s best to get in there quick.

Follow the link here to show your support. Your contribution could be the difference between me getting to take my place at the Royal College or not and there are lots of amazing rewards to say thank you.

Watch my video to find out more.

And click this link to take you direct to the Indigogo page.

There are also some new rewards to be added to the page so keep your eyes peeled for lots of exciting things. The print by Claire Heminsley, the Aoife White Earrings, a Little Dot Creations print and the 3D modelling taster session with Ann Marie Shillito have already gone!

Claire Heminsley72dpiAoife White studs

These have already gone but there are loads of other lovely things by Scottish based designer makers plus I’ll be adding more as we go along to keep checking back.

I realise that not everyone is able to contribute and that’s totally okay with me. It would be amazing though if you could share this link or the Jo Garner RCA plight page within your networks. It’s important that we reach as wide an audience as possible if the campaign is to be successful.

Thanks a million.



Crowd funding is Coming

2015 is likely to go down in the history of my own personal memories as one of the most exciting, most crazy and most pivotal years of my life. At the beginning of the year after deliberating about applying to study a Masters course for not the first time over the 8 years since I finished my undergraduate degree at Duncan of Jordanstone in Dundee, I decided to take a punt and apply to one of, if not the most well known and world renowned institutions for art and design.

My decision to apply for a Masters course was fueled by a knowing that I was up for the next thing. A big change. For a while I had been juggling several different roles within the creative industries and I had a strong sense of wanting to focus on my own work. I longed for the creative freedom and excuse to experiment that comes with studying within an art college environment. Applying to the Royal College of Art, which was voted the no.1 institution for design this year, was one of my usual punt into the sky, not really figured out the consequences, ballsy moves. While I knew I had the ability to do the work and to contribute well to the course these things can often be subjective. Oh and there are only around 20 places on the course so it is massively competitive.

RCA for web_1

In February I attended the interview. In an attempt to prepare I did a lot of thinking, writing and talking. I tried to arm myself with as much information about how the interview would go so that I wouldn’t get caught off guard. It was a sunny day in London and other than lugging about a small suitcase of jewellery and sketchbooks on the tube and through the long South Kensington walkway, the whole interview experience was pretty good. The people that greeted me were lovely and eager to put me at ease. Course director, Hans Stofer wasn’t as scary as I had heard, he was actually really nice. And although the main conversations in the interview were not what I had expected or prepared for I think it went okay. The tour afterwards with one of the 2nd year students was massively helpful. In short, it felt right. Being there felt good. On the plane home that evening, I was already there. I would be studying at the Royal College. I was locked in a not getting my hopes up/fantasy of already being there battle.

In mid April I was offered a place. The emotions that ensued were a mix of excitement, joy and panic. As fantasy turned in to reality, the sheer belief I had that I would find a way of financing the course and making it work without too much difficulty faded away pretty fast. It wasn’t wrong of me to believe in my own resourcefulness. It’s a skill I do have. But the gravity of the RCA tuition fees are a mighty beast to overcome. And, that’s without the cost of living in London.


Having spent a few months applying to trust funds and career development loans from the bank without any luck I have decided to turn to my last big option. As it happens it is actually the most creative and pro-active approach I could have taken so perhaps it could have been more fitting as my first option. Crowd funding.

For the past couple of weeks I have been putting together a crowd funding campaign on Indiegogo. I’ve decided to ask for your support in helping me to raise £3,500,  which is the bare minimum (half the tuition fees for year 1) that I need to get me to the Royal College in September. The support so far in getting the campaign together has been phenomenal. I have donations for rewards from many of my friends including, James Donald of Pickone Weaving, Fiona Thompson and Chris Donnolly Ceramics, Jewellery from Aoife White and Kirsty Eaglesfield, Print from Suzi Plunkett and Claire Hemingsly and printed textiles from Fiona McIntosh. Colin Tennant is the fantastic film maker and photographer who is currently putting together the video for my campaign, and Alistair Clark has agreed to do some product photography for me of the rewards. I am immensley grateful for all of this support.

Check out some of the films on Vimeo to see some of Colin’s great films.

fiona thompsonclaireheminsley james donald

This blog post is heads up to all of you out there who already support me. It’s a  pre-emptive digital chat with you to let you know what’s happening should you want to donate to the campaign, share it with your friends or donate any rewards. The campaign will go live quite soon so please do share with your friends, family and networks.

I’ll be in touch again once the campaign goes live but until then, Have a great week.

It’s been a while…

Yes it has hasn’t it. Blogging has certainly fallen by the wayside over the last wee while ( 4 months!!). So what’s new?

Loads. I’ve been working on my jewellery a lot. Still doing a lot of teaching and some project work and mentoring too. It would take a long long time to fill you in on everything that has happened over the last few months so I’m not going to bother. Instead I will fill you in on what I am currently doing and working towards.

Firstly as I said I have been making a lot of jewellery. I’ve had a couple of great commissions as well as designing and making brand new work for upcoming shows such as the Spring Fling @Home Exhibition at Gracefield Arts Centre in Dumfries. As I said it is brand spanking new work and I’d say it possibly shows signs of some new directions/ranges for my work.

ring1The work is inspired by costume jewellery and, as always, the combination of metal and textiles with the addition of gemstones this time. It has given me loads of ideas for new everyday wear jewellery too so as always keep your eyes peeled. This new work will hopefully be launched at the next Create show at Off the Rails Arthouse in Ladybank and Spring Fling in Dumfries and Galloway.

What else? Well I am trying to plan for the rest of the year. ie post Spring Fling. I’d like to organise another Anomaly exhibition possibly in July and/or one nearer Christmas but only time will tell. Planning is obvioulsy key and if I’ve learnt anything from 2013 it is to try not to take on so much.

I now have a few small items selling online which is pretty exciting so if you get the chance please do visit, Culture Label, NY Tartan Week and Yorkshire Sculpture Park Websites. If you are interested in seeing my work in the flesh just have a look at the exhibitions pages of my website.

Oh and guess what…I’ve got a wee national feature in a Sunday magazine coming up very soon so keep your eyes peeled for that. They’re sending a photographer to my workshop on Monday so I’ll need to practise my best relaxed professional face.


Busy Busy

Wow, the last few months have been busy to say the least. Straight after the Bring Back the Dead exhibition I launched into organising the 3rd annual ACJ Edinburgh exhibition, Chromatic. It opened on Friday and you will be glad to know that it is being very well received, Photo’s of the display coming soon but for now here is a photo of my installation of 58 rings. (unfortunately not 100)

Chromatic display

The exhibition runs untill the 12th November so be sure to pop along and check it out. There is loads of amazing stuff and you could even start your Christmas shopping with something lovely and unique.


I am also taking part in a mixed media show at Off the Rails Art House in Ladybank which opens this Friday the 8th November 6:30-9pm and is also open Saturday the 9th and 10th. It will be an excellent show with works of 8 established craft makers from in and around Edinburgh and definitely not one to be missed so get yourselves along.CREATE 2013

And as I sit here in Eden Court Theatre in Inverness I have just finished my presentation for Emergents Makers on how to run a collaborative group.  It was a great afternoon and brilliant to see some old faces from Art college and meet some new ones. I was quite nervous about doing the talk but I think it went well and am relieved that I have done it. They have a fantastic group of jewellers and I am sure they can achieve much together.

I am now researching and planning for future opportunities and developments for Anomaly and maybe other projects. So as always. Watch this space.



Bring Back the Dead – The exhibition

Bring Back the Dead is my first exhibition as Anomaly.  It was almost entirely organised by myself. And what a feat. It was hard work and I have to say a massive thanks to everyone who volunteered their time to setup the exhibition or serve drinks and take photos. You were all amazing. I’ve been putting a lot of pressure on myself the last few months to get it all right and to make it a show that really shows my skills and ideas at their very best.

Bring Back the Dead 18

I have to say the response has been phenomenal. The exhibition has been described as innovative, inspired and avant garde ! It is just a shame that it had to be so short. I do plan to get a catalogue made though and have some excellent photo’s from the photographer, Julie Huggan.

There is a great blog about it from The Justified Sinner which will also be on the Young Brittish Jewellers website soon.

Bring Back the Dead 7Bring Back the Dead 8

I am so pleased with how the show went and am really excited for the future of Anomaly. I wonder what “inspired” ideas I can come up with next.