Cornwall LivingIssue #109

Inspiring the artisan

Challenge drives creative thinking, and the past year has been nothing but inspiring for the team at Jo Downs.

Anyone who loves Cornwall will be familiar with Jo Downs Handmade Glass galleries, but with the topsy-turvy trading patterns of the last year it was the ideal time to reinvigorate Jo’s galleries. With many months of online-only purchasing, the team recognised a spark of  interest in unique individual art pieces. This trend has stimulated the creation of the all new Artisan Collection, now available in St Ives, Launceston and Jo’s newest gallery in Sunningdale, Berkshire.

Guided by Jo’s ingenuity and imagination the studio team have created a series of wall mounted artworks in dazzling colours and exquisite handcrafted detail. These limited-edition designs are available alongside each gallery’s exclusive offering of shoaling fish installations in unique colourways.

“I love a challenge,” says Jo, “and that has meant experimentation and investment in time and space for creative thinking. Once upon a time I was just one artist with one little kiln. Now I have an amazing team of skilled glass makers who have really delivered during this extraordinary year, and honestly it’s a wonderful feeling being able to continue creating such exquisite art pieces with an inspired team.”

“My studio team are the lifeblood of this company,” says Jo. “Opportunities in the arts are few and far between at present in the UK, and so much talent goes untapped. We try very hard to offer opportunities to those who show commitment to a career in fused-glass, and that has resulted in a brilliant, multi-skilled team of makers with incredible potential to expand the field.” 

Since opening the first Jo Downs Gallery in Padstow in 2005, Jo and team’s displays have become a real icon of the Cornish high street, with windows that showcase all the dazzling colours of the coast. “I’m so proud of that and what the studio team has created,” says Jo. “They’ve allowed us to showcase large-scale work, which are now also featured on our website so our customers can celebrate the beauty of Cornwall across the UK.”


Did you know?

Jo Downs has five Cornish galleries: Market Place, St Ives; Middle Street, Padstow; Fore Street, Fowey; Fore Street, Tintagel, and Pennygillam, Launceston.
For opening times, visit

Jo Downs Handmade Glass

01566 779779