Jo Gifford


Formerly a doctor, Jo Gifford graduated with a degree in Fine Art from Chelsea College of Arts in 2015.  She now resides in Kirriemuir, Scotland, where she has her ceramics studio. Gifford employs clay as a medium to explore concepts surrounding boundaries, containment, and categorisation. She is intrigued by perceptions, the defining characteristics that motivate us to sort things into diverse categories or group them as one. Gifford aims to provoke the viewer into questioning their observations, playfully challenging their expectations, and inciting them to reassess what they're viewing, as well as their personal systems of categorisation and valuation.

 Starting with a vessel, she works with porcelain and stoneware to materialise her ideas. Gifford follows a process-driven, material-based practice, where the physical act of creation is pivotal. She layers multiple processes, starting with a wheel-thrown vessel, hand-shaping, and carving into it, before polishing to let each piece 'become.' This approach leaves room for subconscious influences and allows the material itself to assert its voice, rather than enforcing a premeditated idea. The slow, repetitive process of handling the clay holds significance for her; it serves as a means of deceleration, a time for reflection, and a method to create something imbued with time, care, and the human touch. The final pieces are relatively small, comparable to the size of a hand, composed of either white porcelain or smoky pit-fired stoneware. The outer surfaces are either polished or burnished, and some are glazed internally. These are not functional pieces, but rather vessels of space or time, with rounded bottoms that disrupt any utility.