Jo Downs – Fused-glass artist and artrepreneur

Jo Downs – Fused-glass artist and artrepreneur

“I am not limited by not giving something a go.”



Jo is the UK’s premier fused-glass artist and designer. Her private commissions appear on cruise ships, in some of the most prestigious hotels, and in private homes, around the world. In this conversation, we talk about some of the key principles that moved her from a solo-maker with a kiln in her bedroom to running a business with 8 galleries and over 40 employees, all focused on making and selling her work.

Other topics we cover include:

– some of the key decisions Jo made that placed her work directly in the front of major buyers, leading to prestigious commissions

– the potential dangers of commissions, and how Jo managed to narrowly avoid disaster

– this is balanced with the potential huge benefits to taking commissions, and Jo talks about a project that she’s currently working on

– what it’s like to turn over control and trust other people to execute your designs

– we also talk about Jo’s constant drive to experiment and say “Yes”, and how these have both been instrumental in getting her where she is today

I found this to be a fantastically inspiring conversation, and I hope that you do too!

You can find Jo’s challenge to “Getting Out There” here on the Creative Challenges Page.
Posted by user in Art business, Artist Entrepreneur, Artrepreneur, Business, Creative business, Glass, Sculpture, Season 2
Matt Durran – Glass artist

Matt Durran – Glass artist

“I want every day to be different”


Matt is an glass artist, innovator and curator creating work that explores ideas. He has created a working practice based on ‘itchy feet’ wherein he develops opportunities to further his knowledge of glass and all its permutations by collaborating far and wide.

In this episode we talk about the numerous benefits of working outside of the crafts or arts environment, including how it challenges him to learn more about his materials and processes, increases the value of his knowledge, and feeds back into his studio practice.

Matt’s approach is as refreshing as it is inspiring, and offers a completely different take on a career in crafts that moves beyond a gallery-oriented practice.

Other topics we cover:

  • the often overlooked value of craft knowledge
  • the benefits and challenges of collaborating with industry
  • the importance of developing multiple strands of work
  • allowing ideas to dictate process, materials and methods
Posted by user in Glass