Joanne

I have lived in Exmoor all my life, metalwork being a strong tradition in my family.

My great grandfather was a coppersmith, my grandfather became a blacksmith in his late 40s and my father James Horrobin started blacksmithing at the age of 15 with his own father. I have worked alongside him learning traditional forging and forming skills using tools that have been handmade by my father and grandfather.

Diagnosed dyslexic at the age of nine in a time when dyslexia wasn’t really known about, greatly impacted my ability to learn and retain information, so observing became really important, and what I’ve found, is that I can now draw deeply on all those stored up observations of the subconscious and intuitive relationship of form and colour born out of a lifetime of watching beautiful metal work being hand crafted, coupled with watching the changing seasons of my landscape.

Painting for over 20 years in oil colours and attending art classes and silversmithing workshops, I was first introduced to vitreous enamel at the age of 10 when I attended a one-day workshop run by Geraldine Hollweg. Over 30 years later my interest in enamel was re-ignited by spending some time with Geraldine talking and experimenting with firing and applying enamel. This co-inside with my development of forging and forming skills. To me this was the perfect union, metal and colour, strength and fragility.

I am privileged to live in such a beautiful part of the country. Exmoor has the gentlest curving hills and interesting seascapes with its shorelines full of fossils and eroding cliffs, my inspiration comes from these places, from the vastness of moorland to the delicate lines on million-year-old rocks and pebbles.

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