You Stay Glassy, Brisbane.
admin : June 26th, 2014

It’s sometimes hard to tell if its really winter here in Queensland, especially when you meet bright and bubbly designers who are so passionate about what they do, selling their wares on a beautiful Sunday in the sun! Take Jo for example, she’s been creating the most amazing jewellery with her own two hands for years now, and we’re so lucky to have her as a regular at the Young Designers Market and The Collective Markets too.


We wanted to know why Jo does what she does, and she told us. Now we’re in love with the person and not just her brilliant product!


“Hey Jo, what’s your style?” we asked… “Eclectic, peasant, bohemian with a touch of whimsy” she says. Find out more about Curly Jo Design here at YDM.



Why do you like trading at The YDM Markets?

The YDM Markets are a great place to showcase my new collections each month, with a HUGE Facebook following and well promoted via other Social media platforms it is the place to be SEEN!

Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from? How did your business begin?

I was born and raised in Perth, Western Australia, we moved to Brisbane in 2004. Despite being determined to remain true to my ‘roots’, I quickly fell in love with Brisbane, the climate and lifestyle are second to none. Having studied Graphic Design at Curtin University I have always had a love of the ‘Decorative Arts’ and a passion for attention to detail, always dreaming of finding my niche in some form of creative endeavour  and  has finally succumbed to the intriguing medium of warm glass. I am now obsessed with kiln-fused glass and spend many a sleepless night designing new pieces. I exhibit my work at the Brisbane Young Designers Market, the first Sunday of each month from 10am -4pm, & The Collective Markets at Southbank the remaining Sundays 9am -4pm.

Where do you get your design inspiration?

My inspiration comes from anywhere and everywhere, but is highly reliant on nature, it’s colours and forms, along with anything floral, this I attribute to my dear Nanna Irene’s love of flowers. I usually start with pen and paper sketching out a few designs, this quickly leads me to the studio table where I start cutting and layering my glass. It is one of the best and worst things about working from home, as all I need to do is open the door and I am at work.

What can you offer that others can’t?

Unique wearable art pieces…each one I make is a one of a kind creation, I do a lot of Custom work too creating to Clients specifications.

What is the best perk in being an artist/ designer / producer / small business owner?

Dancing to the beat of my own drum…calling the shots…making the decisions…spending my days surrounded by and creating beautiful things.

How would you define your city’s style?

That’s easy… one word… eclectic!… anything goes… free casual out there interesting.

What was the first thing you ever made?

I have been creating for as long as I can remember…

How long does it usually take you to create your products?

Most of my creations are fired 3 to 4 times through the kiln, each firing is approx. 8 hours not including cooling time, so anywhere up to 1 week…this sounds lengthy but it ensures each items is perfect and a one of a kind creation.

Describe the general process you go through when you create your products?

The designs usually start to form in my head… mostly at night when I close my eyes… I see a riot of colours patterns and textures…then it’s to pen and paper a few quick sketches and then straight to the workbench to start creating…

What are some of your accomplishments?

1st Prize Dichroic Glass RNA Exhibition
2nd Prize Dichroic Glass RNA Exhibition
2nd Prize Fused & Slumped Glass RNA Exhibition
3rd Prize Fused & Slumped Glass RNA Exhibition
1st Prize Dichroic Glass RNA Exhibition
2nd Prize Dichroic Glass RNA Exhibition
1st Prize Fused & Slumped Glass RNA Exhibition
3rd Prize Fused & Slumped Glass RNA Exhibition
3rd Prize Funky Wearable Art

Who are some of your favourite designers/artists?

Some of my YDM colleagues …

Dinosaur Designs, Alana Hill, Shannon Lamden, Paperboat Press, Twigseeds, just to name a few…

Where can readers buy your products (Stockists/online)?

Via my Madeit store or from my Facebook page

How long have you worked in this field of business?

This has been my full time job for 8 years

How long have you been a stallholder?

From the second YDM in March 2008, previously I traded every Sunday at another Brisbane market from October 2006.

Where do you buy your fabrics / art materials / products to create your work?

I source all my materials from overseas, spending countless hours researching new techniques and products, then countless more experimenting in the Studio.

What do you believe makes a quality article of clothing / product?

Quality materials, attention to detail great design skills, an eye for colour

What’s your favourite part about conceptualising a design / product?

Watching a customer’s eye light up when they approach my stall…look across the display and set their mind on a piece as their new treat!

Do you prefer sketching designs or actually constructing them? Tell me about the process of sketching a design. Do you use Paper and pencil or on computer?

Sketching for sure…nothing beats pencil in hand

What advice do you have for aspiring artists/designers/producers/small business owners?

I would love to say “just go for it” but the reality is that many people are not as lucky as I am, in that I have a very supportive husband who really encouraged me to chase my dream and enthusiastic parents & friends who helped me get on the way.
So I think the best advice is to start small, get feedback from family and friends but most importantly get out there and show your work, talk to people and get their feedback. I have been selling at various markets in and around Brisbane for over eight years and it is both terrifying and exhilarating to show your work and talk about it. It isn’t too expensive to hire a stall, and it gives you a chance to make a little bit of money to put back into the business so you can keep growing it. I also firmly believe in pricing your items so you have a good range of prices form inexpensive to higher end, I like to think that almost everyone can afford a small bit of ‘Curly Jo’ even if it’s something small.

What do you dislike about what you do?

It does have its downsides – time management is something I work at all the time. ‘Clocking off’ for the day can be a real problem when ‘work’ is just downstairs, and inspiration tends to strike at the strangest of times. It is such a temptation to always be finishing something off, or checking out new supplies, or answer a few emails.

How would you define your personal style/taste?

Eclectic Peasant Bohemian with a touch of whimsy

How would you define the style/taste of your products?

Colourful and vibrant…

What are some of your business goals?

To be recognized as one of Australia’s best Glass Artisans

What are some of your favourite fashion websites, magazines, or books?

Fashion- , Etsy,, ASOS, Larkhome, Hard to Find …

Magazines – Frankie, Fete, County Style, Home Beautiful, Peppermint, Mollie Makes, Homespun…

Books – Game of Thrones Series, The Guernsey Literacy & Potato Peel Pie Society, People of the Book, The ‘Shopaholic’ Series and anything by Diana Gabaldon.

Have you had other experience in an associated industry (stylist, retail, marketing, gallery, music, buyer,  etc.)?

My last ‘regular’ job was in retail management – series of ‘postings’ within a large up market department store chain. When a change of ownership presented a unique  opportunity, Matt & I decided to throw in the towel, sold the house, the car and went back packing around the world, many months and thousands of dollars later it was time to ‘get back to reality’. On returning, I accepted an offer to open and manage a Designer Homewares store as a ‘stop gap’ to opening my own design business. 3 months turned into 3 years in the blink of an eye, a daughter & sea change later I found myself in downtown BrisVegas wondering what on earth had happened. After a year or so of dabbling in various crafts I tried my hand at Glass Fusing, as I watched my raw glass creations morph into an amazing combination of vibrant colours and textures in the kiln I knew I had found my calling!. I spent 6 months putting together a few collections and then after some research decided to take the product to market – quite literally.

What are your favourite colours to work with and why?

Without a doubt Aqua Blue and Turquoise and any shade of blue in between

What are your favourite materials to work with and why?

Glass glass and more glass…from powdered glass to sheet glass and anything in-between. Why? Well because I love it!

Where can readers find out more about you and your work?



Online Store




Come and visit Jo and many other young designers at the next YDM on 6 July 2014!