Meet Joy Wignall
Winner, Intermediate Category, Hidden Worlds Challenge
Joy Wignall, winner of the Intermediate Category, bought her first package of metal clay three years ago after retiring from teaching computing. Reluctant to open it, she explored the internet for help and found that Tracey Spurgin of Craftworx was just launching her first online distance learning course. She signed up for the Introduction to Silver Clay in April, 2017, and hasn’t looked back!
Joy’s winning piece, Beauty Lies Within, was inspired by a watercolour she once painted for her husband and a piece of fused glass art she created which features poppies. She wanted to recreate the feeling of a crumbling wooden door that makes you wonder what’s beyond it. When the hinged door is opened, beautiful poppies are revealed. “To me, the pendant is a reminder to accept the good and not-so-good parts of you; spend time with yourself and make peace with your inner being.”
She uses a variety of beading techniques and leather work, both of which she occasionally combines with metal clay elements. She also likes to add dichroic glass and set stones in her work; most recently, she has been exploring enamels and gold accents.
“Metal clay gives you the freedom to be as creative as your fingers will allow,” says Joy. “Simple ideas can be turned into beautiful pieces of art, as individual as the wearer. I love learning and pushing my limits to try new ideas; with metal clay, there is always something new to learn.”
Joy loves the challenge of dry construction, building and creating complex pieces. She particularly enjoys working on pieces that demand precision, as she feels being able to lose yourself in the moment of concentration is fantastic.
“Recently, I wanted to try a swivel bail for a 3-sided pendant that could move around while being worn, I was so pleased when it worked! It’s an idea that I will definitely use again.”
“One of my favourite pieces is a tiny hinged box called Pills and Potions. The top half has a domed bottom and a gem-set screw top in which to keep potions, and the bottom part is a pill box. It started life as a simple hollow sphere and the idea just grew and developed as I was working it.”
Today’s social distancing hasn’t stopped Joy’s metal clay journey, as that’s been the core of her learning. “Through online learning, I have made many metal clay friends and feel that I’m a part of a community. Social media is another great way of connecting with metal clay artists; help is always there if you ask for it.”
“The great thing about the online metal clay community is that it is worldwide and the feeling that you belong to a huge family of like-minded people is fantastic. There is always someone who can give you guidance and support, or even just a critical eye.”
Joy lives in Lancashire, United Kingdom, with her husband, daughter, and chocolate Labrador named Mars. Find Joy at joyouscharms on Facebook and Instagram.