Jo Cottam began her studies at Falmouth School of Art in 1986. She followed this with an HND in Ceramic Design, also at Falmouth, with a year spent at the University of Idaho where she studied Fine Art and Ceramics. During her time in the USA, she developed a passion for the alchemy in glaze and firing technology and an interest in the elements which inspired her painting and ceramic forms.
After having two daughters, Jo returned to Falmouth to study her BA (Hons) in Studio Ceramics where her work continued to be inspired by the changing light and landscape of West Cornwall. She then gained a PGCE in Secondary Art at Rolle College, Exmouth and started her career in education, first in Somerset then returning to Cornwall to The Roseland Academy as Head of Art in 2000.
“Teaching Art and Design has given me an insight into how we use visual language to express ourselves. I believe I am giving my students the ability to look beyond the surface and gain an understanding and appreciation of their environment.”
Jo’s current work continues to reflect the local environment and the colours of the changing land, sea and sky, with a focus on creating tactile depth and illusion.
“Sometimes detail emerges from the layers as work progresses; sometimes it is a mere hint of something which the viewer translates for themselves.”