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Interview from Cambridge Christmas 2013

This is an interview by Rhiannon Thomas just before the Cambridge Christmas 2013 show.

We're very pleased that Cambridge Christmas founder and organiser Jo Tunmer will be selling her work at Cambridge Christmas on Monday 25th November 2013. Back in 2008 Jo organised the Cambridge Christmas show so that her designer-maker friends could exhibit and sell their work in a fun, warm and slightly off-the-wall way. Since then the Cambridge Christmas show has really grown in the last 6 years and each time become bigger and better! Because of this for the 2011 and 2012 Cambridge Christmas shows Jo concentrated on co-ordinating the show rather than having her own work on display…. but this year she'll be showing her own art work once again!

What will you be showing at Cambridge Christmas? I will be exhibiting some of my range of solar plate prints but the focus will be on four boxed sets of greeting cards that will make ideal presents. Each has a different theme and I’ve really enjoyed putting the collection together.

 

What drew you to the medium that you're currently working in? I'm really best known for my large oil landscape paintings but I have spent the last two years learning various printing techniques and fell in love with solar plate printing.  I now work in both mediums, which is proving to be a challenge for me in the studio.

What piece are you most excited about that you’ll be showing at Cambridge Christmas? My new range of boxed cards.

Where do you create your work? I have my studio in the garden and I also have a gallery area in my house. My studio is under a large walnut tree. At a certain time of the year the squirrels have great fun eating the nuts in the trees then throwing them down onto my studio roof.  I am surprised dots haven’t appeared in my work as yet!

Do you work in silence or to music or the tv? I listen to the radio.  The station varies depending on my mood :-)

What drives your ideas? What I do is all about experimentation.  Some ideas fly, others are relegated to the waste bin.  I always think to myself though - would I put the finished piece on my wall or would I like to receive it as a gift?

Do you have a favourite material to work with? I have two that I am equally passionate about. Solar plates and oil paint, but not together. However I did say earlier all my work is about experimentation so watch this space…

If you had more time, what new craft would you like to learn? I did study upholstery at college many years ago now but I would like to revisit it and then design and build the perfect chair.

What do you think is the best Christmassy thing about Cambridge? Christmas starts early for me with all the planning for the Cambridge Christmas show but as Christmas nears I love the lights - peeking into windows to see Christmas trees all lit up.

Can you describe your work in 5 words? A journey of determined experimentation.

For more information on Jo's paintings and prints check out www.jotunmer.com and www.purpleprintmakers.com

Also say hello on twitter www.twitter.com/JoTunmer and facebook www.facebook.com/JoTunmerLtd

Cambridge Christmas is an art event that has taken place over the last 6 years with a group of contemporary arts and crafts designer-makers. It is a free event and all are welcome to come and buy handmade, unique gifts straight from the artists. More information at http://www.cambridgechristmas.co.uk/

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