Joey grew up surrounded by trees on a small farm within the heart of Twigmoor Woods in Lincolnshire, England, where her love for wood, nature, fauna and flora developed. In 2002 her great enthusiasm for woodturning evolved into a full-time profession. She was accepted onto the Register of Professional Turners, which is supported by the Worshipful Company of Turners of London, and in 2005 was awarded the company bursary.
The bursary allowed her to study in America, where turned wood is highly prized as a collectable art. Inspiration grew as she spent time with Binh Pho; she learned to refine her traditional methods and to add new, innovative techniques: piercing, colour and texture. She developed her philosophical view of her work; and with this growth came an increase in her passion for her craft-based art, and a growing fluency in passing on her enthusiasm and knowledge to others. Most vitally, she learned the importance of creating from the inner self.
This concentrated learning experience gave an entirely new dimension to her work, transforming craft into art. Joey also started to draw increasing inspiration and support from her children and husband, as she in turn encourages them in their lives. The strength of her feeling for her family is integral with her passion for her work: they are inter-dependent, each inspiring the other. .Each of her unique turnings now comes alive with its own story, as dreams, memories and passion are incorporated, allowing the viewer to see into the life of the piece.
In 2008, Joey was chosen to show her work in the exhibition Wizards in Wood: Stuart Mortimer and Joey Richardson, presented by the Worshipful Company of Turners in association with the Crafts Council’s Collectexhibition, at LINLEY Mayfair. It was the first major exhibition of turned wood art in the UK.
Since then she has gone from strength to strength, as her résumé of exhibitions clearly shows. She has exhibited and sold her work at major exhibitions, schools, symposia and galleries in both the UK and the USA, including the prestigious SOFA expo in New York and Chicago where she is represented by del Mano Gallery. She has won many medals and prizes for woodturning, including awards in the Worshipful Company of Turners’ competitions.
Woodturning is one of our oldest and most traditional crafts, which Joey feels passionate to keep alive. She teaches and gives demonstrations of turning, piercing, painting and texturing in the UK and the USA, inspiring others.
She feels skill with the lathe is as fundamental to the creation of wood art as it is to functional turning, e.g. salad bowls, spindles, architectural work. Using traditional turning methods with hand-held tools, she believes that turned wood art and utility items can raise each other’s profile in a symbiotic relationship, encouraging more people - young and old - to become either hobby turners or professionals.
Joey is one of the leaders of the artistic woodturning movement which is developing in the UK and has been made a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Turners of London and a Freeman of the City of London. She is passionate about raising the profile of wood to an art form to encourage UK collectors and to see wood in high-profile galleries, exhibitions and museums in the UK.
Professionally I feel very fortunate to be a female in what is essentially a man’s world of wood turning. My style incorporates both the more feminine - the delicate and beautiful - and the more masculine - the big and bold. Combined, these two aspects fully encapsulate and make the most striking use of wood’s tactile beauty.
All my pieces are created with passion, and each has its own history and heart. Whenever possible I use reclaimed local timber. Each piece is individually hand-crafted on a lathe, with the cutting, shaping and sanding all controlled by eye, which gives great originality. Extra diversity is added by my use of piercing, carving, colour and art work.
I feel excited and fulfilled as each unique piece of turned wood comes alive under my hands, each telling its own story, each allowing the viewer to see into the life of the piece.
Trees are a truly beautiful vital resource, and wood art allows nature’s designs to live on in our homes. Wood-turning uses skills that began in the mists of antiquity, as a base for producing essential utility items. When these skills are taken beyond their utilitarian roots with creativity and imagination, and are allied with experiences and a passion from deep within the inner soul, the result transcends craft and rises into the realms of art.
For too long wood has played a supportive role to art in the form of canvas, paper and frames. Let wood now speak for itself.