'Enigmatic Me' is my mission, to create, do and share what I love and do it for a living.
The 'Jess Newton Gallery' contains work that is created by my own fair hands.
The rest of the site, featuring 'Enigmatic Me' items, aren't handmade by myself but are hand selected funky items. They are mostly selected from artisans and from companies that do good and/or give back to the communities that create the products = guilt free shopping.
I was born in Halifax, West Yorkshire, England and raised in a small picturesque village called Greetland. I lived there surrounded by trees and fields for my whole childhood with my sister and parents.
Both parents being botanists I was taken on many walks and adventures through forests and dales and I was always encouraged to admire the natural world around me. My eyesight being sharp, I spent a lot of time crawling, getting dirty to investigate the details. Later this developed into a lot of photography work that I continue to do to this day.
My work is always about the ‘beauty in the detail' and my long suffering partner knows this all too well. We have travelled quite a bit of the world together and he has waited around for me many a time as I macro photographed moss, flowers, corals, frost crystals and anything else in nature that caught my eye. With his help, and the help of my parents (aka my technicians) I have set up my studio which is the hub for all the artwork I create.
It's thanks to all my family and friends along the way that this business has come to fruition, I wouldn't be here without you!
After leaving school after A-levels, I attended an art foundation course at Batley School of Art & Design, before going on to study at the National Glass Centre, with the University of Sunderland doing a BA (Hons) Degree in Glass, Architectural Glass and Ceramics. I specialised in ‘crystalline glazes’ for my BA and completed a Masters in Glass Blowing. Over my four years at the National Glass Centre I was able to play and experiment with both materials to achieve the striking and individual look my work has today.
About my work
I have a playful way of working which means my work has a sense of liveliness. I never get stuck for ideas.
In the work I do; the jewellery, the wall hangings, and the more functional pieces, in whatever medium, there is always an element of light manipulation. In much of my work I use clay and glass purely as a canvas to show off natural chemical reactions, there's nothing better than nature, my work is about capturing and exploiting that beauty in the best way possible.
My ceramic work is mostly about the glazes. I have studied and worked with crystalline glazes for 10 years now and it doesn't get old. Crystalline glazes are where through manipulation of the glaze ingredients I can encourage zincite crystals to grow in different sizes shapes and colours. Every time I open the kiln, it is a joy to see what crystals have grown. I liken it to the feeling of cracking open a geode- I'm the first person to see the beauty inside, it's something I'll never tire of.
My glass work is very spontaneous, I have painted with molten glass using powdered glass like a paint pallet on blown and slumped forms. I also trap chemicals within the glass and use the heat of the glass to create interesting reactions. As the glass cools, it traps the reactions inside and captures them as a photograph would.
If you haven't already, take a look and I hope you like what you see!