Joy BC 27 South East London
Categories: Art, Fashion, Jewellery Designer

Posted: 25th April 2017

Here at Babyface, we're members of the school of "more is more" and highly attuned to the importance of a statement accessory.  We understand, first hand, how a single piece of jewellery can transform an outfit, and your mood, in an instant. One look at Joy Bonfield-Colombara’s exquisite designs and you’ll know you’ve found a statement piece to last you a lifetime.

Taking a surrealist approach to figuration, Joy’s work is united by fragmented faces and and body parts. Part Roman, quasi-religious and always stonkingly beautiful, Joy's designs are gallery-worthy. The sculpted creations take on the form of cast silver and gold statuettes; they're as heavy to hold as they look and even more intriguing on first-hand inspection. Nearer to artefact than simply jewellery, Joy’s meticulous craftwork is not something to be overlooked.

Joy perfected her precious metal working through her jewellery degree at the Glasgow school of art. Despite being there during the year of the infamous fire which burnt down the school, Joy has not been deterred from pursuing her passions. Holding a lifelong infatuation with design, Joy’s appreciation for craft began young. “One of my mothers best friends is an incredible Jeweller (Bo Davies) and she had me do a drawing of two little fish in seaweed which was then transformed into a tie pin for one of her clients. This to me was MAGICAL — seeing a 2D drawing realised into a 3D precious, wearable form.”

The body is a recurrent theme across Joy’s repertoire. The first piece she ever physically made herself was a silver locket which had a glow in the dark hand carved priest. “It was all about catholic confessions booths, and the beginning of a body of research I did on the power and importance of listening.” Now, from singular ears, to fragmented faces, the corporeal is Joy's residing fascination. Through her work, both literally and symbolically, she seeks to deconstruct ‘classical’ as a term or form, allowing her pieces to simultaneously possess both an ancient and modernist sensibility.

If that's not enough of an endorsement, Joy’s work has been praised by the likes of Another Magazine, Twin Magazine and, most recently, i-D.

Currently, Joy's been immersing herself in the post-modern as well as Yoruba west African sculpture- movements that will undoubtedly embellish Joy's already rich artillery of treasures. You can learn from Joy herself at one of the regular workshops she hosts where under her tutelage, you can make your own Joy-style ring. We’re already tucking our old rings away in a drawer in anticipation of her next line of bespoke works.

Words by Jamila Prowse

When and why did you start making jewellery? I studied Jewellery and silversmithing at the Glasgow school of art. However the first piece I helped design was when I was about 8 years old. My first piece that I physically made was a silver locket which had a glow-in-the-dark, hand-carved priest, which was all about Catholic confession booths and the beginning of a body of research I did on the power and importance of listening. Tell us what inspires your designs? There are so many things that inspire my work on a daily basis. However there are recurring themes which occur within my practise. Classical figurative sculptures which either have lost limbs or features through time, including the topic of ruin-lust. I'm also Carving a North African inspired Nefertiti which I'm considering including 1920’s carved pink sapphires from my Italian ancestor who was also a jeweller. How would your friends describe you in a sentence?I asked my friends an the response was: 'Head in the Renaissance, hands at the work bench, booty on the dance floor and heart belongs to South East London'...'it's hard cause normally you can just say: "she joy".A day in the life of you…Really struggle with mornings, I love sleep. Once I get to the studio, I have a list pinned up in front of my bench and crack on with drawing; carving, filing, polishing, soldering, submerging things in sulphuric acid or meticulously packaging which ever pieces I'm currently working on. The studio closes at 5.30, and I'll walk through Peckham Rye. In the evenings I'll read up; collage, organise photos and find out how friends are. What's the first thing you do when you get up?Turn off my third alarm and have a cuppa Earl Grey or lavatza coffee.When are you happiest?When I'm carving, soldering, swimming in nice water or laughing with friends.Who do you admire?Le Corbusier, Rene Lalique, Erykah Badu, Lynette Nylander, Mamma Colombara, Sensei Ando (who taught me to make Demarcus steel), Malcom Vaughn and Bo Davies (my current Senseis).What's your current obsession?Nefertiti.What’s your best advice?See the beautiful even in the brutal and mundane.What could you not live without?My hairdryer.Book club recommendation?The Little PrinceBest party you've ever been to?Probably Lynette Nylanders birthday last year or Halloween in Glasgow a few years back.Song to be playing as you enter the club?Currently anything off the new Kendrick, but if not Popcaan 'Love Yuh Bad' or any Missy Elliot.What's your signature dish?Joy's Italian sauce. Truss me I have the codes...Ahaha. It's a rosemary and tomato slow cooked sauce, really simple in my opinion, but my friends go mad for it.One item of clothing that best sums you up?My 1980's high waisted Armani jeans I've had since I was 17 (that were given to me from my mates nan) an I've had to patch the crotch about 3 times from the amount I've danced in them. The best cut, structured to millimetre of my curves and will never let you down - (that's me, broken a few times but loyal).What words or phrases do you most overuse?'However' - 'Basically' -'Beaaaautiful'Biggest lie you were told/that you told as a kid?I told people my Italian grandad was Father Christmas, but I actually believed this.What's your pet hate?Cruelty - or people who use their phones at the dinner table.What's next?Hopefully an RCA masters this September, but struggling with finding funding, even though I've got place. And working on amazing project with GWL (Glasgow Women's Library), panel and Ruth Ewan on a charm bracelet informed by the archive pieces in the GWL. AND FINALLY...WHO IS YOUR NEXT BABYFACE GIRL SUGGESTION?Who: Georgia Barnes
Why: Amazing Drummer. Her drum solos are just out of this universe...
Contact Joy BC



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