LDF13: Joanna Ham

Joanna Ham is a really exciting new artist who burst onto the scene with the launch of her Woman series at Craft Central’s Imprint during the London Design Festival.


Based in London, she is better known as the creative force behind homewares brand HAM, through which she creates bold black on white prints depicting farmyard animals taking part in uniquely human activities. Whilst beautifully created and meticulously executed, they perhaps bely the talent of this young artist, who has a BA(Hons) from The Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art, Oxford University. If that’s the case, her newest work, released under her maiden name Joanna Ham, is about to set the record straight.



Jo told me that the series of screen prints, simply entitled Woman Fig. 1, Woman Fig. 8, Woman Fig. 11, Woman Fig. 12 and Woman, Fig. 13, “explores the individuality of the modern woman with particular reference to popular culture and its overwhelming influence on our everyday lives”.


The process to create each one is extraordinary. Jo says: “Each piece starts as a carefully crafted mixed media collage made from magazine cuttings, adverts and drawings.”


“This is then transformed into a monochrome photogram – a darkroom method where an object is exposed directly to light on photosensitive paper. This unpredictable stage unlocks the image creating a striking abstract silhouette which I then go on to deconstruct and rebuild electronically,” she says.


It is at this point she adds the face, expression and accessories – fine details hand drawn from her imagination to suit the mood of the figure.



Jo says: “Once the piece is complete, I transfer it onto a silk screen – returning the image to its original form of half tone dots – the technique used by newspapers and magazines. Then I work with skilled East London-based screen-printing specialist Marco Lawrence to pull the final prints.”



Each artwork is hand printed onto heavyweight British paper with deckled edges in a limited edition of 100.

Having previewed the first two prints at Imprint, Joanna will be launching the full collection of photogram screen prints at The Other Art Fair, October 17-20th at The Old Truman Brewery in London.

Our trip to the London Design Festival was supported by

Katie Treggiden is a purpose-driven journalist, author and, podcaster championing a circular approach to design – because Planet Earth needs better stories. She is also the founder and director of Making Design Circular, a program and membership community for designer-makers who want to join the circular economy. With 20 years' experience in the creative industries, she regularly contributes to publications such as The Guardian, Crafts Magazine and Monocle24 – as well as being Editor at Large for Design Milk. She is currently exploring the question ‘can craft save the world?’ through an emerging body of work that includes her fifth book, Wasted: When Trash Becomes Treasure (Ludion, 2020), and a podcast, Circular with Katie Treggiden.