About The Real Artisan Company

Passionate about the Artisan

Jo Ashford - The Real Artisan Company


Hi, I’m Jo Ashford the Founder of The Real Artisan Company. I have always been fascinated by artisans and their skills. People who can turn clay into a jug, wood into a bowl, sand into glass, metals into jewellery, wool into garments and so on.

When I worked on a project at Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse, a museum set in 50 acres in the heart of Norfolk, I was lucky to work many wonderful artisans and appreciated even more the traditional skills many artisans used. In fact my grandmother, was a Court Dressmaker in the early 1900s.

Creative people tend not to like the promotion side of selling what they make. The Real Artisan Company has been created to help bring selected artisans into the limelight and to tell the story of the items they make. For instance what the inspiration was, the skills involved in making it and the materials used. It will mean so much more to the lucky person who will own it.

While working at the museum I set up an event where over 60 blacksmiths came from all over the UK for a masterclass forge in. Over the weekend they made 6 beautiful panels depicting the different elements of the museum.

Blacksmiths were central to every part of life. One of my prized possessions is a hook I made at a British Artist Blacksmiths (BABA) event under the guidance of the highly skilled Dave Capes, who sadly is no longer with us.

I have also met many skilled artisans on my travels. The delicate art of silver filigree work in Dubrovnik and a young jewellery maker in San Gimignano who designed a bracelet based on his grandfather’s monocle!

I am looking forward to bringing carefully and skillfully crafted objects to you, which will be treasured and passed down the generations with their story…….