Born in 1961 Surrey, England
Raised in Derbyshire, England
City & Guilds Jewellery/Silver Smithing, Manchester Technical College 1979-1982
B. A. (Hons.) Buckinghamshire College of Art and Design 1982-1985
M. Education, Manchester University 1997-2002
Dry Stone Walling Association of Great Britain - Craftsman certificate holder/member.
The Dry Stone Wall Association of Canada - member.
Specializing in dry stone construction for both private gardens and public spaces, Jo Hodgson is a professional dry stone waller from the UK who moved to Canada in 2003 and established her own company, 'Stonescapes', now based in Ottawa.
Combining her background in art and design with her expertise in dry stone walling, Jo creates stonescapes that are functional and artistic. Her work reflects the intrinsic nature of the land; it is both informed by and in symbiosis with this topography. Her projects, all using traditional dry stone technique, include; a dry stone amphitheatre, free standing and retaining stone walls, steps and benches, sculpture gardens and terraces.
Undertaking residential and commercial projects in Canada and the UK, Jo works collaboratively alongside other professionals, including; artists, engineers, landscape architects, stonemasons, urban planners local and international dry stone wallers.
"My work in the UK was inspired by the countryside around me; the grit stone escarpments of the Peak District and the rolling hills and streams of the Derbyshire Dales. The rugged yet beautiful grit stone landscape is dotted with large boulders sculpted by the wind and rain, the softer limestone areas have been eroded by the actions of water and motion producing caverns and caves that form an underground world.
I now live on the edge of the Gatineau Park, in Wakefield, Québec. Here granite escarpments overlook the limestone plateau that was once the Champlain Sea. Tucked away, often only detectable by a small clearing in the forest, are settlements that show the remains of buildings and dry stone walls. These walls are scattered throughout the park, many were retaining walls built to support tracks and pathways, but some were free standing. Although the buildings and many of the walls are now little more than ruins, their legacy remains.
In order to give my work context and definition I try to reflect the local landscape so that structures appear to grow from the surroundings rather than land upon them. Each element of the design - the height of the wall, the curve of a path or garden bed, the size and placement of a boulder - plays a crucial role. By paying particular attention to the ratio between line, form and space, I create structures that provide visual impact while remaining functional and timeless."