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Joanne Panayi was born close to Stoke on Trent, in the market town of Newcastle under Lyme in 1970. She found her local art shop a wonderful place to visit as she was greatly inspired by the work of Beryl Cook and L.S Lowry

Sadly for Joanne her mother died and after finishing school she tried many jobs from pub work to McDonalds. In 1994 she took off with her brushes to Cyprus, working as a freelance artist.

Deciding to take her artwork more serious, she moved back to Britain in 2002 and after two years at Stoke on Trent College went on to Staffordshire University to do a degree in 3D design craft. By the end of 2008 Panayi was lucky enough to obtain a business grant through the university’s EFS scheme and this funded her to work for herself.

Fine metals and silver-smithing are areas to bring her great success, for her designs and traditional techniques she has, to date, received two awards from Goldsmiths.

Following magazine and newspaper articles Panayi’s sculpture “New Shoes” won an award from GWIIN, the Global Women’s Innovators and Inventors Network.

Much of her work always has a story behind it and, being a people watcher, she takes inspiration from them and their different characters. Different media also strongly influences her work, enjoying moving from paint and clay to using fine metals, woods and plastics.

All her ideas start on pencil and paper, moving swiftly onto clay with a sculpture, where she can spend hours getting the pose she wants to achieve just right. Once the clay model is finished it is then cast into resin and hand finished with hours and hours of sanding and applying the colours and jewels to finish off. “New Shoes” take an extremely long time to make, but she describes it as being well worth it once it is finished.

Panayi has a workshop at the back of her house as she says she is far too busy to travel to and from a rented workshop, although she says when she does venture out, she likes to travel on public transport, allowing her to do her people watching.
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