About Joanne and the materials she uses.

About Joanne

Joanne Gabbay

Joanne graduated from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, Dundee in 1993. She won a scholarship to Sotheby’s “Understanding Jewellery” course in London. She followed this with a business course at Goldsmith’s Hall called “An Introduction to Business for Jewellers and Silversmiths” in London.

In 1994, with funding from the Prince’s Scottish Youth Business Trust Joanne set up her own business. Joanne’s work has been featured on national radio and television (Scot FM and the Scottish Action television programme). She has represented the Prince’s Trust and continues to give talks to young people about starting a business in jewellery design.

In 1997, Joanne won a ‘Highly Commended’ certificate in the ‘Best Newcomer’ gallery at the British Craft Trade Fair, Harrogate. She has exhibited with the trade association “Made in Scotland”. Her work is on permanent display in craft gallery outlets throughout Scotland.

As a qualified teacher for the past 10 years, she imparts her understanding of jewellery design to pupils of high school age.


Materials Used

Every artist has their favourite medium. Joanne works predominately in silver, niobium, and semi-precious stones.

Niobium is a hard grey metal which can be anodised. This means coating the metal with an oxide layer by using a controlled electric current. The oxide layer interacts with light like oil on water, a butterfly’s wings, or a hologram. The result is vivid and lasting colours depending on the strength of current and the jeweller’s skill.

Niobium is a light, hard metal with an extremely high melting point of about 2500 degrees Centigrade. It is usually used in the electronics and sections of the space shuttle are constructed from it. It requires skill to work niobium into a work of art. The metal cannot be soldered so Joanne has to devise was to trap, wrap or rivet the Niobium to silver. Results are obtained by painstaking and precise manipulation of foil, wire and tubing. In combination with a ductile metal such as silver whose soft texture contrasts well with Niobium’s precision, the result is an unusual, light, durable, wearable work of art.

Niobium is hypo-allergenic; it will not stain or irritate your skin.

Niobium will never tarnish. To keep it clean just wash it regularly with soap and water. DO NOT use abrasives, specialist jewellery cleaners, or acids as they will strip away the oxide layer and rob your piece of its colour.