Jo Campbell started making colourful planters from recycled iron three years and hasn’t looked back.
She is busier than she ever could have imagined and has roped in family to lend a hand.
Jo comes up with the design ideas, colour schemes and applies the spray paint.
Husband John uses his skills to cut and shape the recycled raw material.
When lettering is needed, the steady hand of daughter Haylee is used.
Grandson Luka has also added his mark with some paint design splashes.
Jo, a former office worker, had no interest in art at Ashburton College, but her daughter is creative and so is her mother and mother-in-law.
“I was visiting the markets with Haylee one day and she suggested I try making something.
“It planted the seed and I went home, found a bit of old iron and made my first planter.”
Through trial and error, she has learnt about the intricacies of spray painting and masking.
“The temperature and humidity levels really need to be right when you’re painting, otherwise you’re wasting your time.”
Feedback from customers had been great and encouraged her to develop more ideas.
“People like the things I make because they are unique, colourful and they wear well.
“They are a good option for people who are hard to buy for, or who have everything.”
Rainbow coloured planters, standing between 45cm and 1m tall, are current good sellers.
The product range also includes giant jandals, Christmas trees, rustic signs and love hearts.
She sells at various markets and also via her Facebook page.
She also makes custom pieces and is working with a local sign writer on decals that can be applied to the iron.
Making iron art is Jo’s “happy place” and also a form of therapy that helps her deal with the death of her son Jamie eight years ago. Jo’s favourite colour is red, just like Jamie’s.
-By Mick Jensen