Joanne Cooke studied 3D Design at Manchester Metropolitan University. Working with glass, metal, wood and ceramics, dog forms would often come through in her work. She particularly enjoyed giving those objects a personality and character similar to the family dogs she had known.
However, her journey to becoming a professional sculptor of dogs actually began in 2000 when, for her own amusement, she decided to sculpt the family Jack Russell from a sketch she had recently drawn.
Enthused and inspired by the process, she went on to try more sculptures inspired by other family dogs. These pieces soon grew into a small collection that she exhibited at The British Craft Trade Fair in Harrogate the following year. The dogs were an instant success and so began Joanne’s dog sculpting career.
Based in Huddersfield, Joanne’s work continues to be inspired by her life-long passion for dogs with every piece a hand built labour of love aiming to capture the unique character of her subject. She is not preoccupied with achieving anatomical perfection, instead focusing her efforts on capturing the spirit of the dog, sometimes exaggerating certain aspects of its appearance, to give the piece personality and bring it to life.