Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Dialect Design Is a Canny Little Earner; A TYNESIDE Textile Designer Is Promoting the Geordie Dialect around the World with a Range of Toon-Inspired Memorabilia. LIZ LAMB Chats to Her

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Dialect Design Is a Canny Little Earner; A TYNESIDE Textile Designer Is Promoting the Geordie Dialect around the World with a Range of Toon-Inspired Memorabilia. LIZ LAMB Chats to Her

Article excerpt

Byline: LIZ LAMB

MUM-of-one Jo Burrows is so proud of her Geordie heritage that she is making a living from it.

The 41-year-old trades under the name "bykerlass" for a range of Geordie-inspired greeting cards and mugs, which are emblazoned with phrases such as Whey Aye Pet, Aye Aye Canny Man and All Reet.

The GeordieMugs and bykerlass greetings cards are going down a storm with many ex-pat Geordies, who are snapping them up online.

They have also been flying off the shelves at the Gifted store in Tynemouth, North Tyneside, run by Jo's friend Jane Kelley.

Jo, who also works as a children's textile designer, says: "I'm a Byker girl and I trade under the name bykerlass.

"I am very proud that I am from Newcastle.

People don't expect that people from Byker go on to be designers.

"I grew up in the Byker Wall and my mum and dad still live there."

The designer grew up in the East End and attended Walker school before going to study art and design at Newcastle College. She went on to work for Dewhirst Lorien in Blyth, Northumberland.

She said: "They used to manufacture gifts and they also had a menswear site in Peterlee, where Marks & Spencer were the main client."

Jo held an exhibition of her designs at the Biscuit Factory in Newcastle in 2004, before moving down south to work for a large cruise company.

As a textile designer for children's clothing, the mum has sold work to well-known designers such as DKNY and Tommy Hilfiger in New York, and to high street stores such as Marks and Spencer, Primark and Mothercare.

She says: "I realised that I had a special ability to produce greeting card designs when my work started selling very well in the USA.

"I am quite anonymous in this work but sometimes I walk down the street and I see children wearing one of my designs.

"Out of all the work I have ever done its Geordie mugs that I am most proud of. I love it."

Jo started the range after her friend Jane Kelley from Cullercoats asked her to design a selection of greetings cards for her shop, Gifted. …

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