my story


"A single leather-sculpting class, with a Venetian mask-maker, and my imagination was entranced. My fingers yearned to create curling leaves and tangled blossom that shimmered with possibility, whispering sacred truths to heart and soul.  Not least to realise my long-held dream of dancing beneath the trees with flowers in my hair! " 

Hello!  I'm Jo Hassan and a very warm welcome to Tanglefrost: a world of possibility!

  • I believe that creativity heals and inspires, whispering sacred truths along life's journey.
  • I believe that we have the power to choose our response to the challenges we face, crafting a life that resonates with our heart and soul' so that we become fully and vibrantly alive.
  • I believe that life is often tangled and complicated but with the potential for frost-like sparkle too. Its a wondrous mix of brokenness and wholeness, vulnerability and courage, wisdom and play.  We need it ALL!  

My fascination with wild flowers, meadows and woodland has been a life-long passion which found me, from an early age, scrambling through the undergrowth, muddy-kneed and tousle-haired, in the hope of discovering fairyland!

I was born on the rural outskirts of London.  Quiet and thoughtful by nature, I was encouraged to explore a wide range of creative activities. Fuelled by books, poetry, wild wanderings and frequent trips to the capital's galleries, museums and theatres, my imagination took flight. Back then, such pursuits were regarded as simple 'hobbies' and never a serious career option. Subsequently, few knew of the illustrated tales and letters that were carefully penned in ink and bound in gossamer thread.  Nor the tiny whimsical houses and delicately-stitched finery that were secreted away in nearby woods for fairies to discover!

My early adult years were spent as a student and young mother of 3.  For a time, I created tutus and theatrical costumes for local dance schools before eventually qualifying as a primary school teacher.  It was all powerful, important work nurturing tender lives through challenges and adventures and I relished the many creative opportunities that resulted. Yet my heart often felt constricted and restless somehow.

Then life took a surprising shift.  As I stumbled and tried to make sense of all that was happening, I rediscovered paint, fabric and stitch. Everything changed. Creativity healed my aching soul and provided a new way to experience, reflect, share and simply 'be' in the world.

And what an incredible journey it has been! I painted, stitched, crafted, sketched and sculpted like my heart depended on it.  I read, participated in courses and refined my skills. My portfolio bloomed. I launched shops on Etsy and Folksy before then being invited to sell my creations on a large on-line gift corporation. My art found new eyes. My heart was full.  The kindness kept growing.

An important part of my journey has been accepting that nothing is ever wastedeverything that I had already experienced and learnt, all that I had known and been called to be, was precious, valid and useful.  ALL could be melded together to create a life that was wonderous!

Tanglefrost was established in response to requests :

  • to recreate the fragile radiance of real flowers and leaves in a form that is long-lasting and durable.  
  • to support others in designing and creating unique pieces that are suited to their own specific requirements.

Subsequently, since the first designs were released, Tanglefrost has celebrated the intrinsic qualities of hand-sculpted fine leather to capture the ethereal beauty of nature, softly painted to resemble time-worn floral adornments that have been dearly loved.  A key focus has been creating bespoke items in the form of 'commissions', whereby I work alongside clients to design and create unique shimmering treasures.  Tanglefrost has offered a limited range of ready-made designs, which can also be adapted to suit individual requirements. Tanglefrost has created headpieces, garlands, wreaths and combs, brooches, jewellery, mobiles and more!  

I work with different weights of leather, all veg-tanned, environmentally-friendly and carefully sourced. Its a magical medium to work with and I adore combining it with other materials: silk, burnished copper, felt, handmade paper, lace, feathers, embroidery, Swarovski crystals and pearls, sea-glass, fine porcelain and vintage millinery findings. In many ways, my creations illustrate how even the most unexpected combinations can yield surprising beauty! 

Most days I feel a little bit dazed by all that has happened.  Yet I'm blessed to spend them enfolded by the magnificent meadows and wooded river valleys of the Peak District, plus the joy of witnessing my now grown-up children striding out on their own vibrant adventures.  Life is precious and messy yet soooo good.  Dreams do come true.  Love, grace and courage can be found in even the most ordinary of circumstances.  I am deeply thankful and my heart now feels gloriously free and beautifully open.

I believe each one of us can create what our hearts need most.

Thank you for visiting and for spending a moment in this World of Possibility.  May it inspire you to create a life that radiates the unique beauty blooming within your own heart.