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Jon’s Ceramics has been a family tradition spanning four generations. The earliest records show a Barrett-Danes pottery at Hoo in Kent in 1834. Jon completed a degree in ceramics at Bristol in 1985, having specialized in thrown ware and glaze development.
He also spent time building kilns and experimenting with wood-fired salt glaze. He used these glazes to good effect on the teapot forms that became an obsession for many years.
After spending time working as a college technician, travelling, landscape gardening and other short-term jobs, Jon returned to his first love making pots in his spare time, while also training to be a teacher. He has taught on and off ever since – he currently teaches from time to time ceramics at West Dean college in Sussex, and more recently has run workshops for blind and visually impaired students at New College, Worcester.
Drawing inspiration from the collaborative work of his parents, which combined classical vessels with mythical and imaginary creatures, he started making animals. His first piece was a pig, which, he says, seemed to emerge quite naturally. He soon moved on to sheep, chickens, cows and horses, constantly refining and developing the form.
His animal forms still embody the same concern for form and profile that sustained him in the search for the ideal teapot, and he has transferred many of the elements that excited him in that development, combining classical strength with wit and humour.