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Dorset Visual Arts,
Little Keep, Bridport Road,
Dorchester, Dorset

DT1 1SQ

Phone
 
01305 853100

JONATHAN GARRATT

About Jonathan Garratt

For artist website please follow link

 

"Ignoring my degree in archaeology in 1976, I was more inclined to delve into the world of craftsmanship and worked with Seamus O’Brien (a colleague of Michael Cardew), setting up my first pottery in the New Forest in 1981 to make wood fired pots for gardens using local clay. Influences including European country pottery, West African textiles, Chinese Neolithic pots and contemporary architecture have all nourished my exploration of form and decoration.  I now work in real clay country - the Blackmore Vale. "

CONTACT

 

Studio: Jolliffe’s Cottage, Stour Row, Shaftesbury, SP7 0QW

Email: jonathangarratt82@gmail.com

Number: 01747 858697

I ‘arrived’ in a smoggy London in 1954 and was soon ensconced in the ex-brothel that my father bought on the edge of a Georgian square in the Bayswater Road. Kensington Gardens was opposite and that provided my first taste of outdoor heaven.  Our living room sported Ming porcelain, 18th century furniture, West African textiles and a purple Lurex sofa from Heals, so I had an eclectic exposure to what might be termed ‘good stuff’.  It means, now, that I feel reasonably confident in not being fooled by ersatz culture or the second rate. 

My mother, an architect, was busy converting mews buildings in Notting Hill, so that was also part of the mix.  Arriving at Eton at twelve, knowing no one, I was confronted by a world I deemed to be barking mad.  Two depressing years later I found in the art department a haven of light and escape, where tutor Gordon Baldwin introduced me to working with clay.

 

I was awarded an Exhibition in Modern and Mediaeval Languages at Clare College, Cambridge where I set up a college pottery and changed course to archaeology.  Ignoring my degree in 1976, I was more inclined to delve into the world of craftsmanship and worked with Seamus O’Brien (a colleague of Michael Cardew), setting up my first pottery in the New Forest in 1981 to make wood fired pots for gardens using local clay.  I was very influenced by Cardew’s Pioneer Pottery and by Schumacher’s Small is Beautiful and wanted to become a proficient artisan maker.

Moving to a larger site in Cranborne in 1986, I built my second big wood fired kiln with a 23 foot chimney of 18th century bricks.  I began to experiment with unusual designs for garden pots and gained a reputation as one of Britain’s foremost garden artists with an article by Anna Pavord in the Independent and a visit from Christopher Lloyd.  Many people do not realise that I also make glazed tableware and sculptural pieces, one of my favourites being a set of 20 clay discs which swung from trees in the avenue at Canary Wharf as part of One hundred Years of Sculpture in Britain, an exhibition curated by Annette Ratuszniak.

Influences including European country pottery, West African textiles, Chinese Neolithic pots and contemporary architecture have all nourished my exploration of form and decoration.

I now work in real clay country – the Blackmore Vale.

Karen Hansen  >

Furniture Maker