Jonathan Barrett-Danes

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Ceramics, for Barrett-Danes, is a long tradition, spanning six generations. A pottery, making terracotta, at Hoo, in Kent in the 1830's is the earliest family record and a road in the town is called after the family name of Baker. The Baker story is interesting, with ownership of the pottery passing within the family and then from father to son. His father was the first to break with tradition by leaving the family pottery and undertaking a formal college training and subsequently entering the pottery industry as a designer.

Jon continued down this path of formal education and completed his degree in ceramics at Bristol Polytechnic in 1985, mainly concentrating on thrownware and glaze development. The mainstay of his inspiration was derived from the pages of the Wedgewood Creamware catalogues from the late 19th century. Coupled with this very classical approach, he found the humorous fluidity of cartoon drawings provided a happy contrast.

Although his primary interest was the wheel thrown object, he has since been concentrating on developing hand built animal forms. The pig, in particular, provides an endless source of ideas. His animal forms, in many ways, still embody the same concern for form and profile that sustained him in his search for the ideal teapot.  He feels that he has been able to transfer many of the elements that excited him in that development and has endowed his animals with strength and humour.