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Jack Doherty: Maker in Focus

13 January to 9 March 2024

Jack Doherty: Maker in Focus

As a potter and ceramic artist Jack Doherty has gained an international reputation in the UK and abroad for his work with one clay body, one mineral and one single firing technique. Through this singleness of process Jack is able to obtain a complex, multi-layering of surface texture and colour, whilst remaining true to the form.

Born in Co Derry, Jack Doherty studied at the Ulster College of Art and Design in Belfast wanting to be a painter, but after a visit to Lucie Rie's studio he decided he wanted to make pots for a living. On graduating he worked at Kilkenny Design Workshops before establishing his first studio in Co Armagh and then relocated to Herefordshire. From 2008 - 2013 Jack was the first Lead Potter and Creative Director at the refurbished Leach Pottery in St Ives, Cornwall where he established the production studio and designed a contemporary domestic range of soda-fired tableware.

Jack's ceramic vessels are now represented in many public collections. He works from his home studio in Cornwall, and is resident potter at the Newlyn School of Art where he fires his gas kiln.

Jack Doherty

Conical Vessel


Ref: 129497

20 x 32 x 32 cms


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Jack Doherty

Jack Doherty is a household name of the ceramic world. Jack is concerned with function but not necessarily utility in his work. He finds inspiration in the potency of archetypal vessel forms, such as the anonymous and uncomplicated pots used for storage, cooking, and safety throughout history. Jack views his vessels as guardians of emotion and conduits to the spiritual realm, desiring for his creations to inhabit our domestic spaces in a way that neither painting nor abstract sculpture can, with qualities that include light, shadow, and darkness.

Jack employs clay, colouring mineral, and a firing technique with soda. Over time, he has simplified his techniques while refining them, believing that getting rid of unnecessary elements can result in work that possesses complexity and depth. He achieves a varied palette of colours through the versatility of copper. In Jack's creative process, the kiln plays a vital role. It undergoes a lengthy firing process that alternates between oxidisation and reduction atmospheres, and the surface texture of the forms is achieved by subjecting them to a sodium solution blast at high temperature.

For a decade, Jack served as the Chair of the Ceramics Potters Association. He was also one of the founders and the current Chair of Ceramic Art London. Furthermore, he held the esteemed position of the first Lead Potter and Creative Director at the Leach Pottery.

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