Jonathan Chiswell Jones

Jonathan Chiswell Jones specialises in making reduction fired lustre. Only a handful of potters worldwide practice this branch of the potter’s art. He also makes beautiful porcelain by hand for use and display in the home. Jonathan's porcelain tableware is tough enough for daily use yet delicate enough to show off the brushwork, which is his speciality.

"My connection with the three hares motif goes back several years to a small photocopied piece of paper. It might have been taken from the roof boss of a cathedral, or maybe more simply, a reproduction from a church in Devon. At all events, it was sent me by my former art master Lewis Creed. When I saw the three shared ears, I liked the idea, and began to use it to decorate small lustre bowls. A while later, it occurred to me to interweave the legs, and I have always done that since then- It gives them a certain Celtic air, besides being an evolution, which many such motifs undergo, like a story told or a folk tune sung.

I began working with reduction fired lustre about 18 years ago after going on a brief course in Scotland with the late Marjorie Clinton. It is a testing technique since results hinge on getting the final lustre firing right, and decisions made during the last minutes of the firing decide the fate of the work. The technique itself dates back a thousand years to the potters of Iran and Egypt. Silver and copper are the metals used to deposit a microscopically fine layer of metal in the glaze. This reflects light and can sometimes produce iridescence, like oil on water, or light on the playing side of a CD."

Jonathan studied at Farnham Art School under Henry Hammond and Paul Barron before working for Jo Finch, wood firing stoneware at the Appin Pottery, near Oban in Scotland in the early 1970s. He opened his current studio, Peelings Manor Barns Pottery East Sussex in 1998.


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