The Homemade Earth and Fire of Jonathan Garratt

Craft & Design
The Homemade Earth and Fire of Jonathan Garratt

It’s been over a decade since I’ve thrown clay on a wheel, but watching this video, by David Hobson, of Dorset-based potter Jonathan Garratt, makes me want to return to the art. Garratt is a true maker from beginning to end, including farming his own clay, mixing it in a blunger, drying it over a month, then processing it through a pug mill. He chops his own wood and claims to have nearly 100 tonnes of wood stacked in sheds and under tin tarps outside, which he rotates out on a two-year cycle!

The combination of using local clay and firing with wood gives his work a “flavor” and “character in the finished thing” that you can’t get from packets of clay powder and other firing techniques. Packing his kiln with about 1.5 tonnes of thrown pottery, he says it’s “a bit like a 3D jigsaw.” He fires the clay for 18 hours and 4 days later opens up the kiln to reveal locally sourced and made earthen masterworks. I am, to say the least, impressed!

8 thoughts on “The Homemade Earth and Fire of Jonathan Garratt

  1. Kozz says:

    I know next to nothing about pottery, but that was amazing. Truly, his is a labor of love.

  2. Joel says:

    Very nice video. It conveys the simplicity and complexity of the craft very nicely. As a hobby potter, it gave me a lot to think about and smile about. Thanks!

    1. Nick Normal says:

      Your welcome Joel – thanks for reading and watching!

  3. Pete's Pots says:

    Yes, I agree. JG is a master of his craft, uncompromising in his approach. I visited his place in the early days of my learning about pottery, and could only gaze amazed at what he does and how he does it.

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I'm an artist & maker. A lifelong biblioholic, and advocate for all-things geekathon. Home is Long Island City, Queens, which I consider the greatest place on Earth. 5-year former Resident of Flux Factory, co-organizer for World Maker Faire (NYC), and blogger all over the net. Howdy!

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