Jonathan Barnes

     From an early age the construction of useful objects out of available materials has been very important to me.  Self-reliance has become a very large part of my life in the sense of building with available materials.  The writings of Michael Cardew had become a great influence on my thoughts and autonomy and functional ceramics.
     My influences range from growing up sailing in the Caribbean and exploring uninhabited and inhabited islands as well as studies in Japan.  These experiences are seen in the work itself as well as in the intent of creating the work.  My work is made either on a Leach style tread wheel or an electric wheel.   The work is then altered, and decorated with slips and low fire glazes when leather hard
    The additions of non-ceramic materials remind me of the rigging  on the boats I used to sell. While I am experienced at numerous firing techniques my work currently focuses on woodfired and soda fired stoneware tools brushes and kilns I have built with available materials return my thoughts on self-reliance.  
    Utilitarian ceramics play an important role in my life as does my love of cooking and food.  The sight  and smell of a well cooked meal presented on handmade pots creates a special moment in my life.  Sharing and using these vessels completes the 'making' process and I feel that using these pieces enhances the meal and in turn enhances life.