Currently based in Cornwall, Jack was born in Co Derry and studied Ceramics at the Ulster College of Art and Design. He had originally wished to become a painter but after a visit to Lucie Rie’s studio he changed his mind – the completeness of her way of life made sense, so he decided to make pots for a living. On graduating, he worked at Kilkenny Design Workshops before establishing his studio, firstly in Co Armagh and then in Herefordshire. From 2008 – 2013, Jack was the first Lead Potter and Creative Director appointed at the refurbished Leach Pottery in St Ives, Cornwall.
Designing and making have shaped his career. Jack describes himself as being interested in the particular usefulness of things, the sense of an object as being something which has a place in life. These pots are to do with function but are not necessarily about utility or usefulness, these are vessels for drinking, for sharing, for display and for storage. Jack then worked at Kilkenny Design Workshops before establishing his first studio in Co Armagh and then in Herefordshire. Jack moved to Cornwall in 2008 to take up the role as Lead Potter at the restored Leach Pottery setting up the new production studio. During the five years in post there, he designed a successful range of functional ware which respected the ethic and history of the pottery but which also had its place in a contemporary market.
‘My work explores vessels and the ancient layers of cultural resonance embedded within archetypal forms. Made from porcelain, the forms are thrown then carved and shaped reflecting the fluidity of the material and physicality of making. The elemental colour and surface texture are created by the fusion of fire and soda in the intense heat of the kiln, leaving behind a subtle palette of smoky grey, lemon, russet and turquoise. On many levels, the pots I make are figurative pieces; each has its own character, particular emotional range and response.’ – Jack Doherty
Jack Doherty’s pots have been exhibited extensively both in the UK and internationally. He was Chair of the Craft Potter’s Association for twelve years, a founder member and Chair of Ceramic Art London and guest editor of Ceramic Review.
Public Collections Include:
Irish Contemporary Ceramics Collection, Hunt Museum Ireland; National Museum of Ireland, Dublin; Ulster Museum, Belfast, Ireland; The Ceramics Museum, Mashiko Japan; Potteries Museum, Hanley; Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery; Liverpool Museum; Princeshof Ceramics Museum, Netherlands; Castle Museum, Nottingham; Cheltenham Museum; Ceramics Museum, Faenza, Italy
Jack Doherty will present a solo exhibition with The Gallery in July 2023.