Western Morning News (Saturday)

A glowing CV – and beautiful ceramics – from this potter

An exhibition of pottery by a major exponent of the craft has caught the eye of Frank Ruhrmund


Although both galleries, Newlyn Art Gallery and The Exchange, Penzance, are temporaril­y closed to the public, the online shop at the former venue is up and running, and currently featuring an exhibition of work by the potter Jack Doherty. One who now lives and work close by Newlyn Art Gallery, he is well known in St Ives where for a long while he was the Lead Potter and Creative Director of the Leach Pottery. A potter whose work has been described as possessing “A controlled clean purity which reflects an Asian sensibilit­y of rich silence and oneness of thought”, Jack Doherty was born in Coleraine, Co Derry, a graduate of the Ulster College of Art & Design, on completion of his of his studies he joined the Kilkenny Design Workshops where he designed high quality products for the ceramic industry, and where it was not long before he was winning awards for his work. In 1974 he gained a gold medal at the Internatio­nal Exhibition in Faenza, and two years later struck gold again at the Internatio­nal Exhibition in Vallauris. The 1970’s was to be a busy and successful decade for him, in 1977 he started the first workshop in Scarva, Co. Armagh, an establishm­ent which was soon exhibiting and selling its stoneware tableware in the UK, Germany and the U.S.A., then, in 1979 he was elected as a member of the working party set up by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland to advise on the provision of funding for crafts in Ulster. In the following decade, in 1983, he came to this country settling and establishi­ng his workshop in Ross-an-Wye, Herefordsh­ire. While his days in his native Ulster had been “busy and successful” they were to seem quiet compared to all he was to achieve, and is still achieving, in this country. Indeed, his list of credits is so long it is impossible to mention them all but, among a host of others, he worked for a long period as a part-time lecturer in ceramics at the Royal Forest of Dean College. Then, in the early 1990’s he was elected as a council member of the Craft Potters Associatio­n, and for several years was an external examiner in BA Ceramics at the University of Gloucester­shire, Cheltenham. As many will recall, he was also Director of St Ives Internatio­nal which organised Ceramica the internatio­nal festival of ceramics in Cornwall. For good measure, he has twice served as Chairman of of he Craft Potters Associatio­n, is chairman of Ceramic Arts, London, has exhibited extensivel­y in this country and abroad, and has gained a considerab­le reputation and following for his work which now forms part of a number of public collection­s from that of the Arts Council of Northern lreland to the Museum of Ceramics, Faenza. Not bad going for one who has always followed the advice he was given early in his career, “Just make the pots you want to make.”

A specialist in porcelain, Jack Doherty’s ceramics are as good to look at and to have and hold as they are useful.

While visiting the gallery’s online shop, it is worth noting that both Newlyn Art Gallery and The Exchange, Penzance, are partners of the Great British Art Exhibition led by Firstsite and supported by Plus Tate Network and Art Council England.

To get involved, and to get inspiratio­n from such luminaries of the art world as Antony Gormley and Anish Kapoor, download for free activity pack from www.firstsite.uk

Whether a profession­al artist, enthusiast­ic dabbler, or a complete first-timer, you can help unleash art, expression and creativity across the UK by creating your own art work and sharing. Your art work can be made of anything at all. You can work on your own or with friends, work colleagues, in tower block, street, school or place of worship – anything goes!

 ??  ?? Pottery from Jack Doherty
Pottery from Jack Doherty
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