Meet the Maker: Jack Hewetson

19 Mar 2024

Step into the enchanting world of ceramics as we sit down with Jack Hewetson, a passionate studio potter and the artisan behind the new Inky Painted tableware collection that resides within our new Spring Collection. Jack shares the inspirations, techniques, and personal journey that defines his work and offers a glimpse into the beauty and warmth awaiting in each handmade treasure.

Can you tell us more about your journey into the world of ceramics?

I originally trained as a classical musician, but my fascination with pottery led me to start taking evening classes as a hobby. Surprisingly, pottery quickly consumed my thoughts and creative energy, and I found myself captivated by the art form. I took the plunge and committed to ceramics as a full-time career in 2021.

What are the key inspirations behind your work, particularly the beautiful collection of tableware that you created for our Spring Collection?

My inspirations draw from a rich tapestry of influences, from the elegant craftsmanship of the early twentieth-century Anglo-Oriental ceramic tradition to the rustic charm of medieval English country pottery, and even the intricate patterns found in the ceramic traditions of the Middle East.

For the Inky Painted collection of tableware, a significant influence came from the distinguished work of Alan Caiger-Smith and the renowned Aldermaston Pottery. Their mastery of form, meticulous attention to detail, and innovative techniques helped shape the essence of this collection and brought with it with a sense of timeless beauty and sophistication.

What are some of the challenges and rewards of hand-throwing and painting each piece by hand?

I think people have certain expectations when it comes to functional ware. It must be the right weight - not too thin and delicate, but equally not too heavy and cumbersome. It needs to fit in the dishwasher and stack in cupboards. Consistently achieving these attributes can be a challenge when each piece is made entirely by hand.

Decorating affords me a great level of freedom and spontaneity. I believe the key is to allow the brushes to do what they want and not get in the way too much.

How do you approach the design of the patterns on each piece?

Calligraphy provides a solid starting point. Creating a sense of movement is very important and I find this infuses my work with a sense of vitality, guiding the eye with a dynamic energy.

I am deeply interested in balancing the interaction of positive and negative space, the interplay of these elements and the visual tension they create. I try to achieve this by juxtaposing more formal banded line work with more fluid and spontaneous brush work to evoke a sense of rhythm and depth.

What do you hope people feel or experience when they use your tableware collection in their homes?

I hope the new collection can bring some joy to people's daily rituals. Each piece in my collection is imbued with care and intention, and my hope is that they become cherished companions to moments around the dining table - whether gathered with friends or sharing laughter with loved ones.

And finally, what are you most looking forward to about the incoming spring season?

Longer warmer days, cherry blossom, and daffodils!

Jack’s whimsical collection of hand painted tableware is available to peruse here

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