Upon graduating from the Ulster College of Art and Designin 1971, Jack Doherty began working as a studio potter at Kilkenny Design Workshops, Ireland. Afterwards, he established his studio first in Co Armagh and then in Herefordshire, while also being a part-time lecturer in ceramics at the Royal Forest of Dean College. He was elected as chair of the Craft Potters Association between 1995 and 2000 and again between 2002 and 2008. He was lead potter and creative director at the Leach Pottery in St. Ives, Cornwall, where he developed Leach’s new range of contemporary tableware.
In 2012, Doherty exhibited alongside Japanese potter Tomoo Hamada, celebrating the signing of an official declaration of friendship between the towns of St. Ives and Mashiko, Tochigi, Japan, by the two respective mayors on 20 September 2012.As a founder he became the current Chair of the organising committee of Ceramic Art London in 2013, previously being Director of both Ceramic Review magazine and Contemporary Ceramics for more than 13 years. He now works independently from his studio in Mousehole, Cornwall.
Devoting the majority of his career to porcelain, Jack has developed a unique process of crafting his ceramic objects. The shapes are thrown, then carved and shaped using only one type of porcelain clay. One slip in which copper carbonate is added as a colouring material is applied. Finally, he uses a single soda-firingtechnique, executed by spraying a mixture of water and sodium bicarbonate into the kiln at a high temperature. The resulting vapour is drawn through the kiln chamber where it reacts with the silica and alumina present in the clay, creating a rich patina of surface texture and colour.
His recent work displays a sense of robustness, lacking the refined transparent glaze commonly associated with porcelain objects.