Shelter Artist Profile: Bill Jones

Bill Jones is our extremely talented partner at Starworks who helped develop The Shelter Collection wares. I met Bill on my first visit to Starworks. When I first showed him the sketches and inspiration of interpreting a mud hut, he immediately drew the shapes again in his own hand. I loved seeing his line, executing the same shape. He then took to the wheel, and created the 3D versions in clay. We talked through the taper, the opening, the lip finish, it was a beautiful collaboration of idea to creation, filtered through two minds making the product come to life.

The idea of using an architectural shape as our inspiration was a beautiful coincidence, because I quickly learned that Bill was a previous student of architecture. The interest and knowledge of buildings shows in his work, expressed in simple elegantly constructed forms.

Bill is now a production artist at Starworks, as well as dedicating much of his time to his own line of wares. His pottery pursuit began as a student at Penland School of Crafts, and he apprenticed with potter and sculptor, Daniel Johnston.

During his apprenticeship Bill learned the benefits to attempting to make the same shape over and over again. A discipline providing the mental and physical training in the pursuit of creating the “perfect” shape. A lovely way of looking at the production of craft, as a way to hone in your skills as an artist.

You can see more of Bill’s work on his site

What does he love about his job:

I love being immersed in a community of working artists – sharing ideas, opinions and techniques on a daily basis.

Clay allows for immediate expression – it records every gesture. And if you’re unsatisfied you can always ball it up and start over.

What inspires him:

Lately, I’ve been looking at the work of the British sculptor, Richard Long. I find his approach to gesture and materiality very inspiring.

Images by Artisanal Aperture.