I first met Jonathan Garratt two years ago. We were travelling to a festival and had failed to find anywhere for lunch, so the sign ‘cream teas’ as we drove through a village proved irresistible. I had been looking for some pottery to sell in the shop for some time, but hadn’t been able to find anything that felt right, but when I saw Jonathan’s pottery in the shop next door I knew that this was the potter I had been looking for. I ‘phoned him, music blaring in the background, and arranged to go and see him the next day. He lives in Dorset in an 18th century thatched house with barns, in which he has built his kiln, surrounding a beautiful planted courtyard. I came away with a carload and have been selling his pottery ever since.
So it is always a pleasure to visit him and see what he has been making and I went again this Friday, forgetting that it was the first of the big summer holiday travelling weekends! So I arrived hot, tired and very hungry, but was greeted with his usual hospitality and a perfect summer lunch of mackerel with a wonderful salad of his homegrown vegetables. After that and a tour of his vegetable garden I felt completely restored.
On that first day that I visited him we quickly discovered that his father had been a dealer who knew my father and as they did the same fairs, I recognized his name, but couldn’t really remember him.
He has just made the sculpture you see in the photograph using his father’s shoes as moulds for the line of feet, which Jonathan has used to suggest the ongoing generations and which is an expression of hope and optimism on his part. Unfortunately the courtyard at Town House is too small to include his sculpture, but it works beautifully punctuating the planting in his courtyard.
The journey home was just as horrendous, but the couple of hours with Jonathan and his wife and the new things I brought back made it all worthwhile.