John is a designer maker and academic. His practice focuses on appropriating lost or dying industrial metal manufacturing processes and bringing them into a contemporary craft context. He makes unique objects for exhibition and to commission. Two strands of work have been developed, printed tin automata and interactive faux Georgian enamel objects. His work has been exhibited in British and European galleries including Contemporary Applied Arts, Gallery Craft2EU, Hamburg, Automates Galerie, Brussesls, and the Museum of Arts and Crafts, Hamburg. His work has been featured in journals including Crafts Magazine and American House and Garden.
As an academic he has taught widely on Applied Art and Craft degree courses in the UK. His research interests focus on responding to historic industrial metal working processes as a means to bring new knowledge to contemporary practice. In 2005 he received an AHRC award to fund ‘Making Connections’ as part of Bilston Gallery’s Craftsense project. The project focused on creating a range of contemporary enamel objects in response to the galleries important collection of Georgian enamels, as a means to engage new audiences by linking historic objects to contemporary practice. This lead to a subsequent commission for Craftbox and inclusion in Playing With Fire, a touring exhibition of contemporary enamel organised by the British Society of Enamellers and the Devon Guild of Craftsmen.
John’s dual role as a craft practitioner and academic has lead to him playing an active role in supporting Professional Development within the craft sector. In 2007 he organised the Pushing Boundaries Symposium in collaboration with Craftspace. In 2006/8 he collaborated with Staffordshire Arts and Museum Service on Making Moves, a project to support early and mid career makers. Currently he is Director for Designer Maker West Midlands, a not for profit organisation set up to support the needs of professional makers within the West Midlands.