Jonathan Barnes was born in Kissimmee, FL. From the age of three, Jonathan and his parents sailed the coasts of Florida, as well as the Caribbean. He studied Graphic Design and the University of Central Florida, and in 2002 graduated with a BA degree in Graphic Design from UCF.
Discovering that working in clay was much more rewarding to him than Graphic Design, Jonathan entered the graduate program at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, MS . During his time in Mississippi, he had the opportunity to be a part of a study abroad program to Shigaraki, Japan , through the University of Georgia , as well as numerous national juried and invitational shows.
After Completing his MFA in Ceramics from the University of Mississippi he returned to Florida to be a resident artist at the St. Petersburg Clay Company. After his residency he began working at St. Petersburg College and in 2012 became the Academic Department Chair of the Fine Arts/ Humanities department at the Clearwater Campus. In addition to his administrative duties, Jonathan teaches Ceramics, Printmaking and Art Appreciation at St. Petersburg College, and maintains an active studio art practice. He is a member of the Tampa Tour De Clay group.
Jonathan and his family live and work in Clearwater, he fires his work in a wood-fired soda kiln located at Hidden Lake Pottery.
As a child my parents allowed me the freedom to explore and make mistakes. The freedom to explore and discover has led me to my current body of work. I am combining my love of pattern and design with my ceramic objects, creating functional vessels and dimensional wall tiles. The surfaces are a series of explorations of layering slips and glazes, utilizing resists that are digitally generated. This intersection of the hand and machine holds great fascination for me, for both can do so much that the other cannot.
Conceptually my work focuses on the idea of the role of handmade objects (pottery) in everyday use with consideration to nourishment of the body and family, to decorative objects (tiles) to incorporate ideas of pattern, texture and design into the home. I reference historical ceramic and design objects from many sources including Persian ceramics, mid-century modern design, Japanese ceramics as well as American ceramic objects.
2020 Clearwater Art and Design Board
2020 Clearwater Arts Council
2016-Present, Annual Empty Bowls for RCS Pinellas fundraiser. Planning Committee.