London Craft Week: Jonathan Harris
Posted on 05 June 2017
One of my favourite experiences from this year's London Craft Week was meeting with Jonathan Harris at Asprey to discuss his incredible engraved Four Seasons vase collection. What is so unique about this collection of vases is that the etching is applied internally to allow for a smooth glossy exterior finish. Often, glass etching is completed externally due to the narrowing shape of the vase making it difficult to continue a design to the very bottom. This has not stopped Harris however and his expert skills and techniques allow him to complete a full design without sacrificing any beauty of detail.
Each design has been hand carved using diamond point drills. Harris has developed unique carving techniques that allow him to selectively carve through multiple layers of colour on the inside of the vessel to create the desired effect. Each vase starts out in a solid colour to which layers are etchedaway to reveal different depths of colour. As an artist would paint and add layers to a canvas to create the finished work of art, Harris essentially works in reverse, removing layers to complete the finished design.
This freedom to remove layers with such detail and precision allows each vessel to take on a unique personality, with no two ever being the same. The individuality of each design, along with the huge amount of hours it takes to complete just one piece means that the Four Seasons collection are highly sort after exclusive pieces, often with a waiting list for released designs. Witnessing the passion and devotion that goes into the creation even the smallest of vessels a true example of why crafts such as this can never be forgotten. In a time where machines can make almost anything, it is refreshing see that there is such a high demand for a item, not only because of its beauty, but because of the time, energy and heart that has gone into its creation.
The scale of the designs has grown over time with the originals standing at 6 inches tall and new sizes reaching up to 22 inches. The Four Seasons collection is sold exclusively with Asprey in London and New York.For further details on the collection and availabiltiy, visit the Asprey website. For information on the designer, click to view the official Jonathan Harris website.