An interview with Sligo based wood turner Matt Jones
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william morris quote woodturner matt jones

Interview: Matt Jones Woodturner

I first spotted Matt’s work in the Irish Design Shop and my sister bought me a piece of his, one of his twig pots. Originally from Wales he lives with his wife and 4 children in Riverton, Co. Sligo.

In this, the first in a monthly series of posts interviewing Irish Designers and Artists, I ask ten of life’s essential questions. Read on…

You are introduced to a stranger at a party, they ask you what you do, how do you answer?

Im a craftsman. I work with wood. Then I attempt to explain what woodturning is.
matt jones woodturner interview with six0six design

Why do you do what you do and what inspires you? 

I make beautiful utilitarian and sculptural objects in wood. I’m mainly inspired by nature. The wood itself is often all the inspiration I need. I try to make simple shapes that allow the colour and the grain to speak for themselves.

 

six0six design interview with matt jones rough turns for pepper mills The last of a big Ash tree collected last year.

Work in process. Rough turns for pepper mills from Ash

What is your morning routine? 

A cup of tea in bed, a fruit smoothie, kids to school then into the workshop. I’m most productive in the morning, the afternoon tends to be interrupted by kids coming home, phone calls and emails. If I go back to the workshop in the evening its usually to play around or tidy up.

Five things you wish you had known starting out 

Its a journey, I don’t regret the mistakes, without them I wouldn’t have learn’t or improved. If I knew how long it would take to master the tools or to figure out the business end I might not have started.

six0six design interview with matt jones Twig pots oiled. Soon available again at Irish Design Shop

The Twig Pots

Five tools that help you run your business 

The Lathe

The hand tools

My radio

The computer

and the kettle!

six0six dseign interview with matt jones using the lathe More exploration of the tube form. Irish Elm

Using the lathe, exploration of the tube form. Irish Elm

If money was no object what three things would you change straight away and what three would you still do?

I’d build a huge workshop with heating and big bright windows. I’d hire a workshop assistant, someone to tidy up and rough turn pieces for me and I’d also have someone to maintain the website and chase invoices etc.

I’d still make the work and meet retailers and talk to journalists and customers

six0six design interview with matt jones London DCCOI Weathering exhibition. photo of the pepper mills made in collaboration with Makers and Brothers.

A collaboration Matt did with Makers and Brothers for the DCCOI Weathering exhibition in London (above)

How do your customers find you?

Online www.mattjoneswoodturner.com    Through Facebook  here.

I’m also on twitter and instagram

six0six design interview with matt jones Bowls in Spalted Horse Chestnut.

Bowls in Spalted Horse Chestnut.

 

Social Media. Do you use it, what platforms have worked the best, what tips do you have?

Facebook is the most useful in terms of driving sales although they ( facebook) make it increasingly hard for you. Keep content informal. Customers want to see inside your world, to experience the human story behind your craft. If your facebook is just one big advert for your product no one will care. On the other hand no one wants to know what you had for dinner or whether you intend to pay the water charges.

 Are you…

Apple / PC Apple, Id rather use a quill and ink than use a PC

Tea / Coffee Tea

Digital recording / paper Paper

Country / City Country

Early Bird / Night Owl Night Owl

 

Favourite Book Water Music by T C Boyle

water music by tc boyle

Favourite Film  Jaws

jaws film

Favourite Song Superstition by Stevie Wonder

Favourite Place Any beach, anywhere

Favourite Quote

have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful a william morris quote six0six design copy

have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful – william morris quote

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