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Matthew S. Jones, Matt Jones

Biography to Display: 

1971 Born


Earlham College, Richmond, Indiana


Todd Piker, Cornwell Bridge Pottery, Cornwell Bridge, Connecticut

Mark Hewitt, Pittsboro, North Carolina


1998—Studio Potter, Jones Pottery, North Carolina



Matt Jones produces coiled and wheel-thrown wood-fired functional stoneware pots including traditional kitchen wares, planters, and monumental vessel forms. Jones uses “blue pipe clay” first used by local Cherokee potters of the area, this blueish colored clay was later used by early settlers to make tobacco pipe heads. Jones’ surface techniques include slip trailing, brush applied oxides, salt, and alkaline glazes.  Many pots show mastery of wood-firing and simplicity of salt and alkaline glaze for surface treatment.

When employed, decorative motifs may include plant, birds, and animals. Jones’ pots are characterized by a broad strong rim which in addition to their aesthetic value are very helpful when stacking a kiln. The glazes that Jones creates reflect his Southern heritage and the influence of 19th -and 20th-century pots. Work is fired to 2300 degrees.

Jones has written, "It is important that my work is grounded in the Carolina traditions that go back 150 years, but I feel quite free to incorporate a modern sensibility and ideas from other cultures." Influences of classical Chinese and Mediterranean pottery can be seen in his forms and surface decoration.

One of Jones’ monumental jars, The Rooster Refutes Envy, (2011), records Jones slip-trailed response to a speech Garth Clark made about his view of craft. It is important to read Jones text below, in context of what Elaine Levin discussed in her 1988 book, The History of American Ceramics from Pipkins and Bean Pots to Contemporary Forms. Levin presents three trends in pottery that emerged between WWI and WWII: the traditional folk pottery vessel, the expressive or “American Modern” vessel, and the influence of industrial design. It is the divergence of the traditional folk pottery vessel and the expressive vessel, or “American Modern,” which Jones is reacting to. This divergence in approach to clay has evolved over the ensuing years. Although each trend advanced with energy and excellence of execution, a friction between the makers of the two branches of approach grew, as it appeared the traditional vessel forms of craft heritage were not recognized by some of the trend makers of the period.

The Rooster Refutes Envy, executed in a traditional folk style by Jones in 2011 – with the embedded slip-trailed retort to Garth Clark’s craft view – is reinforced by Jones' contemporaneous blog posts
( and provides primary source documentation of the veracity of Levin’s observation. Transcribed by The Mint Museum, the text is in order of the sides of the vessel from top to bottom and reads as follows:

(SIDE 1)

“Of course if you run the Math it may actually add up. But Look at it from Foghorn

(AKA Matt Jones) Leghorn’s common sense point of view. The sly bombastic and

mischievous Rooster is justifiably confounded and Irritated.

(October 19, 2011 Matt Jones Maker)

LEVITY is the KEY keep ‘em sunny side up!

(SIDE 2)

“I am NOT a Craft writer. My background is in the Fine Arts.”



GARTH CLARK drawn from Eric Odgen’s cover photo Shards: Garth Clark on Ceramic

Art © 2005 Ceramic Art Foundation & Distributed Art Publication

“Peter Voulkos was a potter” - G.C.

If you want to insist on this How are you not a Craft Writer?

(SIDE 3)

“The Craft Movement is Dead. Long Live Craft!”

- Garth Clark from his address at Portland Oregon’s Museum of Modern Craft titled

“How Envy Killed the Craft Movement: An Autopsy in Two Parts”

Did Someone just lay an EGG?  (Stink)

(SIDE 4)

Can Craft be so easily separated from its Movement?

I see myself and other Crafts people as Grass-Roots Organizers & Educators. Aren’t

the Galleries that carry our work part of the movement? What about the ACC, the

S.H.C.G.? Or the N.C.P.C. or the Mint Museum’s Delhom Service League? What about

Customers & Collectors? Carol Savion’s PBS series: Craft in: America? Books &


(SIDE 5)

Boy I said Boy That just don’t Add Up!


Foghorn Leghorn was created by Robert McKenson in 1946 for WB’s Looney Tunes &

Merrie Melodies

Genuine Country Funk

S.C.O.T.S. can get a witness?

well I declare! I’m bustin’ FREESTYLE”

October 19, 2011

Matt Jones


This Jar is the gift to The Mint Museum of Daisy Wade Bridges, Carol and Shelton Gorelick, Barbara Stone Perry, Jane M. Conlan, Carol H. Pharr, Dorothea F. West, Eric and Julia Van Huss, Alan and Bernette Bowen, Herb Cohen and José Fumero, Caroline T. Gray, Jane M. Hoyle, and Amy and Brian Sanders.


Transcription courtesy of The Mint Museum.


Public Collections to Display: 

Mint Museum, Charlotte, North Carolina

Southern Highland Craft Guild Collection, Asheville, North Carolina


Bibliography to Display: 

Jones, Matt. Endurance: Potting in the Twenty-first Century.  self-published.

Perry, Barbara Stone, ed. North Carolina Pottery: The Collection of the Mint Museums. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004.

Schultz, Katey. “Seriously Playful: The Pottery of Matt Jones”. Ceramics Monthly (November 2010).




Artist's Studio: Jones Pottery



Center for CraftSouthern Highland Craft Guild



Center for CraftCenter For Craft


Typical Marks
Date: 2000
Materials: Stoneware
Method: Altered, Thrown
Surface Technique: Glaze
Southern Highland Craft Guild Collection
Photo: The Permanent Collection of the Southern Highland Craft Guild.
Southern Highland Craft Guild Collection
Photo: Southern Highland Craft Guild
Storage Jar
Date: 2005
Materials: Stoneware
Method: Thrown
Dimensions: 20 X 15.5 inches
Surface Technique: Woodfire
Mint Museum , Gift of an anonymous donor, 2005.73.1
Photo: Mint Museum
Mint Museum , Gift of an anonymous donor, 2005.73.1
Photo: The Mint Museum
Heartbreaker Monumental Urn
Date: 2007
Materials: Stoneware
Method: Thrown
Surface Technique: Glaze, Woodfire
Mint Museum
Mint Museum
Date: 2008
Materials: Stoneware
Method: Thrown
Surface Technique: Glaze, Woodfire
Southern Highland Craft Guild Collection
Photo: Southern Highland Craft Guild
Southern Highland Craft Guild Collection
The Rooster Refutes Envy
Date: 2011
Form: Jug
Materials: Local Clay, Stoneware
Method: Thrown
Dimensions: 30 X 16.3 inches
Surface Technique: Glaze, Incised, Slip Trailing
Mint Museum, gift of various donors (see biography), 2012.8
Mint Museum, gift of various donors (see biography), 2012.8
(SIDE 2)
(SIDE 2)
(SIDE 3)
(SIDE 3)
(SIDE 4)
(SIDE 4)
(SIDE 5)
(SIDE 5)
Date: 2014
Materials: Stoneware
Method: Thrown
Surface Technique: Glaze, Slip Trailing, Woodfire
Face Coke Bottle
Date: 2017
Materials: Stoneware
Method: Thrown and Altered
Surface Technique: Glaze

Citation: Jo Lauria contributed to this biography. "The Marks Project." Last modified May 21, 2023.