Arts Council of Northern Ireland

The Funding and Development Agency
for The Arts in Northern Ireland

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Artist of the Month January 2019 – John McKeag

Thursday 3rd January 2019 at 11am

Black and White Scoops by John McKeag (2015) Image: Black and White Scoops by John McKeag (2015)

John McKeag graduated in 1988 with a BA Hons Degree in Fine Art (Painting) from Medlock Fine Art Centre in Manchester, and then completed a Diploma in Ceramics at Wandsworth College in London in 1995. Following a brief period assisting the potter Lisa Hammond at her studio in Greenwich, John returned to Belfast in 1999 and went on to complete the “Craftworks” pottery skills course in Derry.

In 2005 John was accepted onto Craft Northern Ireland’s “Making It” programme and took up a placement at the Clotworthy Arts Centre in Antrim. He remained as Artist in Residence at the Clotworthy Arts Centre for eight years, before setting up his own studio.

John is particularly known for utilising the specialised technique of soda glazing. His works demonstrate simplicity of form, inspired by the materials he works with and the act of making, but also influenced by modern interiors and architecture.  He produces works in small batches so that he can devote time to create intriguing surface textures and colours. The nature of the firing process ensures that each piece is unique. In collaboration with printmaker Valerie Giannandrea, John has recently formed “Firebox”, offering distinctive one-off works for modern homes. Firebox Ceramics are available from galleries across the UK and Ireland.

Blue Ceramic Vessel I & II, and Black and White Scoops by John McKeag are included in the collection of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

More objects from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s collection can be viewed online at