Fri | Dec 14, 2018

The Journey Through Clay

Published:Sunday | January 28, 2018 | 12:00 AMLatara Boodie
Mugs from X large for tea at left down to small espresso cups.
David Pinto
Large standing sculpture from the Fertility Pod Series.
Custom basins
The circle of love wall sculpture.
Ceramic milk jugs.
A single 3oz demi-tass for double espresso, machiato or small after dinner coffee.

Pottery is a form of expression which allows the creation of life from inanimate materials that have the ability to stimulate the mind and start a conversation.

Ancient in its origin, the art itself requires a pair of gifted hands which are steadfast in the quest to mould and conceive a type of reality that can be appreciated in its truest form.

Potter David Pinto has such hands, and shares that his love for pottery began with a few clumsy pieces, and a desire to make ordinary objects into animated interpretations of individuality.

Seduced by clays magical transformation from soft, wet lumps into expressive objects, drew Pinto to the pottery studio during his spare time. After high school, he was given the opportunity to attend Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), and graduated with a degree in Industrial Design. Most of his time spent at RISD was focused on exploring his own personal expressive style.

Twenty-five years ago, Pinto made the decision to return to Jamaica and create a studio of his own in Good Hope, Trelawny, after spending some time in New York City working and learning from several extraordinary artists.

"My personal evolution as an artist is ongoing. My major exhibitions always included exploration of new ideas and the techniques needed to realise them. I am constantly exploring new forms and refining others," Pinto told Outlook. His training obtained in pursuing his industrial design degree has taught him to evaluate subtle variations in form and has shaped his belief that anything he makes must be of the highest quality. "It is important to me that functional pottery functions well. However, the conversation is not about that functional aspect," said Pinto. He added, "Each vessel I make is infused with a creative spirit, a life force. When put together with other pieces, mine or another artist, it tells a story of a life, a journey through clay," said Pinto.

Pinto's masterpieces are seen by many as collectors items which was a decision he made over 10 years ago, not only to build a brand but an audience. His pieces don't only include dinnerware such as mugs, tea cups and saucers, but complex sculptures and individual pieces that adorn the halls of several hotels in the island.

Inspiration for his work comes primarily from nature. "Entire bodies of work have sprung out of a single moment, examples include the accidental discovery of a seed pod on the road to the studio, which led to a conscious collection of seed pods and my 'Fertility Pod Series', said Pinto.

His love for a strong 2oz espresso has led him to establish a solid relationship with Deaf Can Coffee, which he supplies customised mugs for.

The renown Jamaican potter has also created international workshop programmes which allow international artists to come to Jamaica to create in his studio and share their experiences and knowledge with a group of young local and international artists. "This year April 21-27 we will host Doug Casebeer, my workshop partner and director at the extraordinary art center in Colorado, joined by guest artists Peter Beasecker and Liz Lurie," said Pinto.

"My work embodies energy and movement, it 'Elevates your Everyday' experience of a meal or a simple cup of coffee to a ritual of celebrating the moment. I find beauty in the organic richness of form and feel. My joy in the process comes from making a piece perfectly imperfect, embracing my touch and celebrating the uniqueness in each piece," said Pinto.

To start your journey into pottery contact David Pinto at (876) 886-2866 or email His collections can be viewed on his website or instagram @pintopottery.