About the Man: Jonathan first 'handled' glass at the age of eight years old, when his father assisted him with the making of a small glass bird. His interest in this fascinating medium continued throughout his formal training at the Stourbridge College of Art, which resulted in a degree in three-dimensional design, with a speciality in glass.
Jonathan's wife Alison, also studied art and design at Stourbridge, then followed a career in advertising, marketing and writing articles on the subject she is very knowledgeable about-glass! They married in 1987 and returned to the Isle of Wight to join the family business.
Both Jonathan and Alison spent time learning about all aspects of the company, as well as inputting their own valuable knowledge and expertise into many areas. Fresh new ideas were readily accepted within the market place and their complimentary skills were soon recognised as a successful team. During the early years at Isle of Wight Glass, Jonathan also spent time learning and understanding the 'hot' decoration process. But for one who can 'never stand still', Jonathan felt the need to develop his own direction and discover the 'undiscovered'. And it was at this time that his father, Michael Harris, would look over his shoulder and ask, 'how did you do that Jonathan?
In 1992 Jonathan became Managing Director of Isle of Wight Glass, and following his father's unexpected death in 1994, he steered the company through economically difficult climates, designing innovative and high quality decorative glassware, as well as developing new markets and introducing I.T. to all departments of the company.
Artist Statement: As an innovative and creative second-generation designer/glassmaker my desire to work with glass is second nature and I constantly experiment with new techniques to create unique, detailed, stunning effects. During the last fourteen years I have researched, developed and refined a wide variety of techniques to combine my fascination with studio glassmaking, technology and graphic arts. Fusing graphic imagery ~ sometimes elaborate and figurative, with the molten fluidity of hot glass, to create both contemporary and classical works of "Art glass" Cameo and Graal, along with multi-layered 'hot' surface decoration form the core of my technical repertoire, enabling tremendous scope for colour, shape and pattern. My first pieces of Graal were produced using relatively simple patterns, which I drew by hand onto the surface of the glass and then carved through the layers of colour. I continued to develop this process, which lead to the refined and detailed designs that I continue to produce today. I introduced the use of 22ct gold and sterling silver leaf into my designs, the first collection of which was launched in Harrods and Liberty with tremendous success. Once I have designed a piece, I work with the master glassmaker to produce the high quality 'hot blank', which I then carve and endeavour to turn into a spectacular work of art. The skill involved in both the 'hot' and 'cold' process must never be underestimated and those who fully understand this wondrous medium can appreciate its endless possibilities and unveil its hidden properties. Integrity, honesty and the freedom that a designer/glassmaker requires to explore, create and refine detail and quality is of paramount importance. Our 'leading edge' studio amongst the museums at the Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site has given us the opportunity to realise this dream and share our knowledge and expertise with all those willing to learn. Here, with our team of skilled master glassmakers' and assistants, we continue to develop and refine many techniques including re-heat cameo, graal and Marqueterie-de-verre.
CameoGlass: Until fairly recently, the highly skilled art of cameo carving has lay dormant and only a handful of artists world wide have embarked upon the challenge of producing 21st century cameo and in some cases the cameo hybrid Graal. One of these artists is Jonathan Harris. Jonathan's unique and individual skills have taken the cameo and graal process to another dimension and he has introduced the use of 22ct gold and sterling silver leaf into his designs, which with the combination of several layers of colour, reveals the intricate designs in addition to our highly skilled techniques and studio collections, we offer a very specialised bespoke design service for many companies, sports organisations, areas of entertainment and private individuals etc. Such companies commission special pieces to promote their company or product, special awards or incentive schemes. All pieces can be individually made from relatively inexpensive items, to something very special for the VIP. Your company logo, details or design can be skilfully engraved onto a wide selection of shapes and we can engrave your design onto crystal or coloured glass, which can be as simple or as decorative as you require. Designs can also be engraved with gold or silver enamel and produced to the highest standards possible.
I have selected some images of the work of Jonathan and I am sure you will see his creative flair is so evident in all his work. Why not check out Jonathan's Website at