Jonah Jones (17 February 1919 – 29 November 2004) was born Leonard Jones near Wardley, Tyne and Wear in the North East of England, but became known as a Welsh sculptor, artist-craftsman and writer

His father, a coal miner, was invalided in the First World War, and the 1920’s and 30’s saw the family enduring considerable poverty. Registering in the Second World War as a conscientious objector, Jonah at first worked in forestry, but later enlisted in the British Army as a non-combatant.

Following demobilisation in 1947, his career began at Caseg Press, Llanystumdwy, with the artist John Petts, followed soon after by a short, intensive stay at the workshop of the late Eric Gill, where he learned the techniques of lettering and carving in stone.

During the 1950’s, Jonah Jones established a full-time workshop practice, one of the few who were able at that time in Wales to earn a living solely from art. He worked in many media, but is especially remembered as a sculptor in stone, letter cutter and painter of vernacular lettering. Learning both the traditional techniques of stained glass and the newer ones of concrete glass and dalle de verre, he left a fine body of work in Catholic churches around Wales and England. He also painted in watercolour, a medium in which he produced a distinctive body of work based on vernacular calligraphy, a technique in which the artist and poet David Jones was a major influence. Furthermore, he produced two published novels, a book of largely autobiographical essays, an illustrated book about the lakes of north Wales, and a biography of Clough Williams-Ellis, the architect of Portmeirion. In addition he made a substantial contribution in art education and was a generous mentor of many emerging artists. Jonah died on the 29th November 2004, aged 85.

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