Karl's journey as a potter
"Pottery is the art that connects me to the Earth"
Karl Burnett was born and raised on Tortola in The Virgin Islands and was formally introduced to pottery at the BVI High School in 2002. Immediately he fell in love with clay.
While still in High School Karl, practised hand building pottery at home and even built a small "dug out" kiln in his mother's garden. In his final term at High School, a new Ceramics Teacher who knew how to make pots on the potter's wheel gave him an introduction into the world of "throwing" on the wheel. At the time Karl was the only student in his Ceramics class.
Upon graduating from high school he convinced his family to purchase him an electric kiln and a pottery wheel, both of which he still uses today.
After much practice, trial, error, lots of reading and research, Karl taught himself how to make pottery on the potter's wheel and how to make his own glazes from raw materials which include some local materials. Karl loves his craft and enjoys sharing it with others through The Pottery Garden.
Development of the pottery garden
After years of practicing pottery as a hobby while working in different fields such as telecoms, Karl began selling his pottery from his pickup truck in 2013/14. It was then he began to yearn for a proper workshop studio and display gallery.
The five year journey to design and construct the grounds of The Pottery Garden began in 2014. The final product is the result of much hard work, dedication and sacrifice with most of the work being completed by Karl himself with the help of his wife Cristal, his young son, Kem, and his mother.
In 2017, Category 5 Hurricane Irma, like she did for so many, turned back the hands of time for The Pottery Garden. Karl and his team persevered and rebuilt. On March 9, 2019 The Pottery Garden was formally opened!
The Pottery Garden grounds features a workshop studio where all pieces of pottery are handmade with original style, a large and exceptional outdoor wood-fired kiln which is covered in beautiful local stone, a charming display studio showcasing and retailing finished pieces and a garden filled with a wide variety of local fruit trees and flowering and ornamental plants.
The long and exciting journey of The Pottery Garden continues. The grounds will evolve with additions to the garden and integration of a small café.
The Pottery Garden is truly an earthmade experience. All are welcome to explore this wonder, observe the pottery making process, ask questions, enjoy the finished pieces in the display gallery and, of course, take home a truly original handmade piece of Virgin Islands art.
Owner and Potter