A WANTAGE carpenter is using his technical skills to create ‘portraits’ of local businesses that specialise in handcrafted products.

Jamie Clayton has painted the gin-making equipment at The Oxford Artisan Distillery, which is now on display at the site next to South Park, Oxford.

The 31-year-old, who works as a cabinet maker and is professionally known as J C Clayton, brings the precision of his day-job to his art and hopes to capture the distinctive spirit of his subjects.

He has also painted potters at work and other distilleries as he builds up a collection with a view to hosting an exhibition in the near future.

He said: “I didn’t realise there was a gin distillery right in the heart of Oxford and when I heard about it, I had to go along.

“I happened to visit when they were celebrating their first birthday and I knew I wanted to paint it straight away.

“I was instantly stunned by the beauty of the copper stills and in awe of the equipment.

“I’ve tried to depict that moment in time for TOAD and what they are trying to achieve there.”

TOAD started in July 2017, creating hand-crafted spirits from grain to glass.

The company runs regular tours and visitors are being given a chance to see the artwork until December.

Mr Clayton added: “I am interested in refined crafts, not big industrial processes.

“I like the idea of taking something that not everyone gets the chance to see and showing them what it is really like.

“I want to bring out the character of places and what makes them unique.

“Rather than painting portraits of people, I am trying to paint portraits of interesting objects.”

The distinctive copper stills, used in the gin-making process, were built by engineers at South Devon Railway Engineering, one of the greatest historical industrial coppersmiths in England.

A statement from the company said: “It was a match made in heaven when J C Clayton approached us with a proposal to paint our still, Nautilus.

“We couldn’t be happier with the results and we thank Mr Clayton for his dedication and talent.”

See jcclayton.co.uk