John Garrett was raised in southern New Mexico by parents who were both educators. They instilled in him an appreciation for the handmade with their collections of Native American arts and crafts. He moved to Claremont, California, to attend college at Claremont Men's College (now Claremont McKenna College.) Following his desire to make things by hand, he enrolled in a weaving class by Marion Stewart at Scripps College in 1970. His intrigue with the tools, systems and materials involved in weaving and other textile constructions led him to take other courses with Neda Al-Hilali a year later, also at Scripps. He did graduate work at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he studied with Bernard Kester and Vasa. He taught at various schools in the Los Angeles area from 1972 to 1988. In 1990 he returned to New Mexico to live in Los Chavez and Taos until settling in Albuquerque in 1996. He has continued to teach workshops nationally in creativity and alternative sculptural basket making. John has exhibited throughout the United States for over thirty years in hundreds of exhibitions, as well as in Europe, Africa and Asia. His work has been widely acquired by museums and collectors.