Very spiecial Tien Mu Shan Japanese style beakers, made from porcelain with an iron rich glaze. These pieces are truly a triumph of wood firing, giving the dynamic display of iron transmutational colours during long wood firings. The reds, yellows and greens occur from long periods of heat work and natural fly ash landing on the pots resulting in a particular glaze effect known as tea dust leaving green and red speckles on the glaze.
Joseph Bull is young studio potter whose first independent studio opened in 2020 in Wotton-near-Woodstock, Oxfordshire. After graduating from University College Falmouth, with a degree in literature and creative writing, 2015, Joseph took up a one year apprenticeship with sculptor and studio potter Michel Francois helping set up Michel’s studio in Falmouth. Moving onto the Leach pottery as a studio volunteer Joseph was exposed to further Japanese pottery techniques and practises that helped shape his glaze aesthetics.
It wasn’t until being offered artist in residence at Egyptian painter Mohamed Abla’s Fayoum art centre in Egypt and The Pottery School run by Evelyn Porret; that Joseph’s experience with ceramic forms became inspired. Having spent nine months working in Egypt, discovering 9th century ceramics and lustre glaze techniques, along with running and teaching workshops in Fayoum and the German University in Cairo, Joseph felt that he should undertake more education in studio pottery within the United Kingdom. It was on invitation by Ian Morrison at his pottery, Knighton Mill pottery, Wiltshire on the recommendation of the Leach pottery’s lead potter Roelof Uys, that Joseph underwent 18 months training in Salt glazed ceramics with Ian which furthered his forms, proportions, throwing techniques and firing cycles.
During this time Joseph was being invited by anthropologist Dr Robin Wilson of Oxford University and the Wytham studios to become artist in residence at Harris Manchester College, Oxford. As part of his residency Joseph fired the University of Oxfords Anagama kiln on site in Wytham woods, Oxford. It is here where he started to combine European forms with Japanese wood firing techniques, making glazes from a variety of local tree species and clays.