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Jun Murashima

     As a young man, Jun Murashima decided he wanted to become a potter. Leaving Tokyo behind, Murashima set forth on a search throughout Japan for an instructor. Few wanted to take on a beginner, but Murashima remained diligent in his search, finally finding a studio in Echizen. He met a group of novice potters who agreed to teach him in nearby Miyazaki Village. Eventually, he was invited to fill a vacancy at their studio where he worked for four years. 

     Early in his career, Murashima made a variety of functional items such as plates, cups, and bowls. He approached numerous galleries in Tokyo to sell his work but found little success. On these trips, he noted few galleries featured teapots. Hoping to fill that void in the market, he began exclusively producing teapots. Murashima’s insightful decisions quickly led to increased sales and numerous invitations to exhibit. Distinct from other potters, Murashima fires a small kiln, originally designed by American potter Frederick Olsen. He initially chose this kiln because it enabled him to fire his glazed, utilitarian ware quickly. As his career progressed, his treatments of the surface changed. Murashima stopped glazing his teapots and began relying solely on the wood-firing technique for surface treatments. He also extended the firing from one to four days in order to build greater ash deposits and variety of color on his teapots. Much like Yixing teapots, exported from China, Murashima’s teapots are small in size, usually ranging from four to five inches in height and three to four inches in width. His pots often have a metallic, copper finish and areas with greater ash deposits shimmer with blue and black hues. The surface texture often resembles stone and is covered with subtle pits, appearing rough, but remaining soft to the touch 

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