A unique casting process
Julian founded his own company immediately after graduating from London's Royal College of Art in 2010. His aim was to pursue the Pixel Vase project he'd developed while studying, which gained widespread attention at his end of year show in 2010.
His Pixel Casting Machine is a system for making vases that are unique every time, despite coming from the same mould. Plaster rods can be pushed in and out to change the shape of the cavity inside the mould, which he then casts in earthenware. "I've created an interface," he explains. "You can't really make mistakes with it and you're actually making something that is very technical, which couldn't be made by hand."
The resulting range of vases, dishes and cups features a stepped outline as though the clay surface had been pixellated on a computer screen. Due to the unique outline of each piece - stepping out in some places and inwards in others - the silhouette changes when seen from different angles. "Unlike vases thrown on a wheel, with these every view you take of it has a completely different profile," says Julian.
Working in small batches of 20 to 30 pieces - dictated by the sized of the kiln - he casts, dries, fires and glazes every piece at his own studio, a shared workspace inside a former peanut-packing factory in the creative east London district of Bow.
Before studying product design at the Royal College, Julian gained a bachelors degree in architecture from the prestigious Bartlett School of Architecture. He then worked in practice for a year, making models for an architecture studio in Farringdon, and still undertakes architectural projects alongside his product design work.
He cites Brutalist structures as an influence on his work, and there's a parallel with the surfaces of his products, which show the marks left behind by the casting process. "I love buildings like the Hayward Gallery and Royal Festival Hall, and the roughness and the rawness of the concrete they're made from," he says. "You can see the texture from the original moulds that they used and it's like a memory - it shows you the process and it's very honest."