John Bedding moved to St. Ives from London in the late 1960s. He worked with Bernard Leach, first as an apprentice and later, after a year in France, as a member of staff. In 1978 it was arranged for John to study in Tamba, Japan, he became only the second potter sent to Japan by the Leach’s. There he worked for a year, and on returning to England he set up his own pottery, firstly in Penzance, then Trencrom and finally in St. Ives – where in 1991 he established St Ives Pottery now known as St Ives Ceramics. He worked there until in 1998 he moved his workshop to The Gaolyard Studios, a complex of nine independent studios that John set up as affordable pottery workshops much needed in the town.
In 1993 John had a year long solo exhibition at the Tate St Ives, and in 2003 “Sky Arts Channel” made a 30 minute film of John’s working practice, techniques, and philosophy called “Fired Earth”. John now mainly works for exhibitions and stocking his own Gallery. This has given him an independence that allows him to experiment with a wide range of pottery styles and techniques. He was a founding trustee for the restored Leach Pottery and although no longer on the board he was made “Honorary Leach Potter ” for his advice and efforts towards its restoration.