Elspeth Owen (born 1938) is one of the most sensitive of British hand-builders, her delicately pinched pods, bowls, globes and plaques reach back to early history in their simplicity and directness. Treated with slips, some of her surfaces, often smoke-fired, have a considerable range of colour, their construction and texture quietly expressive of the cup of the hand and the work of the fingers on the clay. The materials she uses are intimate, and it is the intimacy of her making and of her very distilled forms that can get under the skin.
Making pots is a meditative process for Owen, but traditional skill and craft are also gentle acts of resistance and dissent in an age dominated by technology and capitalism. Owen studied at Oxford University before taking up pottery in the mid 1970s. She has long lived and worked in Grantchester, near Cambridge.