Anthea Bowen

I made my first pot at the age of six when I tagged along with my mum to her pottery evening classes. Mum was a talented potter and I have a few pieces of her work, which I love for their liveliness, their evocation of the 1960’s and of course the fact that she made them!

I rekindled my affection with clay in 2003, fitting in pottery classes around family commitments and my work as a photographic producer. For five years I was a regular student at Richard Phethean’s classes, who’s generous teaching style has been key to my own development as a potter. The social aspect and friendships that developed from the shared learning and enjoyment of all things clay was an added bonus!

In 2016 I decided to free up more time to focus on and develop my pottery style and skills. As I became more immersed in the processes of making, I found that the things that excited me most about ceramics were the subtlety of form, how a line or glaze affects that form, the freedom of marks and the transmission of energy and soul that each potter expresses in the form of a pot.

Early in 2019 the dream to create my own pottery studio was realised, and I am now very fortunate to be creating ceramics full time in my own space.

Ideas for new pieces are conceived during walks along the coastline close to my studio in Cornwall. I love the soft lines and the positive and negative space created by the juxtaposition of sea-worn rounded boulders, the textures of the rock, the beautiful fine lines running through pebbles, how seaweed is left draped in flowing shapes by the receding tide, shiny water, matt rock, ripples in sand, dark against light, edges, textures … all these elements come together to inspire new collections of work. Making is a meditation for me and it is wonderfully easy to get lost in the process!  I mostly hand build, either working with coils and slabs of clay or throwing and altering forms.  Each piece emerges slowly and ideas will evolve during the making process.

I love to then return to the beach with the completed pot, to photograph the piece within the environment that inspired it, bringing the creative process full circle.


Drawing by kind permission of Clive Blackmore