Owen Thorpe’s artistic journey began at Harrow Art School, where he studied painting and lithography, earning his NDD (National Diploma in Design) in 1961. He further pursued his passion for art through teacher training at Southampton University, completing his ATD (Art Teacher’s Diploma) in 1962.

In 1968, Owen embarked on a pottery adventure alongside Michael Dowdeswell in Southgate, London. While largely self-taught, he received valuable guidance from Michael Casson, whose unwavering advice and demonstrations set him on the right path.

In 1969, Owen established his own pottery studio in Ealing, London. Being located in a densely populated suburb, electric firing became the primary method available for his pottery creations. During this period, he not only built his business during the day but also shared his knowledge by teaching pottery classes in Fulham and the South Kensington Institute in the evenings.

Recognised for his contributions to the craft, Owen was elected as a Fellow of the Craft Potters’ Association in 1974, a prestigious acknowledgment of his skill and dedication.

In 1975, Owen relocated to Priestweston, Shropshire, seeking new inspiration and surroundings. In 1980, he moved to Churchstoke, Powys, only to return to Priestweston in 2000, continuing his creative journey in a place that resonated with his artistic spirit.

Through his lifelong pursuit of pottery, Owen Thorpe has left an indelible mark on the craft and has become a respected figure in the artistic community.

The process

Each pottery creation is meticulously handcrafted with precision and care. The process begins by throwing the clay on a wheel, shaping it into the desired form while skillfully turning it to create the footring that provides stability. The handles are then applied and the rims are delicately carved, adding unique touches to each piece.

After this initial shaping, the pots undergo their first firing. Emerging from the kiln, they possess strength but maintain their porous nature, akin to flower pots. To enhance their aesthetic appeal and provide a smooth, white, or cream background color, the pots are carefully dipped in a glaze.

Next comes the intricate stage of hand painting, where names, dates, images, and quotations are meticulously applied to the pottery as required. Brushwork decoration is skillfully placed around the lettering, adding a final flourish to the design.

To complete the transformation of the pot into a durable stoneware piece, the base glaze, along with all the intricate decoration and lettering, undergoes another firing. This firing brings the pottery to stoneware temperature, ensuring its durability and lasting beauty.

For designs that incorporate special enamels, lustres, or metals like gold or silver, an additional firing is necessary to achieve the desired effect, adding a touch of opulence to the final creation.

Throughout each step of this meticulous process, the utmost attention to detail is maintained, resulting in exceptional pottery pieces that are both visually stunning and durable.