Clive Bowen was born in Cardiff in 1943. Initially studying painting and etching at Cardiff College of Art from 1960 to 1964, Clive went on to train as an apprentice with Michael Leach at the Yelland Pottery in North Devon from 1965 until 1969. He worked alongside Michael Cardew at Wenford Bridge before setting up his own pottery in 1971 when he bought a small agricultural property at Shebbear, near Holsworthy in North Devon and set up a workshop in the former farm outhouses.
From his Devon studio, Clive produces slip-decorated earthenware pots, which he says are “… all basically to do with food and presenting food, I’ve always been about that.” Clive uses the local Fremington clay, a red earthenware clay used for centuries for traditional North Devon wares. His work is mostly wheel thrown with some hand-pressed dishes. Making their debut with us are new extruded vessels for flower displays, heavily influenced by Japanese vases.
Lately, he has been decorating his pieces whilst listening to music, often jazz. The rhythm and energy of the music is felt and channeled through his fingers, whether in direct contact with the slip or via slip trailing, combing and sgraffito.
Clive fires his work in his large double-chambered wood-firing kiln.
He is internationally known and respected for his powerful yet intimate pieces and highly regarded as one of Britain’s finest studio potters. His work is widely exhibited in the UK throughout Europe, North America and Japan.
Clive was made an honorary member fof the Craft Potters Association in 2020.