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.
His pots are made from the local Fremington clay, a red earthenware clay in use for centuries for traditional North Devon wares. They are almost all wheel thrown with the exception of a few hand-pressed dishes.
Clive produces slip-decorated earthenware pots in a country style with a sparse but fluid and vigorous trailing of the slip in free-flowing abstract or stylised patterns incorporating combing and sgraffito. They are fired in his large double-chambered woodfiring kilns.
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 of the Craft Potters Association in 2020.