Karl Owen

Karl Owen

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About the Maker

Karl Owen began his ceramic training at Neath College in South Wales before accepting a place on the HND Ceramics course at Falmouth School of Art and Design in the late 80s.

Karl then attended West Surrey University and completed his degree in Ceramics in 1992. After his course ended Karl worked at various schools and colleges in and around London running short ceramic-based projects.

Karl moved back to Falmouth in 1996, where he built and set up a studio out on the cliff top at Swanpool while working in various schools around Cornwall. He then settled at Cornwall College St Austell in 1999 as a part time lecturer in Ceramics. Karl left there in 2017 after 18 years as head of department.

Finally, Karl began to work jointly with Jane Smith to set up The Poly Pottery at The Poly in Falmouth. Over the last three years he has been teaching at the pottery and developing a range of functional and decorative ceramics.


Karl Owens current work revolves around the idea of beauty and simple aesthetic ceramic forms. Nature plays a large role in my inspiration for both the design and decoration of the pieces.

Karl endeavours to create a one off surface each time by capitalising on the unique characteristics of the plants and other organic materials that he collects locally. As a maker, Karl has the capacity to exploit the variables of surface, form and scale. He doesn’t necessarily want the surface to look too contrived or for each plant to be clearly identified on the surface, he looks for a random, layered and abstracted finish to the surface, this is to contradict the control used when throwing a piece of work.

The vessels are thrown in Stoneware or semi porcelain and are then highly burnished. This is to encourage the fuming process and to capture the delicate qualities of the materials Karl uses in the firing process.