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Franny Owen

Fibre: structure and surface 2022

Taking voluntary redundancy to embark on a career in ceramics at the age of sixty was a leap in the dark, but it felt like now or never. 


I’m largely self-taught and there are still plenty of opportunities to learn from my mistakes, but I’ve also been fortunate to attend excellent workshops and masterclasses, notably with Akiko Hirai. 


I’ve always been motivated by curiosity, so I’m drawn to experimentation with ceramic materials and techniques.  Currently, I work with porcelain or stoneware clays and almost all my work is thrown, sometimes altered, sometimes with hand-formed additions.  Developing a working understanding of glaze chemistry is little by little helping me gain fluency with surface textures and treatments. 


While I’m still very new to ceramics I often feel like an adolescent daemon who hasn’t yet settled into adult form, but I’m also very focussed on trying to hone a tactile and silent – but eloquent - form of expression that is capable of evoking memories and feelings.  My goal is to embody emotional experiences in material objects and for these feelings to resonate in a physical space.  I’ve recently discovered that this aligns closely with the Japanese concept of Mono No Aware, which can be translated approximately as ‘the feeling of things’. 


Narrative is important in my work and the pieces in each collection are part of a story.

The story of Crucible imagines a world in a time warp where these clay artefacts continue to be used in ancient rituals that persist alongside space age technologies and artificial intelligence.  Crucible is a collection of pieces that are both ancient and modern; ceremonial and utilitarian; mysterious yet deeply familiar.

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