Skip to main content

Vessel: C.48-2017

An image of Vessel

Terms of use

These images are provided for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons License (BY-NC-ND). To license a high resolution version, please contact our image library who will discuss fees, terms and waivers.

Download this image

Creative commons explained - what it means, how you can use our's and other people's content.

Alternative views

Object information

Current Location: Gallery 27 (Glaisher)


Maker: Owen, Elspeth




Pinched clay vessel, decorated with slips and burnished.

Tall bowl, hand-built by pinching, with thin gently curved walls rising from a small rounded base to a wide open mouth, the whole not quite symmetrical. Layers of coloured slip are painted over the surface, inside and outside. The vessel has been burnished, low-fired to around 1000oc and lightly polished with beeswax.


History note: Oxford Ceramics Gallery, 29 Walton St, Oxford, from where purchased by the donors

Legal notes

Given by Nicholas and Judith Goodison through The Art Fund

Measurements and weight

Diameter: 20 cm
Height: 15 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Grantchester ⪼ Cambridgeshire ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (2017-11-20) by Goodison, Nicholas and Judith


21st Century, Early
Elizabeth II
Circa 2010 CE - 2017 CE


Elspeth Owen (b.1938), came to ceramics after a BA in modern history at Oxford and engagement with the Women’s Movement in the 1970s. She lives in Grantchester, near Cambridge. Elspeth produces pinched pots, each from a single ball of clay, which are then finished with subtly coloured slips, burnished, fired (sometimes with smoke) and polished. Her delicate open bowls, pillows and jars explore form, texture, tactility and colour. Finely balanced on small rounded bases, their body and surface suggest natural materials, landscape or perhaps egg-shell. She describes the thin permeable walls as ‘suggesting a link between inside and outside which has ‘fluency and ease. Water can seep in and out. A breath might pass through'. She chooses not to mark her pots.

School or Style

Studio Ceramics

Components of the work


Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Pinching : Pinched clay, painted with slips, burnished and polished

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: E O 137
  • Location: Underside of base
  • Method of creation: Rectangular paper label printed in black
  • Type: Label

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.48-2017
Primary reference Number: 223082
Entry form no.: 1346
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Tuesday 19 December 2017 Updated: Friday 14 August 2020 Last processed: Friday 16 February 2024

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Vessel" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-06-18 23:29:04

Citation for Wikipedia

To cite this record on Wikipedia you can use this code snippet:

{{cite web|url= |title=Vessel |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-06-18 23:29:04|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

API call for this record

To call these data via our API (remember this needs to be authenticated) you can use this code snippet:

Bootstrap HTML code for reuse

To use this as a simple code embed, copy this string:

<div class="text-center">
    <figure class="figure">
        <img src=""
        class="img-fluid" />
        <figcaption class="figure-caption text-info">Vessel</figcaption>

Sign up for updates

Updates about future exhibitions and displays, family activities, virtual events & news. You'll be the first to know...