John Owen RCA

John Owen studied Furniture at Leicester and then the Royal College of Art. He was a contemporary of David Hockney while at the Royal. After leaving the Royal he worked as a designer for Sir Basil Spence and was part of his team that worked on Coventry cathedral. As part of this work he had to interpret idea’s by Spence as well as design fittings for artists such as Dame Elizabeth Frink and Hans Coper. He later became a designer for a section of ICI chemicals in Welyn Garden City.

His real love was teaching and he returned north to teach at the Leek School of Art and Design under the guidance of his old tutor John Littlewood.

John Owen – original design for wood carving

While teaching he also continued to create his own work, attending many craft fairs and exhibiting widely. He also undertook a number of commissions over the years many of them carvings and furniture for churches. Some of his best pieces can be seen in All Saints and St Edwards Churches in Leek, Staffordshire. For his relief carvings he works almost exclusively with pitch pine as this shows and accentuates the forms to great effect. Over the years this has meant numerous visits to architectural salvage yards to collect old beams (before they became fashionable). the place i remember visiting the most as a child was the late Les Oakes in Cheshire which was an aladins cave of curiosities. He was a big collector and had barns full of anything and everything.

John Owen – Alter piece, St Edwards Church, Leek



One Response to John Owen RCA

  1. John Pointon says:

    I was a student at Leek school of art from 70 – 73 and found John to be inspiring, I also found him to be a compassionate and thoughtful human being and thank of him for being an influence on me.

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