Be Braver About Doing Different Things With Sandra Owens

Sandra designs and makes bespoke pieces for architectural installation and interior spaces using a wide range of materials including ceramics, wood, plaster, plastics and concrete.


Design inspirations are derived from abstract digital photography of texture and imagined texture. The photograph captures physical and ephemeral memory cues of places visited. Sandra’s photographs can be art in themselves or inspiration for her textured work. Digital technology is used to translate ideas into two and three-dimensional surfaces designs, thus making memories permanent.

Digital technology is used to translate ideas into two and three-dimensional surfaces designs, thus making memories permanent. Digital tools give the maker the opportunity to innovate and keep the handmade vibrant and contemporary. Understanding and responding to material and process sits at the core of Sandra’s practice, both to inform making and to develop new working methods.


Sandra’s Key Points

  1. There is never a good time, so just do it.
  2. You will always find a reason not to.
  3. Be braver about doing different things.


Guest Links



Top Quotes

  • I don’t think I ever made a career choice.
  • I ended up in logistics after a career placement.
  • I did enjoy the cut and thrust of the project world, which explained my previous boredom.
  • I felt like my life was going nowhere.
  • The nature of project management meant I had to do a lot of travel.
  • My mum was terminally ill and I just thought, what is all of this for?
  • My mum was very much of the “war spirit” and we all have a bit of that.
  • We all have difficulties in life but at the end of the day, you have to get on with it.
  • A lot of your circumstances are how you react to them.
  • I returned to work after maternity and wasn’t really happy and involved a lot of time away.
  • A lot of things coming together made my decide that it was time to try something different.
  • I decided that was it and started college with all the 18-year-olds.
  • The success we have as a couple is down to the support of the other person.
  • You’re here for a good time, not a long time.
  • The bottom had fallen out of the world economy, who’s going to want to buy anything I make now.
  • The market fell really quite so I decided to do a masters degree.
  • The course I did, really confirmed to me that I was doing the right thing.
  • We had to have an income and I went back to doing what I did before.
  • When in a project management role, I always have to hold off on my “solve” mentality.
  • I never thought that there was anything that was a “blocker”. I certainly had to learn a lot of new things.
  • You’ve got to roll with the punches.
  • You’ve just got to go for it, at the end of the day is, you will always find a way.
  • I now have something that I am happy to do for the rest of my life.


Key Timestamps


  • 0:43 – Never really making a career choice.
  • 3:54 – Starting to get a little disillusioned.
  • 4:53 – Coming back to the UK.
  • 7:01 – The start of the family
  • 8:37 – A stiff upper lip
  • 10:40 – Returning to work and not being happy
  • 12:58 – The support of a loved one
  • 16:19 – Graduating in a financial crisis
  • 18:42 – How much do degrees matter?
  • 21:35 – We had to have an income
  • 25:26 – Being able to pick and choose work to fund a passion
  • 26:53 – The big thing
  • 28:47 – Key advice
  • 31:26 – Was it worth it?
  • 33:29 – Guest links