After studying at Chisholm Institute of Technology, Victoria in the early 1980s, Phil receieved an Australia Council Crafts Board Grant to train with Vic Greenway at Broomhill Pottery at Upper Beaconsfield, Victoria. This was followed by further training experience with Richard Brooks at Boorlie Pottery, Sydney. It was during that time, says Phil, that he became strongly influenced by the traditional English and Japanese approaches to making pots. These influences continue to be evident in his work while the shapes and glazes fit perfectly into today’s domestic environment.
After working for a time in a number of Victorian potteries, Phil established Trentham Pottery in Central Victoria in 1989. In 2001 he relocated a little further north in Central Victoria to Castlemaine, where he has built a new studio and re-established his business as Phil Elson Pottery. Phil now works full time from his studio in regional Victoria.