Author and Potter Elizabeth MacNeal Sitting On Garden Steps

Pens, Pots and Pictures: An afternoon with Elizabeth MacNeal

Author Elizabeth MacNeal wearing a green smock dress in her garden

Congratulations to potter and author Elizabeth MacNeal, whose first novel The Doll Factory, a gripping 19th century tale of love, curiosity and possession set in London (published by Picador next year), is now also set to be adapted for TV by the team behind Netflix and ITV hit Marcella.

Mat Smith Photography had the pleasure of spending a few hours with Elizabeth in her home to take publicity shots a couple of weeks ago.

It was a bright hot day and we dodged both sun’s glare and garden sprinklers in Elizabeth’s secluded East London garden to shoot portraits for The Doll Factory book sleeve.


Author Elizabeth MacNeal relaxing crossed-legged in her garden shaded by large umbrella

Elizabeth’s favorite spot for editing and proof reading

Author and Potter Elizabeth MacNeal Sitting On Garden Steps

Outside the pottery studio

At the bottom of the garden lies Elizabeth’s potting studio, and to our delight we explored Elizabeth’s latest ceramic wares, packed and stacked in boxes, and lined on wooden shelves, dragging ourselves away only to make time for some more shots.

Elizabeth MacNeal in dungarees in her pottery studio

Surrounded by ceramics


Author Elizabeth MacNeal sitting crossed legged on her sofa with a serene expression, black and white

The best place for a spot of telly – shortly to be her own novel on screen!

We walked away from the shoot with a TV “must watch” tip from Elizabeth (Happy Valley, in case you wondered – we binge watched and can highly recommend), two beautiful handmade MacNeal cups (from which I drink coffee as I type today) plus the future anticipation of a thrilling novel to read and another TV series suggestion. Can’t wait.

Congratulations again, Elizabeth. We wish you every success with the television adaptation and future work!