Katherine Pleydell-Bouverie was born in Coleshill, Berkshire in 1895. She served in the Red Cross in France during the First World War, and then studied the arts, including pottery, at night school in London from 1921 to 1923. She met Bernard Leach in 1923 at an exhibition at the Paterson Gallery and convinced him to take her on as a student. She subsequently joined the Leach Pottery in St. Ives in 1924, when Michael Cardew, Tsurunosuke Matsubayashi, Edgar Skinner and George Dunn were working there. Following her year-long training at the pottery she returned to Coleshill and set up her own workshop, building a wood firing kiln with the help of Matsubayashi. She was joined in 1928 by fellow potter Norah Braden and they went on to produce independent work over the next eight years, drawing both on the orientalist ideas of Bernard Leach and the modernist value of minimalism. They experimented with producing a wide range of ash glazes using wood from the local area and kept careful records of the recipes, marking each pot accordingly.
Braden left Coleshill in 1936 to care for her ailing mother and Pleydell-Bouverie continued to work there until 1946, when she moved to Kilmington Manor in Wiltshire. There she built an oil kiln and then an electric one. She exhibited widely in the 1960s and 70s, including several times at Kettle's Yard in Cambridge, and from 1980 to 1981 she was given a retrospective exhibition at the Crafts Study centre in Bath. Pleydell-Bouverie died at Kilmington Manor in 1984.