Elissa was born in Hemel Hempstead in 1967. Her mother, Alice Palser, trained in painting and sculpture then moved on to work sculpturally in ceramics. Since her studio was in their garden, Elissa used clay every day as a child and learnt lots of hand-building techniques at her mother’s knee. After completing a foundation course at Norwich School of Art, she went on to work in the voluntary sector and study academically in London. A move to Suffolk in 1999 enabled her to start working alongside her mother in her Suffolk studio, learning more about glazing and firing techniques. She now lives and works in Wales where she makes and paints each of her ceramic birds by hand which makes every one totally unique.