A prolific English ceramics desigtner working in the Stoke on Trent pottery industry from the 1920s to the 1980s.
From an early age she developed an interest in drawing and began her art education at night classes. In 1922 she joined A E Gray & co. partially as a means to gain entry t the Royal College of Art.
Her talents as a painter were soon discovered and she was soon producing her hand painted floral designs. In 1923 the company launched the Gloria Lustre range.
In 1929, motivated by her desire to design ceramic shapes in addition to decors, she broke away with her brother-in-law Albert Beeson to set up her own business, as Susie Cooper Potteries.
Susie worked for many other pottery firms, including Wedgwood. She was awarded the Royal Designer for Industry by the Royal Society of Arts in 1940, and in 1979 she received an OBE.
At the age of 80 she retired to live on the Isle of Man, where she died in 1995. Like other Potteries based ceramic designers such as Clarice Cliff, her work has become highly sought after and valued by pottery collectors.
Collecting Susie Cooper
With over seven decades of production there are a wide range of areas suitable for collecting. Many collectors favour the bright vibrant Art Deco hand painted patterns of the 1920s and early 1930s, others prefer the clean lines of the Kestrel shape with pastel floral patterns applied using the highest quality lithographs of their time. Which ever area you choose to collect, prices for Susie Cooper range from several hundreds of pounds for some of the stunning Art Deco items down to as little as a pound or two for a bone china plate or cup, so there is something out there to fit all budgets.
With the arrival of the internet collecting has changed considerably, the market place is now open globally to everyone who has access to a computer and websites like eBay have made collectors items more widely available. Although this is not seen by some as a good thing, it has helped collectors discover which items of Susie Cooper are more common than others and has also brought some real rarities into the market place. If you are thinking of starting a collection, then eBay is a good place to start, just read the descriptions carefully and check with the seller before bidding if something is unclear about an item (usually the photos!) If eBay is not your thing, items of Susie Cooper still fequently turn up in auction rooms and with dealers at antiques fairs, epecially some of the specialist Art Deco fairs or larger national events.