China, Pottery & Porcelain

Susan Williams-Ellis 1918 – 2007

Pictured: Susan Williams-Ellis’ name appears in the last advertisement for products from Gray’s Pottery, published in Pottery and Glass, August 1961
Gray’s Pottery was sold to Susan Williams-Ellis and her husband Euan Cooper-Willis on 1st January 1960. The decision to sell had emerged through a long-standing friendship between AE Gray Read more

Joan Gray 1918 – 2001

The daughter of AE Gray from his second marriage. Joan was a designer and journalist prior to her marriage to Ronald Bailey, a senior British diplomat, whose career took them to many parts of the world. Joan Gray trained at Burslem School of Art, achieving success in craft and Read more

Anna Edith (Nancy) Catford 1905 – 1992

Nancy, as she was universally known, attended Sidcot School, Somerset, as a boarder where her lifelong interest in art began. After experimenting herself she learned woodcarving from Mr Parker at Letchworth, subsequently attending the School of Woodcarving in South Kensington. In the 1930s she moved to the Staffordshire Potteries Read more

Sam Talbot 1902-1968

A designer at Gray’s Pottery from 1925 until 1959, taking the role of Art Director soon after Susie Cooper left in 1929. He became a Board member in 1941 and was later appointed Joint Managing Director with Robin Gray. Mr Talbot left in 1959 to take up a similar Read more

Dorothy Tomes

Examples of patterns in production just after Susie Cooper had left (October 1929) and which may be attributable to Dorothy Tomes. These are all freehand painted designs:

Square plate, 8846, 135 sq, mark H4.
Paris jug, 9061 Hampton, 104 high, mark H4.
Coffee can & saucer, 8755, can 54 dia, mark H4.
Paris jug, Read more

Susie Cooper 1902-1995

Pictured: Susie Cooper being interviewed by BBC Radio Stoke’s presenter Pat Lawrence at the opening of the Gray’s Pottery exhibition in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, February 1982.
Much has been written about this extraordinary designer, an icon throughout twentieth-century ceramic design. ‘Susie Cooper – A Pioneer of Modern Design’, 2002, Andrew Casey and Ann Eatwell, Read more

Gordon Forsyth 1879-1952

Pictured: Gordon M Forsyth – image from Art and Craft of the Potter,
GM Forsyth, 1934, courtesy Chapman & Hall
Ann Eatwell wrote an extensive scholarly treatise on Gordon Forsyth which was published in The Journal of the Decorative Arts Society 1850 to the present, Number 13 (1989): ‘Artists as Educators’. Read more

Jack Bond 1901-1987

Pictured: An image of George ‘Jack’ Bond taken in the 1950s
Jack Bond had a distinguished military career, retiring in 1957 as a Major-General. As a young Lieutenant in the early 1920s he was fairly impecunious but an excellent amateur artist. In discussions between AE Gray and his son-in-law Ronald Read more

John Guildford

Left Gray’s Pottery in 1922 and went to Barker Brothers of Longton, Stoke-on-Trent, where some of his designs (eg Arabesque, The Storm) carry his name as part of the backstamp or within the design.
The only written reference to his design work for Gray’s Pottery is an illustration of a Read more