Albert Edward Gray was a visionary in his quest to improve the quality of design as applied to the staple products of north Staffordshire's potteries. It was his experiences at his first employer, HG Stephenson of Manchester, which set him on a life-long path associated with design, art and industry. He became a salesman with that company, with pottery and glass among his principal lines. Although without formal art training of any kind, he began to feel doubts about the artistic quality of the pottery that he was selling, doubts which were echoed by many of his customers.
His ambition became clear: to establish his own factory to produce high quality, inexpensive pottery of good design. It was a goal that he achieved within twenty years of arriving in Stoke-on-Trent.
Though an 'incomer' to the Potteries, a community once renowned for its parochial attitudes, AE Gray developed an influence and respect which was to earn him a place on local and national arts-based organisations. Both he and his company received regular positive Press coverage on their activities:
AE Gray's efforts were also noted and praised by his peers. At the time of concentration of pottery activities during the Second World War, Josiah Wedgwood (the Vth) wrote to the Head of the Board of Trade, Sir Cecil Weir, in September 1941 outlining the potential loss to the industry if Gray's Pottery was forced to close. (Illustration 4:)