Chronology of Designers
In order to fulfil his ambition AE Gray needed competent designers in his company. Some of these would be known and well-established in their field, others would be young and ambitious – the designers of the future. He therefore encouraged the development and training of young people, not just in his works, but also in the Art Schools of Stoke-on-Trent. It was in 1920 that the renowned designer Gordon Forsyth left his position as Chief Artist at Pilkington’s Tile & Pottery Co in Manchester in order to become Head of the Art School at Burslem in Stoke. Soon after that he became the Principal of all the City’s Schools of Art. Gray and Forsyth forged a partnership in many areas of mutual interest, resulting in the flow of high-quality pottery design and decorating personnel into the potteries in general which, naturally, included Gray’s Pottery.
It is against this background that the various designers at Gray’s Pottery, well-known and not-so-well-known, should be assessed. As stressed in other areas of this website, the lack of written data, the absence of pattern books in particular, makes an accurate attribution of patterns and designers impossible. The following list of designers is based on the evidence currently available: