Susie Cooper

Susie Cooper

Susie Cooper was one of the United Kingdom's most prolific and successful ceramic designers. Her career spanned over seven decades and encompassed some of the iconic periods of the Twentieth Century.

Born in Stanfields, Stoke-on-Trent, she was the youngest of seven children. From an early age she developed an interest in drawing, and began her art education by attending night classes at the Burslem School of Art. In 1922 she joined A.E. Gray & Co. Ltd, partially as a means to gain entry to the Royal College of Art.

A. Edward Gray quickly discovered her talents as a painter and designer, and soon enough Susie was producing her hand-painted floral designs. In 1923 A.E.Gray launched the Gloria Lustre Range employing the technique of lustreware. In 1929, motivated by her desire to design ceramic shapes in addition to decors, she broke away with her brother-in-law Albert "Jack" Beeson to set up her own business, as Susie Cooper Potteries.

Susie worked for many other pottery firms over the next several decades, including Wedgwood. In 1940 she was awarded the Royal Designer for Industry by the Royal Society of Arts, and in 1979 she received an OBE. By all accounts Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother was an admirer of her work.

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 and Charlotte Rhead, her work has become highly sought after and valued by pottery collectors.