Histories of UK potters and pottery manufacturers

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© Michael Perry 2011. Contact

Image courtesy of Lema Publishing Ltd, publishers of ‘Tableware International’ www.tablewareinternational.com

Last updated: 1st August 2011


Albert Colledge

Albert College joined Denby as a caster in the early years of the 20th century. His talents were quickly recognised and following his return from the First World War in 1918 he became head of Denby’s newly established decorating department – a departure for Denby that had relied on its glazes. Colledge rose to be the company’s chief in-house designer, only ceding the position to his son Glyn in 1950. He remained, however, an important Denby designer, collaborating with his son in many of Denby’s most successful lines until his retirement. Albert Colledge is best known for his ‘Greenwheat’ stoneware tableware introduced in 1956 and produced until 1977.

Douglas Stone

John Douglas Stone was an industrial chemist who joined Denby in the 1940s and was responsible for the stoneware bodies and glazed used by the company through its heyday in the 1960s and 1970s. He developed the glaze for the successful ‘Greenwheat’ wares and was responsible for the body and the soft semi-matte glazes used on the 1960s Glyn Ware and 1970s Glynbourne ware. He became a director of the company in the early-1970s and retired in 1982. Douglas Stone died in December 2002, aged 85.

Glyn Colledge

Glyn Colledge, son of Albert joined Denby in the early-1930s as a trainee modeller whilst also studying at the Burslem School of Art under the renowned Gordon Forsyth. He returned to the Pottery following the Second World War as a trainee designer under the tutelage of his father, whilst continuing studies at the Derby College of Art.

From the early-1950s Colledge’s influence on Denby’s design increased, eventually replacing his father as Denby’s chief designer and artist. The 1960s and 1970s were a highpoint in the production of Denby art wares designed and decorated under the supervision of Glyn Colledge. He was later a Director of the company and the Manager for new product development. In 1983 he retired (aged 61), and began the production of art pottery from his own studio, whilst consulting to the pottery industry. Glyn Colledge died in September 2000 at the age of 78.

Glyn Colledge is best known for the Denby’s hand-painted stoneware (Glyn Ware and Glynbourne Ware) produced in the 1960s and 1970s. His influence, however, was much wider and as the effective art director for Denby his creative vision influenced the work of other Denby designers including Gillian Pemberton and Kenneth Clarke. Other wares particularly associated with Glyn Colledge are the tall ‘Cheviot’ vases from the late-1950s, and the ‘Cloissone’, and ‘Tapestry’ ornamental ware from the same period. Under Glyn Colledge’s influence, Denby also produced some of its most memorable tableware patterns from the eternal ‘Greenwheat’ of the mid-1950s to the more modern Chevron, Arabesque, Ode and Troubador of the 1960s and 1970s.

Gillian Pemberton

Gillian Pemberton studied at the Birmingham School of Art, specializing in pottery, and at the Royal College of Art where she studied the production of industrial ceramics. She began work as a designer and modeller at the Langley Mill Pottery, which had been acquired by Denby in 1959, working on the pottery floor with the throwers, turners and decorators.  Pemberton’s most recognised designs are ‘Chevron’ released in 1962 and Arabesque (1963), however, with Glyn Colledge and Denby’s freelance designers, she was responsible for many of the other iconic Denby shapes and patterns of the 1960s and 1970s. Gillian Pemberton left Denby in 1981 to pursue interests outside the pottery industry.

Tibor Reich

Tibor Reich was a textile designer and manufacturer who ran a substantial textile weaving and printing business. Reich was born in Hungary and came to Britain in the 1930s as a fugitive from Nazism. He trained in architecture and design and in 1945 opened his own textile manufacturing business, Tibor Ltd, in Stratford-on-Avon. His design philosophy was influenced by his contact with the Bauhaus during his education in Vienna, and many of his designs were simple repeat patterns in strong colours. Although primarily a textile designer his talents were wide-ranging and in addition to the striking ‘Tigo Ware’ produced by Denby, he worked with interior decorators, furniture manufacturers and industrial designers, creating fabrics for, amongst others, Lotus cars, Concorde and the library at Windsor Castle. Carpets and greeting cards were also part of the Tibor Reich range. Tibor Reich closed his business in 1978 and he died in 1996 aged eighty.

Other Denby designers

Other Denby designers include: Donald Gilbert, David Yorath (Studio Ware, Potters Wheel), and Alice Teichner.