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.
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, 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 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 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.