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Andrew Casey, founder of the Susie Cooper Collectors Club, has curated several major Susie Cooper exhibitions, while Ann Eatwell, an assistant curator at the V&A, curated the major 1987 retrospective exhibition Susie Cooper Productions.

It is a pity that in this, Susie Cooper’s centenary year, there is no major exhibition devoted to the work of this most influential British pottery designer, one of the most important tableware designers to have come out of the Potteries in the 20th century.

While her star fluctuates with buyers and sellers, Susie Cooper’s story fits in well with today’s enterprise culture; as a woman in an industry run by men, she was one of the few females in the history of the British ceramics industry to own and control a large pottery factory. A creative but practical designer with a very keen marketing nous and a fashion leader, she was also a shrewd businesswoman.

From the early 1930s, the distinctive Susie Cooper style of decoration emerged, featuring her pioneering hand-painted banding, crayon, polka dot and stylised flowers, with an emphasis on the handcrafted studio look. At this time she was producing 200 new designs a year as well as running a major business.

Tapping in exactly to the tastes of the newly emergent middle class and younger markets, so successfully an innovator was she, that she sold her ware widely in both home and export markets. It was always a winner, decoratively modern, practical and affordable.

The articles in this book cover the Susie Cooper style, her art wares and her bone china, as well as discussing her connection with Wedgwood, and there is a good chapter by Ann Eatwell, Unknown Ceramics. Cheryl Buckley’s contribution is Susie Cooper in Context, which discusses women and design in 1930s Britain; while Andrew Casey writes on Marketing Susie Cooper Pottery.

There is a useful and thorough resource file, with books, selected articles, backstamps and a glossary of techniques, plus a list of the employees at the Susie Cooper Pottery. Good reference for Susie Cooper, who worked in the Potteries until the summer of 1986 when she was 84 and continued designing ceramics and textiles until her death in 1995.

Potteries’ longevity comes with the saying of the people who love the industry that “they have slip rather than blood flowing in their veins”.