Portmeirion was founded in 1960 by the legendary pottery designer Susan Williams-Ellis and her husband Euan Cooper-Willis. Susan sadly passed away in November 2007 but her philosophy of creating collections that are not only beautiful but also functional and affordable lives on at Portmeirion.
Susan was born on the 6th June 1918 to the architect Sir Clough Williams-Ellis, the architect and creator of Portmeirion Village in North Wales, and his wife Amabel. Susan’s life was spent socialising with and being taught by creative talents such as Bernard and David Leach, Henry Moore and Graham Sutherland and, keeping such interesting company, her innate feeling for shape, form and pattern flourished. The opportunity to use those skills came along when her father, Clough, asked her to create some ceramic gifts for the shop at Portmeirion Village.
Following the success and increasing demand for this pottery, in 1960 Susan and Euan purchased A. E. Gray Ltd., a small pottery decorating company based in Stoke-on-Trent. This was followed by the purchase of a second pottery company, Kirkhams Ltd., that had the capacity to not only decorate the pottery but also make it. This allowed Susan to design both shape and surface pattern which, in the 1960s, was considered quite unique. These two businesses were combined and Portmeirion Potteries was born. In fact, Portmeirion Potteries continues to manufacture Susan's designs as well as others in the same factory in Stoke-on-Trent to this very day.