Alan Brough was born in 1924 in Wilmslow, Cheshire. His father (also Alan Brough) was a Manchester sculptor, well-known for his busts of George V and George VI and for his carving in coal of coalminers working at the face. After studying at the Camberwell School of Art in London from 1946 to 1950 he became a potter. He won the first prize of £200 at the International Handicraft Exhibition at Earls Court in 1953 for his exhibit - a three-legged bowl.
In 1956 he started Deacon Pottery in Central London with his friend from art school, Tony Deacon. By 1968 his reputation was such that when Bill Marshall had to give up some of his duties at the Leach Pottery to assist Bernard Leach, who was getting too old to throw his own pots, Bernard asked Alan to to come to St Ives to take care of organising the students' work and learning activities.
He stayed at the Leach for four years before starting his own pottery, Alan Brough Pottery, in nearby Newlyn, Cornwall. He now lives just outside Penzance, and does his potting in a small workshop not far from home. Alan's work is noted for his attention to form. He works mainly in porcelain and stoneware, and his work is now sold at the Leach Pottery.