A E Gray and Co are probably best known as the company that first employed Susie Cooper as a designer. They operated from around 1912 to 1933 in Hanley and from 1934 to 1961 in Stoke.
Susie Cooper started there as a paintress in around 1922, working her way up to resident designer in the seven years that she was there.
Gray's produced tableware for the hotel at Portmeirion, North Wales, owned by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis. His daughter, Susan, ran the gift shop, and in the 1950s approached A E Gray, who was a friend of her father, asking him to decorate a range of pottery for sale in the shop.
The range was successful, and by the end of the fifties Gray's were finding it difficult to satisfy the demand. In 1960 Susan Williams-Ellis bought out first Gray's and then Kirkhams who produced the blanks for Gray's to decorate. On January, 1, 1961, the two firms were combined under the name of Portmeirion Pottery.