Denby Designers – Albert and Glyn Colledge

Author : Mike

Published : January 2, 2024

Designers For Denby– Albert and Glyn Colledge

The famous pottery at Denby, Derbyshire was founded in about 1809 by William Bourne and his son Joseph. Its beginnings were inauspicious – making salt-glazed stoneware containers for a myriad of domestic products from ink to beer. As the demand for stoneware bottles and jars declined with the introduction of glass containers the end of the 19th century, the pottery at Denby turned to the tableware, kitchenware and ornamental pottery for which it is now famous. Much of its fame is due to the unique designs of father and son Albert and Glyn Colledge.

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.

Glyn Colledge (b. 1922) joined Denby in the 1933 as a trainee modeller whilst also studying at the Burslem School of Art under the legendary Gordon Forsyth. After serving in the RAF during the Second World War he returned as a trainee designer working with his father Albert Colledge. His influence grew rapidly and in 1950 he succeeded his father as Denby’s chief designer. It is said that the long-running Danesby Ware was re-named Glyn Ware at the time. The ornamental Glyn Ware and Glynbourne Ware were to be important Denby products through the 1950s and 1960s, but Glyn Colledge’s influence was to be far wider, touching all of the Denby ware through both his own design philosophy and his collaboration with other designers for Denby including Kenneth Clark, Tibor Reich and, especially the former Langley Pottery designer Gill Pemberton. Glyn Colledge retired from Denby in 1983 to pursue the production of his own studio pottery. He died in 2000 at the age of 78.