Portmeirion Pottery was founded in 1960 when pottery designer Susan Williams-Ellis (daughter of Sir Clough williams-Ellis) and her husband, Euan Cooper-Willis took over a small pottery decorating company in Stoke on trent called A.E Gray. Susan Williams-Ellis had been working with A.E. Gray for some years, commissioning designs to sell at the gift shop in Portmeirion Village, the items bearing the backstamp "Gray's Pottery Portmeirionware". In 1961 the couple purchased a second pottery company, Kirkhams Ltd, that had the capacity to manufacture pottery, and not only decorate it. These two businesses were combined and Portmeirion Potteries was born.
Susan Williams-Ellis' early Portmeirion designs include Malachite (1960) and Moss Agate (1961). In 1963 Susan launched Totem. Totem's bold, tactile and abstract pattern coupled with its striking cylindrical shape propelled Portmeirion to the forefront of fashionable design.
With an ever-evolving reputation for striking design, Susan Williams-Ellis later created Magic City (1966) and Magic Garden (1970), but arguably Portmeirion's most recognised design is the Botanic Garden range, decorated with a variety of floral illustrations. It was launched in 1972 and is still made today