John Barker (1867-1943)
John Barker first started in art pottery in 1889 at the Leeds Art Pottery until 1893, then at Burmantofts for a short period.
He next went to the Bretby Art Pottery, at Woodville South Derbyshire, as head designer-decorator under the artist-owner, Henry Tooth, former manager artist at the Linthorpe Art Pottery (in Middlesborough, Yorkshire) between 1993 and 1899.
Following this John went to the Aller Vale Art Pottery, at Newton Abbott, Devon, as head designer-decorator, c.1899 - c.1904, then helped Charles Collard start his new pottery at Poole, Dorset in 1905.
In 1906 John Barker was head designer-decorator at the brand new, state of the art, Pountney & Co's. 'Bristol Pottery', at Fishponds in Bristol until 1908.
In 1908 he started his own Tor Vale Art Pottery at St. Marychurch, Devon which he ran until 1915. In 1915 he returned to the Royal Aller Vale & Watcombe Art Pottery, in Torquay, Devon where he remained as head designer-decorator until leaving for Australia in 1924.
His only two sons, Leo and Jack, had both taken returned soldiers passages to Australia and son Jack encouraged him to Australia to start the Narrogin Pottery Co. in 1924. Sadly business failed financially the following year in 1925 and he never practised pottery again. He devoted the rest of his life to art in painting and mastering the Australian landscape of Albany and South-west Western Australia.
Information supplied by: Andrew Barker, Gt.Grandson of John Barker