REG JOHNSON STUDIO POTTER
Mr Reginald Johnson has been described as a "larger than life character," and this can certainly be seen by the wonderful items that he created.
Reginald Johnson was born in October 1909. He attended Middleport Elementary School. Reginald became a student at Burslem College of Art at the age of 12, where he studied under Gordon Forsythe and Harry Tittensor.
In 1923, at the age of 14, Reg Johnson joined Royal Doulton as an apprentice artist. He was the only student to receive direct tuition from the renowned art director at the time, Charles Noke. One of his first recorded pieces was an imposing Cathedral vase which was modelled by Charles Noke and painted by Reg.
In 1930 Reg Johnson left Royal Doulton and joined Plants of Longton, (later known as Royal Tuscan), initially on a loan basis, to carry out a special commission for Plants, however Plants enticed him to leave Doulton in order to take up a designing postion with them. Royal Doulton protested and the case was taken up with the Pottery Federation and is possibly the only case involving apprentice enticement. Plants were made to pay a fine.
Reginald Johnson was persuaded to join Paragon China as Chief Designer in 1936, he later became the Art Director. He brought new cup shapes and designs to the Longton factory, he also designed and produced a range of high quality figurines well up to the Doulton standards. He also designed the very successful tableware pattern called "Victoriana Rose".
Reg Johnson stayed with the company for 45 years and saw many changes, he retired in 1974 at the age of 65. Paragon became part of Thomas C.Wild and Sons (manufacturers of Royal Albert) in 1960. Wild & Sons merged with the Lawley Group who then changed the name to Allied English Potteries Ltd. Paragon was allocated a second factory - The Albert works, and some of Paragon's patterns had the Royal Albert back stamp. Paragon kept its trading name and factory until it was taken over by Royal Doulton in 1987.
Painting and designing were Reg Johnson's lifeblood and retirement meant a greater freedom to pursue the artistic work he felt to be most worthwhile. This included a continuing consultancy with Royal Doulton, which involved him in many prestigious commemorative pieces. The modelling of a unique range of figurines has been his lifetime hobby. His sons Keith and David joined with him and formed a new company "Reg Johnson and Sons" producing some wonderful figures. Reg Johnson was also a highly skilled painter of water colours and oils, as well as his talents as a ceramic artist.