Susie Cooper studied at the Burslem School of Art, before starting work in 1922 for the pottery decorating company A E Gray & Co in Stoke-on-Trent. She began as a painter but later moved into design, establishing her own firm in 1929. Her company designed shapes manufactured by other firms which she decorated, at first by hand and, from 1933, by lithography. Her decorative patterns for tableware were all simple but effective, often drawing on flowers, fruits and feathers as well as dots and exclamation marks for inspiration. She designed tableware for Imperial Airways in the 1930s and regularly exhibited in Paris and New York. The Cooper factory closed in 1942 but she successfully restarted in 1950. In 1961 her factory merged with the Tuscan works and in 1966 became a semi-autonomous unit within Wedgwood. Her designs for Wedgwood continued in production until the 1980s. Cooper was made a Royal Designer for Industry in 1940 and was awarded the OBE in 1979 for her contribution to the maintenance of excellence in industrial ceramic design.