studied at the University for the Creative Arts. He also achieved
a PhD degree at Middlesex University. He was a member of the Crafts
Council and the editor of Ceramic Review. Since 1999, he was visiting
Professor of Ceramics and Glass at the Royal College of Art. He
was the author of many books on ceramics, including his definitive
biography of Bernard Leach that was published in 2003 (Yale University
Press), and was also the editor of The Ceramics Book, published
the early 1970s, he was also a cofounder of the Gay Left collective,
and remained a prominent LGBT rights campaigner throughout his life.
He also published several studies of LGBT art, including The Sexual
Perspective and Fully Exposed: The Male Nude in Photography.
a potter, Cooper's work falls into one of two general forms. In
the first his vessels are heavily glazed in a volcanic form. The
vessels, as a result of this heavy glazing, derive a lot of their
appeal from their varied and uneven textures. In their most simple
form they are very reminiscent of work by Lucie Rie. In their more
extravagant forms though the vessels can be banded or use incredibly
vivid colors to great effect including pink, vibrant yellow and
deep reds and blues. His other form of work is much simpler in style
using plain glazes, often in egg yolk yellow, occasionally spotted
with gold flecks.
work can be found in the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Royal
Scottish Museum, as well as in many private collections. He was
awarded an OBE for services to art.
Cooper died on 21 January 2012