Loving husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather
An accomplished artist, pianist and author, Charles, once described as a quiet man with a twinkle in his eye, had a passion for reading, cricket and not to mention, Countdown.
Charles started off his career working with wood as an apprentice church furnisher and carver before joining the royal navy during World War II, serving on many ships including HMS Rodney and HMS Diomede. At the end of the war Charles trained to be a teacher specialising in music, woodwork and metal work. His talent as a musician led him to enrol in music at Goldsmiths College London but his passion for art soon took over leading him to change courses. It was on the art course at goldsmiths where his met the love of his life Margaret, they soon married and later moved to Cumbria to start a family of four sons. There he worked as an art teacher at Eden School before transferring to teach at Sunderland Teacher Training College. He soon became Head of Ceramic Art at Sunderland College of Art. He developed a passion for glass in what he described as a ‘happy accident’; going on to establish a degree course in the subject and in recognition of his work Sunderland University awarded Charles with an honorary fellowship.
As well as teaching, Charles always found time to build on his own artwork and in 1981 he took early retirement to further pursue production of personal work; exhibiting across Britain, Europe and the United States. Private collectors of his work include Margrethe II of Denmark, and ex-king Constantine II of Greece.
Through retirement he maintained his support and encouragement of glass and ceramic art as a tutor and mentor and a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. A founding member and the first honorary life member of British Artists in Glass, Charles Bray has held a pioneering role in the art glass world, earning him a place in the 2006 edition of Who’s Who.