GordyW. J. "Bill" Gordy was born on May 18, 1910, into a family of potters. His Scottish ancestors migrated South from Maryland around 1790, into Hancock County, Georgia. His relatives include the Bishop family of potters in the "Jugtown" area near Thomaston, Ga. Bill's father resettled in Aragon, Ga., and continued making utilitarian type pottery. Bill grew up around the pottery shop and by age 14 was making pottery.
The clay came out of the flint River area in Middle Ga. His father had a large wood kiln and Bill learned a lot about burning from him. He also learned from the itinerant potters hired by his father from around the country. He read every book he could find about glazes and began early on experimenting. For instance, he observed that lithium carbonate added to the Albany slip added a beautiful yellow streak to the glaze.
As a young man he left his father's shop and worked for several other potteries in the Carolinas and Georgia, learning different techniques and materials everywhere he went.