William Daley is a quintessential artist exemplar of the Contemporary Studio Craft Movement. His experiences reflect the influences of World War II, the rise of university art programs, and the drive to combine tradition, meaning and new technology. The movement was forged out of World War II; Daley served, was shot down and held in a German prisoner of war camp. The first wave of the Movement saw hundreds of new teaching positions created in university craft, art and design programs across the country; Daley spent four decades teaching in a combination of these programs, including industrial design, drawing and ceramics. A common characteristic of the Movement has been a focus on combining traditional crafts, modern art concepts and new techniques; Daley is a master of forming clay skillfully, infusing his forms with meaning and developing new techniques to achieve his vision.
William Daley was born in 1925 in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York. A strong and supportive family and community encouraged his artistic talent from an early age.