In 1985, having studied ceramics at Chelsea College of Art, William was persuaded by a Japanese friend, who was also a potter, to go to Japan.  He continued his training with three different potters including the Japanese master Tatsuzo Shimaoka, which proved invaluable. In 1987 he set up his first Pottery building an oil-fired kiln.  He moved into a 17th Century farmhouse in the Lake District in 1994. 

His work is inspired from both the Lakeland setting where he lives and from his interest in Japanese pottery. He makes decorative and elegant pots as well as large plates and bowls, often decorated with Japanese style motifs.
His pots are in private collections in this country and overseas.  In August 2000, the British Government presented a William Plumptre pot to the Emperor of Japan.  Joanna Bird has been representing William since 1996.