Gloria Young studied ceramics in Dunedin in 1979. Ceramics history lectures led to an interest in Persian pottery, and the tin-glazed earthenware which dominated European ceramics from the early 1500s. The first experiments in tin glaze were carried out in emulation of the much admired and expensive Chinese T'ang porcelain, which was imported to Iraq mainly by sea.

Chinese porcelain was the most persistent and recurrent source of imitation - initially for the invention of the tin glaze itself - but Gloria became aware of the part played by the imitation; with how the images on the pottery were borrowed from paintings, engravings, and prints. She soon began to take the shapes of the pots and flattened them in order to have a surface in which to paint, and experimented in forms of cubism. She states that "The pots I made became more like paintings of pots, but they were still in three dimensions, so they still had the capacity to function as pots."

Gloria uses an English white earthenware clay for her works, which she mostly constructs with slab techniques. She hand-paints in the majolica style on top of the unfired white opaque glaze so that the painting sinks into the glaze surface.

Her work has been exhibited in the Fletcher Challenge Pottery Exhibitions and the NZ Academy of Fine Arts, along with many other exhibitions throughout New Zealand, Australia, and the UK.