Born in Fraserburgh, Forsyth attended the Gray’s School of Art, in Aberdeen and the Royal College of Art.
He moved in 1903 to Stoke-on-Trent, and became art director of the tileworks Minton Hollins & Co, where he began a career which spanned over forty years and left an indelible mark on the ceramic industry of Staffordshire.
In 1906 he moved to take the same position at Pilkington’s Tile & Pottery Company near Manchester. He returned to Pilkington’s after service in the First World War. However, in 1920 he became Superintendent of Art Instruction in Stoke-on-Trent, a role which involved responsibility for several art schools. Forsyth was the tutor of a number of notable students at the Burslem School of Art including Susie Cooper, Glyn Colledge, Clarice Cliff, Charlotte Rhead, Arthur Berry, and Mabel Leigh.
At that time, Forsyth was described as a pottery designer, educator and writer…and one of the main spokespersons on industrial pottery design.