Donald Mills

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Donald Mills

Post by 22 Crawford St. on August 14th 2014, 9:33 pm

The book has Donald Mills Potting with Bernard Leach at St Ives in 1944, thence to Fulham in 45, then to Donald Mills Pottery Ltd with Eillen Lewenstein for 46-48 and to Briglin 48-52.

The 70's stuff I personally consider tending towards the tourist but I keep looking for the more personnel items from the later period, but to no avail. Perhaps someone will post one or two DJM that will change my mind.

I am thinking my pieces date to the DM Pottery period 1946-48. However I have another white clay vase which is squat and does not in any way compare to these dated 1947 - hand signed - "Donald Mills 1947"

1) Medium vase - Marked "D.M.-" in blue painted under glaze. Height 200mm
2) Huge Lidded Storage Jar - Stoneware - 300mm - Mark obscured by label.
3) Cider Jar - Stoneware, saltglazed 230mm - marked "Dm"

I've looked but these sort of items just don't come up any more. The slatgalze flagon is a great shape and I've used it a few times. I have resisted removing any more of the interesting label from the huge lidded jar and it is still as it came to me.












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Re: Donald Mills

Post by climberg64 on August 16th 2014, 11:28 am

Nice. Leach influence in the leaf pattern perhaps. £3, 3 shillings was expensive; I guess that's the price.
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Re: Donald Mills

Post by 22 Crawford St. on August 16th 2014, 5:37 pm

I looked it up

Bus fare (kids) 1/2d
Chips 1d
Fish 3d
Ford Popular £80 (3 year waiting list)
Terraced House £400
Fairly good semi house £750

Somehow I think DM has depreciated in value.
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Re: Donald Mills

Post by dantheman on August 16th 2014, 7:08 pm

I often see antiques shows where a person says something like 'I bought this piece in 1962 for £500'.Then the experts tells them it is now worth £900 and they both agree it was a great investment!!  Shock

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Re: Donald Mills

Post by 22 Crawford St. on August 16th 2014, 8:04 pm

Yes, and consider what £500 would be worth now if in the 60's you went out and invested it in some Luie Rie or Bernard Leach, perhaps commission a full dinner service or two.
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Re: Donald Mills

Post by denbydump on August 16th 2014, 8:07 pm

Or sat at Troika's factory door and bought the lot as it came out of the kiln.
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Re: Donald Mills

Post by r-and-f on September 14th 2015, 1:25 pm

Here's a Donald Mills vase bought in a lot at auction the other day for the cost of about 25 Mars Bars.  It's clearly closely related to the one on the left above but has the full signature and date 1948 on the base.  Does this help for comparison, 22CS?



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Re: Donald Mills

Post by 22 Crawford St. on September 14th 2015, 8:33 pm

BINGO! TYVM  Jumping For Joy

Yes it does not come across on mine but that crazed base is the same also - with a slightly pale blue/green tint? Can I ask the height? - the smaller of mine is 200mm and big one with the lid is 300mm
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Re: Donald Mills

Post by r-and-f on September 14th 2015, 11:19 pm

Glad to have been of service!

My vase is 157 mm tall, smaller than either of yours, and yes, the glaze on the base is a little more celadon-looking than it appears in the photo.

By the way, in the late 1950s I lived in York Street, just one block over from Crawford Street. But I didn't know there was a pottery there because I didn't pass number 22 on my daily route to primary school. So this anecdote sadly turns out to be much less interesting than it might have seemed at first sight. Sorry about the anticlimax.
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Re: Donald Mills

Post by 22 Crawford St. on September 14th 2015, 11:25 pm

Celadon like yes.

There is a lovely description in the Briglin book of them opening the glass vents in the street to vent hot air from the basement kiln and people walking past looking down into the workshop.
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Re: Donald Mills

Post by 22 Crawford St. on March 18th 2017, 10:12 pm

Update... all 1946-1948 pieces. Still hard to find and a shame he gave up potting as he would have made a decent pot if he continued for another 30/40 years - as it is his pieces are a curiosity.












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Re: Donald Mills

Post by 22 Crawford St. on March 18th 2017, 10:38 pm

and what is this glaze called with bubbles?







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Re: Donald Mills

Post by NaomiM on March 18th 2017, 10:46 pm

Impure? Laughter
It happens. I don't think it has a name, and I've had new pieces from potters where I've assumed it was a gaze fault but apparently it's not - or at least it's accepted as just one of those things. Maybe it's impurities in the glaze or degassing from the clay body or underfiring?

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Re: Donald Mills

Post by 22 Crawford St. on March 18th 2017, 10:57 pm

Ahh I assumed it was experimental or intentional but you think it may be underfire or something. Interesting.
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Re: Donald Mills

Post by NaomiM on March 18th 2017, 11:05 pm

The lovely ragged bowl I have by Matthew Blakely has bubbles in the blue glaze. Maybe it's a trade off between firing to get the right colour vs firing to get a clear glaze?

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