David Eeles 1955 to 2005
'Celebrating Fifty Years'

Eeles Family history


David Eeles trained at Willesden School of Arts & Crafts in London from 1947 until 1953, where he studied drawing & painting, architecture, anatomy, bookbinding, etching, engraving, lithography, lettering, terra cotta & ceramics. All of these studies have been useful in his long career as a potter. 
David met Patricia in art school, where she was also studying, they were married in 1955.   Godfrey Rubens and Maureen Koppenhagen established the ''The Shepherds Well Pottery'' in Hampstead in 1955, David joined them later the same Year. Godfrey Rubens left in 1956. Maureen and David worked together until 1960 when she left to get married and move aboard.
The pottery he was making  at this time was traditional Slipware & tin glazed Majolica, fired to a temperature of 1100 degrees centigrade in an electric kiln.  The decoration was drawn with liquid clay slips, coloured with metallic oxides like Iron, Manganese & Copper. The colours achieved were predominantly warm in tone.
The first exhibition of work was held at the Heals Department store in London. Various shops & galleries in and around London were supplied with pottery between 1955  & 1961.
The family moved to Dorset in 1961 where they continue today. In 1963 the first of many students and apprentices arrived from around the world some stayed for a year or two, others for periods of up to seven years. Many now have their own workshops around the world. 
Earthenware production continued until a new kiln was built in the mid sixties. The new kiln was a single chamber down draught oil fired kiln of approximately one hundred and fifty cubic feet capacity. This kiln could be fired to stoneware temperature of 1280 degrees plus. So a new range of more robust pottery was made. For more information on the kilns used click on kilns in the navigation panel.
Benjamin  started potting in 1975. This coincided with the last of the students leaving. 
In 1976 David & Benjamin built the large three chamber dragon kiln which is still used today. 
Simon started in 1979 then straight away was left on his own for six months while the rest of the family went on a world trip. David & Patricia visited Canada, Australia and New Zealand holding workshops. Benjamin spent a Year working in Australia with some of the students that previously studied with David in the nineteen sixties. 
In 1990 the partnership was formed called The Eeles Family Pottery. One other member of the family needs a mention, Nelly, David's mother was a great help in the early years and after she retired in 1965, she would be off delivering orders from Land's End to John O' Groats.  She looked after the shop in Bridport where she would also make a whole range of slip cast pots. Then at Watergore on the A303 in Somerset until she finally retired, well into her eighties. Many an old customer still returns today reminiscing about the time they were treated to a glass of home made elderflower wine, and a five minute trip to look at the pots could last an hour or two.