Donald Mills, born 1922 in south-east London, attended Croydon School of Art and the Central school of Art where he studied under Dora Billington. He spent the summer of 1944 at the Leach Pottery as a result of meeting Bernard Leach at an exhibition where they were both demonstrating throwing.
In 1945 he set up his own pottery near London Bridge, and worked with Eileen Lewenstein and Brigitte Goldschmidt (later to become Brigitte Appleby). The firm ran into trouble in 1948 when a large contract went bad. The two ladies went on to establish Briglin Pottery, while Donald and and his wife Jacqueline started a company supplying potters with equipment. During the first four years of Briglin, Donald was active there as a thrower.
In 1974 Donald and Jacqueline returned to full-time potting and set up a workshop near Chichester in West Sussex. His work is widely appreciated; he has accepted more than one royal commission, and his pots are exhibited at the Victoria and Albert Museum.