David Winkley was born in Nelson, Lancashire in 1939. He studied as a pictorial artist at the School of Fine Art in London, and then at Reading University and Pembroke College, Cambridge.
In 1963 he joined Bernard Forrester at Dartington and the following year opened his own workshop, the Merchants Pottery, in Hotwells, Bristol. In 1966 he took over Vellow Pottery at Lower Vellow near Taunton in Somerset, where he has remained.
David uses an oil-fired double-chambered kiln of 230 cu ft capacity. His output mainly consists of functional pots in stoneware with a rich shiny glaze and brush or wax resist decoration, but he also makes one-off studio pieces in reduced stoneware and porcelain.