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Mask Pottery Mark 
Mask Pottery - St Ives 1958 to 1967 and Penzance 1967 to 1969
Jess Val Baker (nee Svendson) was born in 1922. In 1949, she married Denys Val Baker (1917 to 1984), the well-known author and editor of collections of short stories. Denys Val Baker published the arts magazine "The Cornish Review" on and off from 1949 to 1974. He also wrote books about pottery as well as a series of autobiographies about their life in Cornwall. He wrote over 100 books and over 400 short stories.

Jess began pottery in 1953 while living at St Hilary near Goldsithney. She took a course at the Penzance Art School where she was tutored by Michael Leach. Soon she started to make pottery commercially. Bill Picard and the illustrator Donald Swan helped with decorating the pots.

Denys and Jess then moved to Kent and then stayed for a while in Kent before returning to Cornwall where Jess set up the Mask Pottery in St Ives in 1958. They lived at St Christopher's in Porthmeor Road, St Ives and sold pottery from an upstairs workshop in Porthmeor Road at the corner with Back Road East.

The pottery moved to Penzance for a time and then in 1967 Jess and Denys moved to The Old Sawmills in Golant. In 1968, they sold the Mask Pottery to Jackie van Gelder and took over the Wheelcat Pottery in Fowey, which they renamed to Millstream Pottery. In 1972, they sold Millstream Pottery and Jess finally gave up potting when they moved to The Mill House in Tresidder near Sennen.

Denys Val Baker's biography and copies of his books and autobiographies can be obtained from Tim Scott at



Coffee Set - early 1960's

Acquired : 2004 

Coffee Set

Purchased in Polperro in 1968


John Hayes

Acquired: Mar 2006

This mark, on the above coffee set, was used when the pottery moved to Penzance.