William Milner and his ceramic legacy, Gregory Hill
European immigrant William Milner was a little-known entrepreneur who established a porcelain manufacturing business after
arriving in Melbourne in 1911. The porcelain industry was largely driven by a massive need for electrical insulators, and, as
COVID-19 has demonstrated today, a local industry was essential to guarantee supply. Milner expanded into table wares,
decorative items and sculpture, establishing substantial ceramic workshops in Victoria and later Queensland, which continued to be managed by family members after his death in Ipswich in 1942. Some of Victoria’s best known art potters such as Merric
Boyd, Hatton Beck and William Ricketts experimented with porcelain. This story is abridged from a chapter of Greg Hill’s new book
presenting his detailed research into Australian porcelain and its makers.