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Slipware (Shire Library) Paperback – July 21, 2009
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The height of slipware seemed to fall in the 17th century when even the not so well to do likely purchased slipware pieces for decoration or for use on special occassions. Many pieces are elaborate for their time and emanate an addictive, fun folk-arty appeal. Some even included witticisms, such as "The best is not too good for you," which may make such pieces the social ancestors of today's mass-produced "joke mugs." The rise of that same mass production in the 18th century rendered handmade slipware less profitable. But a few centuries later it also stimulated the curiosity of potters such as Bernard Leach in recreating pre-industrial techniques, which helped spur the modern art pottery movement that still flourishes.
Staffordshire produced some of the most popular slipware with names such as Thomas Toft, Ralph Toft, Ralph Simpson, William Taylor and others emblazoned on pottery in prominent thick slip. These expressive, often cartoonish or whimsical pieces have an ineffably rustic yet sophisticated quality that remains intriguing even today.Read more ›