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Guide To Slipware Pottery

What is Slipware?

Slipware is a type of earthenware pottery where the clay body is covered with a layer of liquid clay, known as slip. This process lends itself to a number of different techniques which can be utilised for decorative purposes: marbling; feathering; slip trailing and sgraffitoing to name a few.


Since its emergence in Britain during Roman times there have been periods where exceptional wares have been crafted, creating a rich heritage for contemporary potters to draw inspiration from.

- Pitchers and jugs made in the 13th and 14th centuries by medieval potters.


- Chargers made by Thomas Toft in Staffordshire during the 17th century.


- Pots made for everyday use in the 19th century: notably those made from Fremington Clay by members of the Fishley family in Devon.


- Bernard Leach and Michael Cardew’s formative pots crafted during the early 20th century.


The birth of studio pottery in the 20th century helped pave the way for its revival in the '70s and for its standing today: ushering in a whole host of makers eager to explore this distinctive type of pottery.


Slipware is quintessentially an English Pottery Tradition.

For Further Reading:

Slipware: Contemporary Approaches by Eden, V & M (1999)

London: A & C Black Publishers Ltd.


Michael Cardew and the West Country Slipware Tradition by Edgeler, J (2007)

Winchcombe: Cotswolds Living Publications


Mary Wondrausch on Slipware by Wondrausch, M (1986)

London: A & C Black Publishers Ltd.

Slipware Through The Ages