Michael Cardew's slipware had an unmistakable mystery that combined depth of surface with strong expressive decoration. There was an iridescent often lustrous quality about his trailing and brushwork with an overriding softness of form and fluid detail possessed of the best earthenware. Cardew (1901-1983) managed to preserve the warmth, freedom and tactility of a country tradition he had revived when, after training with Bernard Leach in St Ives, he re-established Winchcombe Pottery in Gloucestershire in 1926.
Many of the characteristics of Cardew's slipware were transferred to stoneware later in his career. He moved his pottery to Wenford Bridge in Cornwall in 1939 where he remained for the rest of his life, interspersed by long periods in Africa. Through his writings and pots, Cardew showed how viable the life of a potter could still be, even in the realities of the 20th century.