This pottery was set up in Cornwall, England in 1963
Started by three people, each putting in £1000 to lease Wells Pottery at Wheal Dream in St Ives, Cornwall
was the only one with pottery experience. Leslie Illsley
worked as a sculptor; Jan Thompson
was a sleeping partner who pulled out two years later in 1965.
The early white pieces
by Leslie Illsley are much sort after and command high prices.
The pottery is noted for its unique sharp angular shapes producing a rough textured effect. Shapes, forming chimney
and wheel vases
, marmalade pots
and spice jars
, cube lamp bases
etc. The way in which they were decorated by hand meant no two were the same.
Smooth glazed finishes were produced later, although popular with the studio, were not so popular by the public, even though they were harder to make.
Within a year of Troika starting up, their ceramics were on sale in two major London stores, Liberty and Heal's
. 1968 saw their items being displayed in London and New York in top exhibitions.
their lease was terminated at Wheal Dream Pottery so they moved the Troika pottery to ,Fradgan Place, Newlyn
the demand for Troika started to wane putting the Company into decline. In 1978 Heals stopped selling craft pottery along with recession and government tax increase saw the two remain founders dissolve their partnership, Benny Sirota keeping the shop and Leslie Illsley the pottery.
the bank called in the loans on the Company and it was finally closed in by Illsley in December, with assets which were virtually worthless.
Sadly, Leslie Illsley died on 20th March 1989
For collectors, look out for pieces pre 1970
with "St Ives"
marked on the bottom, not found on later ones which would have been produced in, Newlyn