Ralph and Thomas Toft
Plates made by Ralph and Thomas Toft in the seventeenth century. Amazing slipware with such a cartoonish sense of character and expression. I can't get over how timeless the pieces are - I had a notion in my head that we were maybe the first generation of people to really appreciate naive and expressive work, obviously not. There are only around forty examples of Toft work remaining in the world, unfortunately none of which belong to me. I I was reading about Thomas Toft in my Leach book and did an internet search that didn't show up much, then I searched the Stoke Pottery Museum's site and there's so much on there! (All these images are from there) It's incredible - I think I will visit in person soon. This is the second time Stoke has cropped up recently: recently I was told there are so many empty houses there you can buy one from the council for a pound. This may or may not be true but I'm already having fantasies about trailing some hippy cronies up there to make a life amongst the crockery.