The Digital Museum of
|Troika Pottery - St Ives and Newlyn - 1963 - 1983|
||Troika Marks||Troika Designs||Background||Dating Troika|
Dream is near Porthgwidden beach in St Ives. It is now the St Ives Museum.
Troika was on the ground floor having taken over the Powell and Wells Pottery
Place is not far from the old Newlyn harbour. Troika moved here in 1970
when forced to leave Wheal Dream in St Ives.
St Ives - 1963 to 1970
was set up in 1963 by Benny Sirota, Leslie Illsley and Jan Thomson.
Jan Thomson was bought out in 1965. Benny Sirota had some experience
of potting and Leslie Illsley had trained as a sculptor and had experience
of making moulds. Leslie concentrated on the design of moulded pieces
and Benny experimented with surface textures and glazes. This unique
combination led to the development of the smooth glossy finishes and
the rich textured surfaces for which Troika pottery is now famous.
Leslie established a relationship with the shop Heals in London. This
provided a steady stream of orders (notably the double egg cup and the
square ashtray) lasting until 1978.
Newlyn - 1970 to 1983
and Leslie bought an old salting house in Fragden Place, Newlyn which they
had to renovate. The larger premises enabled production to be increased.
Orders boomed and more staff were taken on to handle the work. The Coffin
Vase was introduced at this time and proved to be very popular.
Benny took a lesser role in running the business and eventually left in 1980.
The loss of the Heals business and declining sales in the late seventies and early eighties led to Leslie having to close Troika in 1983.
information about Troika Pottery can be found in the following books: