Gladstone Pottery Museum

The best of the places we went to on our tour of Stoke-on- Trent was the Gladstone Pottery Museum, a beautifully preserved set of old industrial buildings in Longton, one of the Six Towns, some parts of it dating back to 1787 when a pottery first opened on the site.

What came across was the diversity of skills involved in the making of even quite ordonary earthenware, particularly once jiggering and jolleying had been brought in.

We started (wrongly) in one of the bottle oven kilns, filled with saggars:-

Then we went into the Engine House:-

Then, we saw the room in which the saggars were made:-

 

It reminded me of the terrible loss of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry, which likewise shows the processes of early industrial manufacture and the small-scale production and hand skills it involved, vivid and unromanticised.

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