What is that? I can see something. It’s dark but shining. Glowing from within. Like a coal surrounded by a gas flame. But it’s floating in the air and it’s big. Huge, still, hot, but not very, a sort of terrifying? No one else seems bothered.
Cars are driving around. People walking. I can see it but they can’t. I don’t understand. I don’t know what to think. Is it in my mind, my imagination? Am I hallucinating? I will try and get closer and see…….
Moss klinging to the church wall. That wall is blackened by years of coal smoke pollution that was burnt on house hearths and to fire up the bottle ovens that fired the pottery made in old factories. In those days I doubt that moss would have grown on the church wall even in Penkhull village which stands on a hill above most of the city. The city has transformed over the years and is now much cleaner.
You can see photos of the hundreds f bottle ovens that crowded the city. The smoke belched out of them. Look up the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery and Gladstone Pottery Museum on the net for more information.
I just found this sketch of International Women’s Day from about a year ago. I had a stall with art for sale at Burslem school of Art. I think this was the first time I ever drew the main gallery and I also tried to draw the banner that was on display there.
The school of art is very crooked. Burslem is old and suffers from subsidence or is undermined by coal mines. The whole of the city is built on clay and coal and the coal field under the city has caused a lot of damage over the years. Parts of the city also have geologic faults running underneath them so it’s not surprising that the buildings are affected.
There is also a volcanic plug where I live, the very base of an ancient volcano that was worn away by erosion over thousands or millions of years. The hill that is left dominates the valley of the river Trent, but the ground rises in other places too. There are coal tips (slag heaps) where the spoil from the collieries was dumped as the coal was hewn from the ground.
The wonder of Pottery and artistic design was the result of the geology in Staffordshire.