Our history

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Potbank, Stoke-on-Trent. I think I drew this at the Gladstone Pottery museum last year? This was part of a ‘throw down’ held by Stoke Urban Sketchers after an afternoon of drawing in rain and shine. We were in a covered area so we could put the drawings down on the ground.

Urban sketchers usually draw outside, so we need to wrap up warm when we go out in the winter, and shelter when it’s raining or windy.

Next year I want to go out with them more often. You get to see places you might not go to otherwise.

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Enamel kiln

DSC_0026Enamel kiln at Gladstone pottery museum, Longton, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire. These burn hotter than a normal pottery kiln. This is to create enamel from powdered glass, fired about 1400°C. There is a working enamel kiln at Stevensons in Middlewich on the banks of the Trent and Mersey canal. Enamels are used from jewellery to bathroom ware. This is because it has to be stronger and not chip or crack.

The industrial heritage of this country is hanging on. Places like the Black Country museum in Dudley in the West Midlands give us a place to see how the past was. Manufacturing changes and evolves. Soon robots and AI might be the only way things are made. But despite the old dirty polluting past may have been bad, it still stirs memories and romantic ideas of the way things were.

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Today at Gladstone

I’m in a group called urban sketchers. Today we braved the wind and cold and went out to draw and sketch there. I got quite chilly and damp but it was worth it. There were about 8 or 9 of us there.

There is so much to see at the Gladstone Pottery museum. Plus there is a nice little shop with Pottery for sale and a good friendly cafe upstairs.

Sited in Longton, Stoke on Trent, the Gladstone Pottery museum shows you the history of ceramics. There is a flushed with success section about toilets and a display of ceramic flower making, pot throwing, an old engine house, a doctors house and surgery. A selection of historical tiles and much more.

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