WORDS OF THE WEEK - 18 May 2015 - Gladstone Pottery Museum

GLADSTONE POTTERY MUSEUM.  The potters' museum in Longton, Stoke-on-Trent. One of the top three English small visitor attractions in 2015.  40 years since the Royal Opening on 24 April 1975 and still winning awards. But now with an uncertain future as the local City Council decide how to reduce costs and find "alternative methods of delivery."

More information and have your say here>

WORD OF THE WEEK - 11 May 2015 - KILL

KILL :  Kiln. Oven. Bottle Oven. Enamel Kiln. Tunnel Kiln. Top Hat Kiln. Intermittent Kiln. Rapid Fire Kiln. And more ...

It's where the metamorphosis of clay, during firing, takes place. It's where the irreversible change from clay to pot, upon which the whole of the craft and industry, is founded. The change which takes place in the kill at around 600 Celsius. It's where clay loses its chemically-bound water molecules and can no longer be broken down by water. Once this change has occurred it cannot be reversed. Ever. This ceramic change converts fragile and crumbly dry clay from Mother Earth into hard brittle pottery. This is both a chemical and physical change to the structure of the clay. Magic by fire!


FINISHING FIREMAN Occupation. Some big potbanks would employ three men to fire a bottle oven. The Fireman - he was in charge and responsible for the whole firing cycle.  The Sitter Up - he took over responsibility during the night hours. And The Finishing Fireman - he saw to it that there were no problems once the peak temperature had been reached and the correct soak time had been concluded.  He would ensure the fires burnt out completely OK.

Last Bottle Oven Firing 1978
Organised by Gladstone Pottery Museum
Clammins down!