Tag Archives: Education

Iconic Artwork Adds Value to Local Townscapes

A community project is leaving its mark on the skyline in towns across the Midlands. The Stoke 2000 – an art, culture, education and recycling project – aims to create by hand, over two thousand bottle-oven wall planters; the number of kilns that once stood proudly across the city of Stoke-on-Trent and the iconic image that best represents the pottery industry. As well as taking on this ambitious venture, company director and local entrepreneur Chris Parr is also collaborating with various artists and inviting them to display their unique talents on the front of each planter made from recycled pallet wood. The purpose is to bring people together, share stories and celebrate the city’s industrial heritage while at the same time, helping the environment.

The project already has supporters with Steve Shaw and his design, depicting saggar placers arranging vertical stacks (BUNGS) of fireclay boxes; Anita Harris with her Middleport Pottery landscape, a recognisable scene made even more popular with the area featured on mainstream TV in recent years; and Phil Hardaker with his eye-catching mosaic design honouring the last firing of a bottleoven in 1978; One of Stoke-on-Trent’s most significant cultural events of the 20th Century.

An exhibition, which brings the artisan community together while helping local tourism, will be held to showcase their work on each of the iconic bottle-oven shaped wall planters.  The general public and business leaders will be invited to view all commissions and bid for the kilns, supporting local charities. The indoor planters would be ideally positioned in community spaces, business premises or even left to ‘fade to grey,’ and blend in with their own Industrial surroundings.

(Images Taken at Middleport Pottery – Stoke North – & Sutherland Works in Normacot Road Longton – Stoke South: Pictures Courtesy of Shine in Media ©2019)



Bottle-oven Enterprise Taking Shape

CP My Stoke StoryIt’s been a two year journey but youth and community project The Stoke 2000 is now building the foundations for a sustainable future. The venture not only celebrates Stoke-on-Trent’s heritage and the area’s iconic bottle-oven, it also brings together various artists, young people and members of public sector organisations across the six towns to learn new skills and share stories about the Pottery industry.

The art, culture, education and recycling project sees the creation of over 2000 bottle-oven wall planters from reclaimed pallet wood saving the environment 37.6 tonnes of CO2 emissions. Equivalent to 47.7 years of television usage, charging 4,794,493 smartphones or driving 91,932 miles in an average passenger vehicle; in other words, travelling around the equator 3.7 times. As well as working with school children and community groups in recent months – leaving a cultural legacy with the next generation and helping to support public sector services that tackle social problems – they are collaborating with creative artists to work on the front of each planter. Managing Director of The Stoke 2000 Chris Parr said, ‘The artisan idea is such an exciting part of the enterprise and a fantastic way for the creative industry to show that we don’t need to have City of Culture status to remember our heritage, especially when grass roots projects like The Stoke 2000 can lead the way. Our main objective is to reproduce the same positive feeling that the 2021 bid generated amongst us Stokies over the next few years.’

The project’s next steps are to secure premises and a base to continue their work with volunteers, give valuable work experience to people with special educational needs, collaborate with more talented artists and secure further workshops with schools and community groups across the City of Stoke-on-Trent.