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)