Tag Archives: Recycling


We are proud to introduce one of our NEW products for 2020, The CALCINING KILN. Continuing with our recycling commitment, below is our latest creation, making use of plastic waste as well as reclaimed pallet wood.

The BIRDBATH and wall planter is ideal for garden birds to drink water and can also be used for bathing and to clean feathers. With three access and exit points, birds will love this unique piece of garden furniture.

The top and bottom sections have been specifically handmade to fit everyday laundry containers and fast-food trays. Our first version not only celebrates Stoke-on-Trent’s industrial heritage but it’s also the 100th kiln made in our community venture. 

Producing a product that benefits the environment, has the capacity to grow plants and helps these wonderful creatures to stay healthy and clean is such a contrast to what these kilns emitted into the atmosphere before the clean air act was introduced in 1956.

Connection To Our Local Heritage Most of the calcining kilns were built rectangular and didn’t need to be bottle shaped, even though there were some used for this purpose. These (now listed) buildings were used to turn flint and cattle bones into a soft fine white powder and produced locally. It was also transported in from the Staffordshire Moorlands when the demand for this product increased. Further research showed that Cornish Stone, with its weathered properties, as well as flint from the south-east coasts of England would also produce a porcelain body. The powder was added to the clay to produce bone China. The product gave the earthenware its translucent quality. The calcining kilns that remain today can still be seen close to our canal network, as it offered an affordable means of transport for this heavy raw material.

Do you know an organisation who would love to give this LIMITED EDITION planter and bird bath a new home? It would be Ideal for a community space or business that has a communal outdoor area for viewing wildlife. For more details, contact Chris Parr at thestoke2000@gmail.com.

BELOW: Two Calcining Kilns at the Oliver’s Mill Site on Newport Lane in Middleport, Alongside the Trent & Mersey Canal Near the Junction with the Burslem Branch Canal and Burslem Port. Picture by Chris Parr, Shine in Media ©2019.

Calcining Kiln

Our Range of Bottleoven Planters

Icons Collage 2

With followers now using our ONLINE SHOP and with additional versions of planter in development for 2020, we thought that we would recap and highlight the range of bottle-oven wall planters already being made with community groups and are also available to purchase at local artisan markets. During our last blog post, we focused on our Josiah WEDGWOOD versions in  various colours related to his timeline to celebrate his 260th anniversary.

Wedgwood Brochure Collage

These are part of our range of CLASSIC designs, being used outside, next to a front / back doors or inside a small porch / patio area. Used with house numbers, signage or lighting. Each planter is uniquely numbered and treated with a long lasting oil or stain.

Original Brochure Collage

We also have our INSECT HOTEL version, ideally to be positioned next to rose bushes or other medium sized plants / bushes for easy access by ladybirds and solitary bees etc. These can also be used to fix house numbers, signage or lighting to the font of the planter. Garden canes are used in the back of the planter with a small access point to keep insects sheltered from direct wind and rain.

Bug Hotel Brochure Collage

We have our BIRD FEEDER version to be positioned outside in a more secluded and quieter spot in the garden on a wall or high fence on show from a viewable area. A section is specifically made and fitted to the bottom of the planter allowing access by garden birds. See our SHORT VIDEO on our website showing feeding in process.

Feeder Brochure Collage

We have our BIRD-BOX version ideally to be positioned on a North / North East / North West facing fence or wall, to attract blue tits, sparrows and other common birds to your garden. As with all products, they are made as a planter first. This version would be best suited to plant bulbs in the top section as they are positioned at height and need less maintenance.

BirdBox Brochure Collage

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)