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Report - T G Green, works and bottle kilns

dweeb

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
#1
T G Green became famous for it's "cornish blue" ware, which it produced at it's Church Gresley works in Staffs. The works closed in 2005.

Now the factory itself is just about as epic as one could get, with many rooms seemingly untouched for decades, coupled with natural decay and amazing century old architecture. As with many of the pottery factories I have seen, the workers just walked away after the works shut, leaving most of the buildings a perfect snapshot of what the works was like when it was operational. Attics are still stuffed with pottery and archives, it seems nothing was retreaved at all.

Now what really amazed me was the condition of the work's 4 bottle kilns. Every other bottle kiln I have ever been in (17 in total!) have been completly empty. These are still piled high with 'saggers' (a fireclay container which protected the ware during the firing process). One of the kilns had been tidied up for the tour, and was even complete with "horses" (the wooden ladders used to reach the towering sagger piles). The others had been left full of saggers many many years ago. This was apparent from the age of the rubbish and other junk which had been thrown in the kilns over the years. I truley believe bottle kilns in this condition is an extreme rarity and will prob never be seen again...

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This is a 'shaper', which is like a primitave miller. It is extremley old, and I'm told a very skilled job to operate one.
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The kilns...

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A 'bont', which is a band which runs the width of the kiln. This gives the structure strength when it expanded and contracted during firing.
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Saggers in a typical kiln (note the similar "horse")

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Attachments

Last edited:

Rookinella

I should have danced all night
28DL Full Member
#2
Re: T G Green, works and bottle kilns REPORT

Hey!! Look at you being a sagger! I remember you telling me about these when we were at British Extracting. What's the name of the other one? Bottle something? This pottery looks great...very tempting:)
 

dweeb

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
#4
Re: T G Green, works and bottle kilns REPORT

A sagger maker is the fella who makes the pot itself, which was a skilled job. A Bottomknocker is a less skilled worker, usually a boy who made the bases by 'knocking' the clay through a wooden hoop.
 

Bigjobs

Official Smartarse
Regular User
#9
Re: T G Green, works and bottle kilns REPORT

Tis great this place.


We used to ride the shapers when we were at college, great fun, unless of course the lecturer came in.
 

KingElvis

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#10
Re: T G Green, works and bottle kilns REPORT

Completely brilliant mate, and I love that shot of you in the kiln.

Cracking stuff.
 

dweeb

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
#13
Re: T G Green, works and bottle kilns REPORT

i didnt bother climbing into the bottle kilns was allready mucky enough
I cant imagine going somewhere like that and ever feeling that way...!
 
J

jeremy

Guest
Guest
#14
Re: T G Green, works and bottle kilns REPORT

The tidied up kiln was for celebrating 200 years of production on that site, it was opened by Princess Di after special branch had spent the previous day and night in the kiln.
 
D

Dr.Doo

Guest
Guest
#15
Re: T G Green, works and bottle kilns REPORT

what a cracking report....TG Greens has to be my favourite of the explores we did last year.