I love the bottle kilns of the Gladstone Pottery for three reasons. Firstly: I live in a world of mostly square and rectangular brick buildings, so they are something out of the ordinary for me and I’ve always found the bottle a very pleasing shape. Secondly: They are an industrial wonder of the Victorian period and something worth preserving, in my opinion, as much as any other relic of Britain’s industrial heritage. Thirdly: As one of my old art tutors once told me, “Form follows function”. It does the job and it looks pleasing to the eye (although, I’m sure they didn’t look so pleasing when there were hundreds of the things on the go belching out goodness-knows-what into the air).
The Pottery is brilliantly preserved and the site and the site was a joy to explore (or at least it was back in 2007, I haven’t been back since). The site also incorporates an impressive toilet exhibit and tile collection; not to me missed.
The Gladstone Pottery Museum webpage: http://www.stokemuseums.org.uk/visit/gpm/