Bottle Oven Art Club

Last year one of our volunteers, Terry Woolliscroft, set up the Bottle Oven Art Club. Inspired by ‘Grayson Perry’s Art Club’ Terry worked with us, The Potteries Heritage Society and the Heritage Action Zone to put a Potteries twist on the idea, as part of a range of online celebrations for Potteries Bottle Oven Day. The club competition was launched during lockdown and encouraged people to turn to art in difficult times and create images of Potteries bottle ovens. The club gave many moments of happiness to people who were inspired to create or appreciate art during the pandemic.

After much deliberation the judges selected 50 of the entries to be included in our online exhibition. We will also be having a physical exhibition of these wonderful artworks when it is safe to do so.

Thank you to everyone who took part and congratulations to all those who’s artworks were selected. The standard of work was excellent and our 3 judges had a difficult task in narrowing the exhibition down to 50. Many thanks to the judges –

  • Katey Goodwin FRSA – Deputy Director, Head of Digitisation and Public Engagement | Art UK. In her role she is responsible for two major projects to digitise the UK’s national collection of oil paintings and sculpture. Earlier in her career she was Collections Officer for Local History at the Potteries Museum & Art Gallery, and has also worked at Keele University as curator of their ceramics collection.
  • Lor Green – Lor is an accomplished artist and administrator/organiser of Urban Sketchers, Stoke. She has studied and sketched the Potteries landscape en plein air ‘in all weathers’ and knows how tricky it can be to represent the humble bottle oven in art. She has a particular interest in Art Therapy.
  • Henry Birks – Gallery Director, Trent Art Gallery. Henry established the gallery with his business partner Ruth Palmer and has rapidly developed it to become well-respected both locally and nationally. Henry has organised special exhibitions at the gallery in Newcastle representing The Royal Society of British Artists and The Royal Birmingham Society of Artists.

Here are all of the artists who’s work has been selected for inclusion in the exhibition.

Angela James
Bill Goodall
‘Carl Philip’ Hodges
Dianne Coomer 
Gareth Williams
Geoffrey Collier
Helen Claire Randall
Jiri Borsky
Joan Dobson
Katie Forrester
Kirsty Cotton
Leigh Bourne
Lora Stock
Mandy Garratt
Mark Woolley 
Mary Parker
Megan Poxon
Micheal Pritchard
Nicholas Moore
Pam Bennett
Philip Shallcross
Rebecca Davis
Roy Bagnall
Sara MacKian
Steven Fergusson 
Steven Howard
Sue Embury
Tamzin Cavendish

Adam Malik
Alyana Malik
Daisy Mellor
Evie Davis
Gregory Perkin 
Pearl McGourlay

Up to 11 
Amelia Rose Evans
Daisy May Hurst-Rowley

Our biggest thank you is to Gladstone volunteer Terry Woolliscroft who has worked tirelessly to make this happen. From his original idea, to months of organisation, it is his hard work which has ensured the success of the Bottle Oven Art Club. Thank you Terry.

We hope you enjoy the art….

Under 11

A Bottle Kiln Sketch using pencil crayon by Amelia Rose Evans
A Bottle Kiln Sketch using pencil crayon by Amelia Rose Evans – HIGHLY COMMENDED
Smokie Bottle Kiln, acrylics, Daisy May Hurst-Rowley – HIGHLY COMMENDED

Ages 11 to 17

Bottle Oven Day Watercolour Alyana Malik
Bottle Oven Day Charcoal and 2B pencil Adam Malik
Five fancy bottle ovens Mixed media Pearl McGourlay – HIGHLY COMMENDED
Bottle Kilns in Bloom Watercolour Daisy Mellor – HIGHLY COMMENDED
Gladstone Watercolour Gregory Perkin
Orange Glaze Photography DSLR camera Evie Davis – HIGHLY COMMENDED

Over 18

Top Bridge Works Longport Acrylic Nicholas Moore
Middleport Potters Acrylic on canvas Dianne Coomer 
Bit of Blue Photography Steven Fergusson
Reflections Photography Steven Fergusson
Snow place like home Photography Steven Fergusson
Gladstone & Roslyn Works Photography Philip Shallcross
Falcon Works Photography Philip Shallcross
Evening Light at Furlong Mills Pastel Pam Bennett
The Six Towns filled oven Biro, digital edit Megan Poxon
Bottle ovens on an oatcake served on a Burlington plate Watercolour and ink on paper Mandy Garratt
Setting the ‘oss Charcoal from 1978 sketch Bill Goodall
Loading Charcoal from 1978 sketch Bill Goodall
Placing Charcoal from 1978 sketch Bill Goodall
Tea break on the pot bank roof Acrylic Sue Embury
Minton Works, Vantage Point Collection Acrylics ‘Carl Philip’ Hodges – HIGHLY COMMENDED
Spode Works, Vantage Point Collection Acrylics ‘Carl Philip’ Hodges
Bottle Oven 1 Ink Tamzin Cavendish (Derbyshire Guest)
Stoke Smoke Cartridge & watercolour paper with Elegant pen & water, collage Angela James
Bottles of colour Calico fabric, Tissue dyed, Marker pen, acrylic paint, bleach & aqua crayon Angela James
Smokey Dreams Digitised pen and colour pencil original drawing Lora Stock
Yesterday’s Today Acrylic Mark Woolley
Anna of the Five Towns Multimedia collage (photography, watercolour, ink, print) Sara MacKian
Potbank Workshop Acrylic on Canvas Micheal Pritchard
A Winter Sunset Digitally edited photograph Leigh Bourne
The Roslyn Works Arch Digitally edited photograph Leigh Bourne
A starry night in Longton Digitally edited photograph Leigh Bourne
On The Terraces Acrylic Gareth Williams
Memories of Meakins Oils and cold wax on board Rebecca Davis
Bottle Kiln in Middleport Lino cut print Katie Forrester – HIGHLY COMMENDED
Chelson Street Pen Helen Claire Randall
Normacot Road, Longton Pen and watercolour Helen Claire Randall
Potteries Landscape Acrylic on board Jiri Borsky
Cobbled Alley Oil on canvas board Steven Howard
Best Friends Oil on canvas board Steven Howard
The Small Potbank Pen & pencil Joan Dobson
A Daring Washing Line Pen & pencil Joan Dobson
Phoenix Works Linocut Mary Parker
Twyfords Reflections Watercolour Mary Parker
Minkstone Linocut Mary Parker – HIGHLY COMMENDED
Gladstone Pottery 1960 Oil on board Geoffrey Collier
A Place I Call Home Fine liner art Kirsty Cotton
Seven Sisters Pencil on Canford paper Roy Bagnall