Phil Crow ABIPP is a photographer based in Lincoln, UK

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To say I’m excited to share this with you would be a huge understatement. 18 months in the making, I’m proud to show the heritage of my formative years and help in some way promote the industrial heritage of my hometown(s) of The Potteries. A project born out from some sad personal circumstances that took me on quite a journey creating a snapshot in the ever changing landscape of Stoke and its surrounding towns. 

The response to putting this exhibition together has been really positive and I’ve met some amazing people along the way. 

Enjoy the show!

Scroll down further as there is a book of the exhibition too!

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The Last Bottle Ovens and Kilns of The Potteries

A photographic exhibition by photographer Phil Crow with Keele University and incorporating images from 
The Warrillow Collection held in Keele University Library’s special collections

“I want to show the beauty in their shape and how they interact with the buildings that now surround them. 
Is there a place for them in modern society? The answer has to be yes! 
This photographic record will provide a historic visual journey of the remaining sites through a contemporary lens, an archive of their current state and a reminder to all of the importance of the industry to the area in the same way that photographers before me- such as Warrillow- have documented them as working buildings.”

exhibition dates

21 April – 21 May 2023 at Keele University Chancellors Gallery, Chancellors Building
27 May – 30 July 2023 at Gladstone Pottery
18 August – 17 September 2023 at Middleport Pottery in the hovel of the Bottle Oven

At the height of the pottery industry, the skyline of Stoke-on-Trent was dominated by thousands of bottle ovens.
Before the outbreak of war in 1939, more than 2000 had been documented.

The Clean Air Act of 1956 was the beginning of the end for these iconic buildings and by 1964 only 20 were still operable. 

Currently, 47 bottle shaped structures remain in 27 locations. 

“The difference in condition is astounding. Some are loved, most are not, but they are all beautiful in their own way.” 

A photographic exhibition that celebrates the heritage of The Potteries. 
This exhibition shows the dark beauty of a bygone industry in a modern world and,
thanks to the Warrillow Collection, also depicts a thriving industry back in its heyday. 

Warr130. Etruria, Wedgwood Works, 1946
Warr130. Etruria, Wedgwood Works, 1946
FORTYSEVEN: The Last Bottle Ovens and Bottle Kilns of The Potteries


FORTYSEVEN: The Last Bottle Ovens and Kilns of The Potteries

A new photographic book to accompany the exhibition with additional images showing more details documenting the remaining ovens and kilns.

Currently available available on pre order and then shipped from 3 April, this first edition is on a limited run of 100 copies

This exhibition is sponsored by

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