Johnson Tiles was approached by project artist Paul Cummins, to help meet the target of 888,246 poppies.
Each ceramic flower represents a person who died during World War 1.
Johnson Tiles recruited a team of specialist ceramic artists, who have been working at the factory over the past few months, individually making and decorating poppies by hand.
The Tower of London moat installation, which was officially unveiled by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in the summer, has since been filling up as the flowers are made, with volunteers planting each one. The final poppy will be planted’ on Armistice Day to mark the end of the conflict.
Harry Foster, Specialist Projects Manager at Johnson Tiles
We were very honoured to be asked to contribute to this very poignant project. Each and every poppy made is unique, every worker creates each poppy differently with complete individuality, which is wonderful because of what each poppy represents. We managed to set everything up in a matter of weeks we have literally installed a medium-sized traditional pottery studio in our factory but we have the skill set and as a company we were able to invest in everything needed to make it happen. We’ve got a great team here at Johnson Tiles, with everybody working hard to make this a success.
Around 8,000 poppies a day are made by the team at Johnson Tiles for the Paul Cummins’ Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red installation, in a labour intensive process involving very traditional, skilled method of making, beginning with clay processing to produce slabs.
Flower templates are then cut from the slab, with the two layers formed into the poppy shape. Each poppy is dried for a minimum of six hours in a cabinet dryer, which reduces the moisture content enough to fire them in the kiln. The poppies are biscuit fired’ and then hand-dipped and re-fired to high temperature before being dispatched to Paul Cummins’ studio in Derby.
Local veterans from the Stoke-on-Trent branch of the Normandy Veterans Association recently visited the factory to see the poppy making process in action and meet some of the artists, as did children from special educational school Abbey Hill who had a go at making their own poppies.
Joanna Dawidowska, who help lead the team of 12 ceramic makers at Johnson Tiles, said: This has been a very emotional project for everyone involved, some of the makers here have relatives who died so for them it’s a very special. It’s difficult to imagine just how many lives were lost until you see the amount of poppies, there are so many of them. It’s great to see so many people with different skill levels coming together for this, we’re all very passionate about it.
Paul Turner, one of the makers of the poppies and a former worker at Johnson Tiles 25 years ago, returned to the company especially to help with the project. He said: I’ve worked in ceramics all my life, and it was great to return to work on the poppies. We get regular updates when they’ve been planted, it’s amazing to see it all coming together.
It is important anti-ligature ventilation grilles help to provide safe, secure Young Offender Institution cells, explains Contour…Posted in Air Conditioning, Articles, Building Industry News, Building Services, Health & Safety, Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning - HVAC
The publication of the new CIBSE/ADE CP1 (2020) Heat Networks Code of Practice is a welcome step, says polymer pipework specialist REHAU.Posted in Articles, Building Industry News, Building Regulations & Accreditations, Building Services, Heating Systems, Controls and Management, Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning - HVAC, Innovations & New Products, Pipes, Pipes & Fittings, Plumbing, Publications, Sustainability & Energy Efficiency
The refurbishment of a community leisure centre in Wiltshire has been given a paint finish that is more than fit or purpose, thanks to leading paint manufacturer Crown Paints.Posted in Articles, Building Industry News, Building Products & Structures, Case Studies, Facades, Interiors, Paints, Paints, Coatings & Finishes, Posts, Restoration & Refurbishment, Retrofit & Renovation, Walls
Security specialist Mul-T-Lock has launched the new MTL™500 multi-patented mechanical platform, boasting next-level protection for both residential and commercial environments.Posted in Access Control & Door Entry Systems, Architectural Ironmongery, Articles, Building Industry News, Building Products & Structures, Health & Safety, Innovations & New Products, Security and Fire Protection