Coalport China Museum
Inside the hovel of a bottle kiln. The hovel is the conical outer part of the kiln which protected the working inner part and acted as a chimney to draw away smoke from the coal fires lit in the firemouths around the base to create an airflow through the updraught kiln.
Saggars stacked in the kiln. Saggars were the rough clay containers into which the china pieces were placed to protect them from smoke in the kiln. Hot air was channelled under the kiln floor and up through the saggars. Bone china items received an initial, or biscuit, firing at a temperature of 1230ºC and received a second firing after glazing to make the clay impervious to fluids. Decorated items were fired several times at different temperatures to obtain a full range of colours.
Bottle Kiln. Around 20 tonnes of coal was required for a firing and the entire process of loading the kiln, firing the clay, and then leaving it to cool took around a week.