Staff at Wednesbury Museum and Art gallery are preparing to unveil their newly re-displayed Ruskin Pottery Gallery at the beginning of June.
Ruskin Pottery was produced between 1898 and 1934 in Smethwick and is now collected all over the world with pieces often turning up on the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow.
Its colourful, bright glazes make it a real collector’s item and showcases how the area was creating decorative pieces and not just heavy industrial items.
The new gallery is being celebrated with A Presentation With A Difference at 3pm on Saturday June 8 and Wednesday 5 June at 7pm.
Visitors can also meet Ethel, a glaze mixer at the Ruskin Pottery factory around 1924, and hear her stories about life and work in this Smethwick pottery factory.
“This is a really new way to experience the pottery,” said Jane Hanney-Martin, Museum Services Manager. “It’s the stories of the people who worked there which are as interesting as the pottery itself.
“Many of the workers worked at the factory for the whole time it was open and when workers went off to the Great War. William Howson-Taylor the factory owner wrote to them at the front and kept their jobs open for their return.
“The workers also often went on days out to Clent or Kinver, taking lunch and then a walk. It was a real family atmosphere.”
At the talks there will also be photographs on display of the Ruskin factory and its workers as well as copies of letters sent by William Howson-Taylor and wartime service documents from some of the workers at the factory.
Entry to the talks is free and there is no need to book just turn up. The talks are supported by an Open Access Award from Creative Black Country as part of the Creative People and Places Scheme.