Today was Heritage Open Day and we were lucky enough to visit the basement of the Minton Free Library, in old Stoke upon Trent town. A recognisable building with round windows, just opposite the modern Sainsburys store and the statue of Mr Minton himself, the Victorian ceramics manufacturer.
Minton tiles are renowned throughout the world because they are so decorative. Particularly the harder and smaller floor tiles used in hallways and similar ones used externally on buildings.
Years ago I worked as a stand-in library assistant in this library on occasion, but never went down in to the basement.
Apparently when the wallpaper was recently taken off the walls in the basement these wonderful glazed tiles were revealed. They are amazingly beautiful and well preserved.
I just love that they are mainly blue and white ( our crush theme in the studio at the moment) and the fact that they tell stories… so fitting for the surroundings.
The building is beautiful from the outside too, but for now let’s just enjoy these fabulous stories and characters depicted in Minton tiles.
There were also other items of ceramics found on the site. More modern pieces like this blue and white Midwinter set.
I met Mrs Midwinter once, when she came in to Webberleys art shop to buy some supplies (I was a shop assistant prone to doodling during quiet spells behind the counter.) She commented on some of my doodles and said I could work in the pottery business with design ideas like those ( quite a compliment 😀)