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Chris Campbell

Poppies In London

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Potclays    4

Hi everyone,

 

By way of introduction my name is James Otter and I am a director at Potclays Limited here in Stoke-on-Trent in the UK (www.potclays.co.uk). We are a family owned and operated clay manufacturer and have been in the clay mining and processing business for 82 years.

 

I am unbelievably proud to say that all of the clay being used for the project is supplied by Potclays and is called Etruscan Red (Sanded) (159-1139S) it's a slightly sanded, red earthernware clay that is being fired right up to 1280C (very high given its recommended maturity is up to 1260-1270C).  The poppies have been finished in a number of ways but the bulk are being fired with a high temperature red glaze identified just for this project - Poppy Red.

 

There is quite a bit of input from the USA in that the machinery that we supplied on which the clay is rolled out by the teams consists of slightly modified Northstar slab rollers and a substantial amount of firing is being undertaken using L&L kilns.

 

The poppies are being fired at two sites in the UK namely Derby and Stoke-on-Trent. At derby there are a number of kilns in action including a state of the art L&L 100cuft Davinci bell lift kiln. The Stoke poppies are being fired in an industial gas roller kiln usualy used for tile making. Amazingly, on the industrial roller kiln a poppy can be fired up to 1280C and cooled to 50C in under an hour!

 

As of two weeks ago over 400k poppies had been biscuit fired and now with two facilities in operation the output has increased dramatically bringing the goal much closer.

 

We are pleased to play a small part in such a great project which is a fitting tribute to the brave men and women who gave their lives.

 

I hope that provides a little more insight into the practicalities of the project but don't hesitate to contact me and if I can help I will.

 

All the best

 

James

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Chris Campbell    1,088

THANK YOU James for taking the time to inform us. This project has been inspiring in more ways than one ... Inspiring admiration for the talent, respect for the size of the project and about a thousand process questions.

 

I surely hope someone is documenting the whole project on film!

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Chilly    331

I went to London today to see the poppies at the Tower. Mind-blowing. They are standing shoulder to shoulder all the way around the moat except for one small area, and I'm sure that will be filled by next Tuesday. They represent the 888,246 British and colonies military fatalities during WW1. To see them massed makes you realise just how many men lost their lives. We will remember them, we WILL remember them.

 

post-59202-0-36268900-1415124622_thumb.jpg

post-59202-0-36268900-1415124622_thumb.jpg

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Chilly    331

And another photo - I've made them smaller, but if I make them any smaller you won't get the scale.

post-59202-0-34668100-1415125403_thumb.jpg

post-59202-0-34668100-1415125403_thumb.jpg

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Chris Campbell    1,088

888,246

 

It's so hard to get my head around this number ... that likely doesn't include later in life deaths from shell shock, poison gas and suicide.

What is amazing is that they went on to fight another.

I don't see the poppies worn in the States, but they certainly are in Canada.

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Natania    6

My sister in law went recently to see the installation with her two sons. Said it was amazing. Sent pictures but the ones posted here are better. I wonder who came up with this idea? It is a really beautiful one and extremely successful both visually and conceptually....

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TJR    359

888,246

 

It's so hard to get my head around this number ... that likely doesn't include later in life deaths from shell shock, poison gas and suicide.

What is amazing is that they went on to fight another.

I don't see the poppies worn in the States, but they certainly are in Canada.

Chris;

I wasn't aware that Americans didn't wear the poppy. In Canada, all of us wear them, right from little children up to grandparents. Some people wear a white poppy, but most of us wear red.Monday is Remembrance Day. Tuesday, schools are off.

TJR.

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Benzine    610

Nope TJR, I had never heard of the poppy thing, until this topic.  We have Veteran's Day on Tuesday, but that's about it.  My district still has school, but we have a big program, where all the schools come to the High School gym, and the Veterans are invited and honored.  Some schools don't even do that much, and it's just another day.

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Chris Campbell    1,088

 

888,246

 

It's so hard to get my head around this number ... that likely doesn't include later in life deaths from shell shock, poison gas and suicide.

What is amazing is that they went on to fight another.

I don't see the poppies worn in the States, but they certainly are in Canada.

 

Chris;

I wasn't aware that Americans didn't wear the poppy. In Canada, all of us wear them, right from little children up to grandparents. Some people wear a white poppy, but most of us wear red.Monday is Remembrance Day. Tuesday, schools are off.

TJR.

Nope, no red poppy lapel pins here ... must be a British Empire thing. I do miss seeing them and being reminded that there are people to thank for our Freedom. Who can forget " In Flanders Field the poppies grow ...." ... a poem we had to memorize in school.

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TJR    359

This must be a British Commonwealth thing. I know they wear poppies in England and Australia.

We celebrate Remembrance Day at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. Always November 11. We will have a service on Monday. Usually something to promote peace. Then Tuesday we are off.

It's more poignant this year, as a man tried to get into the parliament buildings with a gun. A guard was shot and killed before the assailant was taken down. The guard was the single parent of a 6 year old boy.

It is a different world that we live in.

TJR.

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PeterH    87

I'm surprised to find that the Americans started the use of remembrance poppies.

 

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Remembrance_poppy

The remembrance poppy (a Papaver rhoeas) has been used since 1921 to commemorate soldiers who have died in war. Inspired by the World War I poem "In Flanders Fields", they were first used by the American Legion to commemorate American soldiers who died in that war (1914–1918). They were then adopted by military veterans' groups in parts of the former British Empire: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Today, they are mainly used in the UK and Canada to commemorate their servicemen and women who have been killed in all conflicts since 1914. Small artificial poppies are often worn on clothing for a few weeks prior to Remembrance Day/Armistice Day (11 November). Poppy wreaths are also often laid at war memorials.

 

Regards, Peter

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florence w    12

It has been many years since I've seen an American Legionnaire offering a poppy, but as a child and a young woman our local Penns Grove, New Jersey post did.  Several years ago, while on vacation in Spain, I was asked by a friend who is a Brit, if I knew the significance of the red poppy.  Seeing the sea of red around the Tower is such a statement.  Americans need to be reminded... 

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ayjay    119

It may interest you to know that all the poppies have been sold,  they have raised a total of £11.2m for various military charities.

 

8000 volunteers are ready to begin dismantling the installation next Wednesday, although there have been calls to leave it in place for an extra few days in order to allow more people to see it.

 

Ebay will not be allowing the re-sale of any poppies.

 

 

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Mark C.    1,807

I was blowed away seeing them on the news a few nights ago.

It was overwhelming visually.I hate to think about the setup and take down.

To bad we still go to war.Mans not to smart.

Mark

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Chilly    331

I'd be inclined to buy one, if I didn't have to pay the overseas shipping.

 

I thought about buying one, but dallied and by the time I made a decision, it was too late.

 

So, I'm going to make my own version, and make a £25 donation direct to one of that charities that would have received a share of 10% of the sale price plus the "net proceeds".

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Rae Reich    67

Lovely! Thanks for all the links and good info. I was so curious when I first heard of this massive project. What a fun and satisfying group effort - like working on a Cristo installation but with the added emotional content of a memorial/celebration. You know I'm going to be making some poppies of my own! Also, killer kilns!

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