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Temporary art installation comes to Portobello Kilns

Posted: 7th July 2023

Heritage, community building, and creativity were on show at the site of the old Portobello Kilns where a new ‘Collaborative Bannerwork by the Decorators of Portobello’ was unveiled today (July 7).

The kilns are the last remaining buildings of the pottery industry in Scotland and have been a community landmark for over a century. The kilns first fired objects in 1906 with the construction of the first kiln by Buchan’s Pottery company.

The bannerwork depicts a range of drawings and paintings from the original illustrations and motifs used at the potteries in the 1960s. The decorators themselves are five local women who worked at the potteries during that time period.

The aim of the project is to showcase the rich heritage of the area and to raise awareness and funding for the renovations and maintenance of the kilns going forward. The bannerwork is expected to be displayed for up to a year.

Culture and Communities Convener, Councillor Val Walker said:

“It is fantastic news that this new collaborative banner has been unveiled at the historic Portobello Kilns. These are the only surviving bottle kilns in Scotland and represent the rich industrial history of Portobello and the Firth of Forth.

“I would like to thank the Portobello Heritage Trust and Art Walk Porty for their excellent work on this and I’m sure many Portobello residents and visitors will enjoy the installation in the coming weeks and months”.

Chair of the Portobello Heritage Trust, Dr Margaret Munro said:

“Portobello Heritage Trust enjoyed working with Art Walk Porty and the decorators from A.W. Buchan & Co. Ltd. in creating this amazing, decorative banner.

“We support the City of Edinburgh Council with their grant applications to rebuild the 1906 kiln and look forward to having it completed in the near future.”

Rosy Naylor from Art Walk Porty said:

“Art Walk Porty is really delighted to have been able to collaborate with artist Nicky Bird and some of the decorators who worked at A.W. Buchan & Co Ltd potteries in the 1960s, to create this beautiful new bannerwork for the site of Portobello Kilns.

“We hope it brings some colour and enjoyment to the area, while work is underway to source funding for the rebuild. Many thanks to City of Edinburgh Council and Portobello Heritage Trust in helping to realise this project.”

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Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
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