What is a saggarmaker’s bottom knocker?

Not something you will find in South Holland. I have been on my travels and found a lady called Liz at Coalport Pottery which still performs this task. Use this as question in your Christmas Quiz and see how many get it right.

Answer:  – What’s My Line? was a Classic British television panel game from the 1950’s. Contestants with unusual occupations sign in, perform a mime of the job that they do, then field yes-or-no questions from four celebrities aiming to work out the contestant’s job.

The weirdest occupation on the programme is widely believed to be a “saggar maker’s bottom knocker”. Saggars are used to hold and protect pottery during kiln-firing, and by placing various substances in a saggar it is possible to produce dramatic visual effects on the finished pottery.

Producing saggars to the correct specifications required was a skilled job and needs a craftsman – the saggar maker. However, making the bases of the saggars is a less skilled job which can be left to a lesser craftsman, namely the saggar maker’s bottom knocker, who makes the bottom of the saggar by placing clay in a metal hoop and literally knocking it into shape.

3 Responses

  1. I watched that programme. I had never heard of the profession though I was a very young boy. It has stayed in my memory.

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