The Great Pottery Throwdown Season 5

By Nigel Leak posted 12 days ago

The Great Pottery Throwdown is back for it's 5th Series.

Since moving from the BBC to Channel 4, the programme apparently has taken on a new lease of life and continues to be popular. 

I am a fan of the programme and would commend it to anybody involving in the ceramic manufacture, distribution or sales, of any type of ceramic, not just traditional, tableware, tiles sanitaryware  or ornamental ware.   It provides an insight into the opportunities and constraints presented by ceramic materials and their processing.   The time constraints the competitors work under plus the need for them to come up with novel pieces that  stand out often pushes things to the limits and beyond!

The programme is also very much do with design and as such is broader in its scope than just ceramics .  Each competitor is essentially a designer who is working with particular  set of materials and processes in order to produce the item they envisage.​
Above all, the programme is entertaining and fun to watch. I think this is down to the choice of the two Judges, the host and contestants.  All engaging personalities who look good in front of a camera.  This year the series has started with  Ellie Taylor as the host while the regular host Siobhan McSweeney  recovers from a broken leg.  There is humour, when things go wrong; and drama, will items survive the firing?  At the end we see a wonderful array of items, which have been transformed before our eyes from, clay, slip powders and heat.

The first week were saw the making of hand thrown children's tea sets and milk bottles.  This week we saw ornamental clocks with pendulums made from slab work and hand throwing, blindfold.

The hand thrown milk bottle was an interesting exercise.  To make this item with it's lip any other way than by hand throwing is virtually impossible.  You cannot use a jigger tool because you would be unable to remove the tool.   Slip casting would but would be massively more expensive and slower in comparison.  For such an item, hand throwing is the best method, even in modern times.

1 comment



10 days ago

Love this @Nigel Leak, look forward to reading your installments as the series progresses as always!​