The first episode of ‘The Great Pottery Throw Down’ airs on BBC2 at 9pm tonight (Tuesday November 3).
Made by the team behind ‘The Great British Bake Off,’ the six-part series – filmed in Stoke-on-Trent – aims to find pottery’s hottest stars. And BBC2 hopes ‘The Great British Pottery Throw Down’ will repeat the success of ‘The Great British Bake Off,’ which migrated to BBC One.
In the show, master potter Keith Brymer Jones, who is head of design at MAKE International, joins presenter Sara Cox and ceramic artist Kate Malone to judge 10 home potters from around the country in their quest to become Top Potter.
Each week, the contestants will create a ‘Main Make,’ wherein the potters hope to translate a slab of clay into glazed glory, culminating in ‘the reveal’ straight from the kiln. Those whose clay creations fail to impress will leave the studio until the final, when one person proves themselves to be master of the wheel.
Sarah Cox said: “Clay, mess, passionate potters and the team behind ‘Bake Off’. What’s not to love? There’s something really raw and exciting about grabbing a lump of clay and creating something unique out of it.”
In tonight’s episode, the search for Top Potter begins with a four-day assignment to make stackable kitchen bowls from lumps of earthenware clay. Throwing, trimming and decorating are just some of the stages of the Make. While the potters wait for their bowls to dry and fire, they face two more challenges of their potting skills. The Spot Test is a chance to show off their technical ability against the clock. This week, they must make and attach handles onto 20 mugs using a technique called pulling. And in the Throw Down, the judges test the potters’ skills at the wheel. This week, they must throw as many egg cups as they can in 20 minutes. On the last day, the potters’ bowls finally come out of the kiln and they see whether their hard work has paid off.
In episode two, nine potters face a big ‘main make’ for the smallest room in the house – a decorative hand basin. The basins take seven days to make, so in the meantime judges Kate and Keith set more tests of the potters’ skills. In the Spot Test the potters must add a surface design to nine plain tiles. And in the Throw Down, the potters are challenged to throw the tallest cylinder they can while blindfolded.
Sara Cox will head the search for a new pottery star