The Great Pottery Throw Down is over… What is there to look forward too on TV each week now? Will they make us wait another 12-18months for the next series (assuming there is a next series). I’m not going to lie, Robot Wars keeps me happy on a Sunday night (yes, I admitted it. I like Robot Wars) but it’s nothing compared to the delights of clay!
And as anyone reading this blog, probably also follows The Great Pottery Throw Down, what did you think of Ryan winning? I guess he was pretty much up there from the first episode, it was nice to have Clover come into her own by the end of the series. I had a bit of a marmite relationship with Richard, I’m not going to lie. He made me roll my eyes probably 5-8 times an episode, with his 17th century flower pattern and subtle homophobia/misogyny (‘eww a kiss from KBJ… Throwing is mens work…!!?) but he was a big softy really.
I think from the beginning people would probably have put Elaine, Freya and Ryan (and Nam if there was a 4th space) up for the final. Their skills were clearly superior, but then it comes down to design fluency and the luck of the kiln firing. Some people were shocked Cait made it so far, but then she held her own, stuck to brief and was realistic about her abilities (although clearly needed bit of help with timing).
Overall I really enjoyed the series and it’s great to have more people talking about clay and ceramics! When we visited Godshill Pottery they commented how much more business and inquiries they had for classes and pots since the series had been on TV, which can only be a positive thing.
Over at SB’s studio we’ve all agreed to have a go at some of the main makes from the show. The first one we’ve tried is from an early episode, where the contestants made clocks. I decided to go for an art deco mantle clock and although the construction changed a little when I saw the depth of the clock mechanism, I was able to stick to my design and I’m generally really happy with it!
I rolled out two slabs, one I kept smooth and one I rolled with my wave pattern. I used various measuring devices and card templates to get the proportions right and then cut the pieces, let them dry a little, scored and slipped them together, let them dry a little more, and then it was fired facing down in order to keep the face as flat as possible. I also have a little support at the back that you can’t see. The lower semi circle projects back about 5cm and creates a sturdy base. I used my Mayco grey and green glazes for the colours, although in SB’s kiln she fired them high (at my request) and so the colour is less animated and deeper. The mechanism is gold and black, which doesn’t come across in the photo so well.
I can honestly say I’m really happy with my clock! It actually came out as I had imagined. Which is often not the case with ceramics..
Onto the next task! I’d love to make something for the garden (I’ve been playing with the idea of making a large rabbit, as Little One loves rabbits, although she loves pigs and frogs too…), a dinner set I might skip as we don’t have the space, and we have no need for an extra toilet… Perhaps we can do some raku and pit firing over the summer!!
So there you have it. The series may have finished, but the love for clay lives on.