The Great Pottery Throw Down – first impressions!

We’re four episodes in and it’s still doing a fab job of bringing pottery alive.

Wendy & Sam are super busy at the moment so I’ve taken over the blog for this mini review – I’m Mark – I’m one of the regulars at pottery classes and I helped with the new look and site for Seven Limes.

So far so good, I was a little hesitant about how well pottery would translate the Bake Off formula (I’m a huge fan of that too despite defnitely doing more pottery than baking!) – and turns out I needn’t have been! So far it has shown a great spectrum of pottery. From throwing on the wheel (most people’s impression of pottery no doubt) with some entirely expected filth from throwing handles – to hand building and slab pots the diversity of techniques has been impressive.

The potters on the show are also a wonderful mix of people, who all have their own strengths and weaknesses and skills they do and don’t have. Personally I had a moment of delight in the second episode where they coiled a sink! (I mostly coil my pots so the realisation they weren’t going to solely focus on wheel thrown pots was exciting to me and they’ve continued to branch out since then.) There’s been a wonderful range of executions – when given the same brief the end result always promises to offer some wildly different outcomes. And there is trepidation too, as we all know, the fear of what you put in the kiln might not come out intact especially with the added time pressure.


The judges have turned out to be well chosen, Kate Malone – someone who’s work I personally love, a hand building artist known for massive pots with impressive shape and form, and Keith Brymer Jones who is the opposite end of the spectrum with a love for simple and minimal thrown designs. He also has a tendency to weep with delight over some of the potters creations, which is quite the change from Bake Off’s Paul Hollywood. Sarah Cox as presenter has also put in a winning turn, keeping the innuendos and puns flowing when needed.


One of the other things I liked seeing was also how much it reminded me of being at class, the banter and chat between the potters is exactly as I’m used to at Seven Limes (spoilers I’ve been going for years!) That said, I’ve got some non potters watching it and they seem to love it too!


You can catch it all still on BBC iPlayer here.