I was very disappointed to hear that the BBC is not commissioning a third series of The Great Pottery Throw Down. The second series reportedly out-performed Top Gear for audience numbers, and the series was undoubtedly instrumental in raising the profile of pottery. Classes are over-booked and people have had to go onto waiting lists, potters report being asked many more questions and an increase in sales at shows, as the level of engagement and understanding of the process of creating something from clay has grown among the general public. Although the launch of ClayCraft wasn’t related to the series, it has undoubtedly helped in its great success that pottery is enjoying such a high mainstream profile, with images appearing in adverts, it being touted as the new ‘mindfulness, and celebrities like Johnny Vegas talking about it on television shows that aren’t related to crafts. Pottery is now so much of a ‘thing’, that it even became worthy of a mention when Brad Pitt used it to help him during his divorce. Would that have been reported three or four years ago?
I know that it was divisive among established potters, but it was an entertainment show, not a serious, educational programme. Surely, anything that helps raise the profile of your craft can only be a good thing? Now when people see a mug for £25, they have an appreciation of why it costs more than a mass-produced £3 one from Ikea and are more likely to buy it.
There has been a groundswell of discontent about the decision, and supporters are being urged to make their feelings known to the BBC via its Points of View programme. A petition has also been raised which, as I write, has received over 27,000 signatures. If you’d like to add your support, just scan the QR code below. It may not persuade the BBC to re-think its decision, but could just help sway any other producers who might be considering taking it on.