Well, the Throw Down is over for another year. It’s always sad when the series finale comes around, but we’ve enjoyed watching all the potters develop their skills and confidence over the weeks. Whoever you were rooting for, and there’s no denying that each had their ups and downs, Jodie was the well-deserved winner. But, that’s not to take anything away from Adam and Peter, who both came very close with their final builds of the series.
We caught up with Jodie’s thoughts on winning
“The biggest feeling I had was an overwhelming gratitude for getting there. Looking at the rest of the potters and how talented they are, I couldn’t believe I made it to the final, and then actually to win it… I was shocked but elated at the same time.
“I am so grateful for the opportunity of being there and learning more about pottery. All cheesy stuff to say, but it’s the truth. My fellow finalists were Peter and Adam, and it was great to get to the final with them. I really respect their work ethic, they are passionate and super hard-working. Also, it was great for Hannah to make it to the semi-final as we have become great friends – as I am with all the other potters.
“At the very end of the episode we didn’t know that one member of our family was going to be there. Siobhan then said, ‘we have a surprise for you’, and my dad came out and that was really a lovely moment for me.
“At work it has helped to lift the mood in the hospital among the staff. They are all massive fans of the show and every time I go in, they want to talk about it, and they are really happy for me. To be honest, it has been a dark cloud for the whole of last year, and this has given them a bit of joy. They laugh at me on-screen, but I don’t mind about that, as long as it makes them laugh.
“To bring the trophy home to Wales and the Valleys makes me really proud, and I hope I have made them proud too. It’s quite rural where I live; there is a huge mountain in front of my house, we live in quite close terraced houses where everyone knows each other, so I have had huge support from all of them.
“Over 10 weeks of living and filming with the potters, and in the practice barn we all supported each other. Every one of us would have a wobble at some stage, and we all helped each other when we were struggling. I will stay in touch with all the potters, and we talk every day on WhatsApp. Even though it was a competition – from the first challenge to the last challenge – we all helped each other. Production put up shower curtains in the practice barn to make it more private for us. But within 15 minutes they were down, and it became a little pottery community for us.
“I loved the challenge in Week 7, when I made a water fountain. I really enjoyed sculpting an animal as a water feature, I think that also appealed to kids. And then I got the surprise of Potter of the Week. My worst challenge was terracotta in Week 6. It was a new clay to me, a new method of making something and it all fell apart for me – literally. We all struggled a bit, and it put the terror in terracotta that week!
“The response from social media has been really positive. They will have a joke with you, but they aren’t ever mean as they all know we are under time restraints. They said my Shirley Bassey bust looked like Princess Fiona from Shrek – which I thought were really brilliant and funny comments. When I put the feathers on my raku vases, and looked back and they had all disappeared, I just thought ‘game over’, but I put more on and it worked. I got a very warm response for that and the reception for the whole show overall has been very supportive.
“The production team spoilt us rotten. We had fantastic accommodation, in a lodge with a log fire and a beautiful lake nearby. On set we were so well looked after, and throughout the whole experience I felt very safe. At the time of filming, Covid was still new and the nation was very nervous. I felt very lucky to be in a safe place, doing something I really love to do, I live on my own and it was great to be with 11 other people. We kept a social distance and wore masks off camera.
“Triathlons have come to a standstill. The pools are closed, and my club has put everything on hold, which makes sense in the current climate. They do online classes, which run on a Sunday, but while the series is on, they have moved the class earlier so they can all watch the show, which is really cute.
“I am in a bubble with my mum and dad, so on a Sunday, I watch the show with them. My dad really encourages me with my pottery as he is a DIY master, so he helps me out all the time. My mother was a nurse in the hospital that I work in now, so she is a super proud mum on both counts. We watched the final together of course, and it was a lovely night as it was also Mother’s Day. Mum bought a fancy bottle of bubbles and we had a lovely night celebrating.
“The best moment I will never forget is when I got voted Potter of the Week in episode 2. I was convinced I was going home when I saw the other potters ‘work in the drying room. I felt that I had let myself down by not coming up with a better design and that I was going home before the journey had even begun. The fact that the judges chose my building to honour with Potter of the Week was a turning point for me. It made me get out of my own head and think that I was worthy to be there. The confidence I gained that week made me work even harder.
“The worst moment for me was that it was a massive blow to the household every week when somebody was told they were going home, but when Shenyue was voted out it hit me hard. We shared a lift to the pottery every day, so we often talked through what we were worried about. I would encourage Shenyue and she would encourage me. She helped me so much and I was just really sad to see her go home.
“I kept the trophy in my parent’s attic while the show was airing but it will take pride of place on their mantelpiece from now. It’s a really beautiful trophy and all the crew wrote a message on it. Keith threw it on the wheel and it’s very much in Rich’s style, it’s a treasure trove when you look inside it. And the pedestal it stands on has all the potters’ names on; it’s really stunning.
“I don’t know what is next for me in the pottery world, but my greatest ambition is to use every ounce of knowledge from the Throw Down and use it to inspire my future projects. It’s given me one hell of a confidence boost and I now know that I can create anything if I work hard enough.
“I feel as though I am going to take away a wealth of knowledge about ceramics that I can take forward and help to improve my future work. I also have a sneaky suspicion that I am going to find out a bit about myself as a person too. Hopefully, the memories that I make will be looked upon fondly in years to come. Lastly, and by no means least, I feel as though I have made lifelong friends that I can call upon to reminisce about the good old days on the Pottery Throw Down.”
Applications are now open for the next series, so if you fancy a shot, head over to channel4.com/takepart