Throw Down Season 5

Catch up with each Throw Down episode and read a Q&A with the leavers

 

Week 1: Crockery set and ceramic milk bottles

Potter of the week
Lucinda impressed the judges with her children’s tea set and was named the first POTW

Saying goodbye
Bill was the first potter to leave after only managing a pair of bottles, and being disappointed by the colours on his crockery set.


Read what he had to say about his experience on the show here

 

 

 

Week 2: Pendulum wall clock and blindfold challenge

Potter of the week
Cellan shone at both the challenge and the clock main make to be crowned POTW.

Saying goodbye
Zahra’s origami bird clock sadly didn’t hang on the wall (although, of course, in real life, one could have sorted that out!)

Read what she had to say about her experience on the show here

 

Week 3: Inanimate objects and a bottle kiln

Potter of the week
Nick made the most of the unusual qualities of paper clay, and his very detailed boat got him this week’s win.

Saying goodbye
Josh’s cart didn’t quite make the grade, and he was the third potter to leave.

Read what he had to say about his experience on the show here

 

Week 4: Japanese tea set and handle-pulling

Potter of the Week
Tom rose to the challenges of raku-firing with Keith saying it’s ‘the best thing’ he’s done, and was given this week’s title.

Saying goodbye
Miles was the next to go after his raku was judged to be not quite refined enough.
Read what he had to say about his experience on the show here

 

Week 5: Character gnomes and a sea kale forcer

Potter of the Week
AJ’s double whammy of their contemporary gnomes and spectacular forcer won them POTW

 

Saying goodbye
For Cellan, the big challenge proved too much, and his gnomes were a bit too small.


Read what he had to say about his experience on the show here

 

 

Week 6:  A pair of vessels inspired by the swinging Sixties, and a decoration spot challenge

Potter of the Week
Jenny took the title this week, after her stunning ’60s-inspired vases moved Keith to tears and drew every single compliment you can think of!

Going home
Nick had a blowout in the bisque-firing, and his decoration challenge didn’t go brilliantly with guest judge Orla Kieley not very taken with his flames design.

Read what he had to say about his experience on the show here

 

Week 7: Wildlife week and a hand-built table lamp

Potter of the week
Life-like animal lamps decorated with sgraffito produced some amazing builds this week. The challenge, with only the most basic guidelines and no pre-planning, gave the potters freedom to showcase their personalities.
AJ took the prize in both the challenge and the main build, to win Potter of the Week.

Throw down S5 E7

Going home
This potter had never made an octopus and never used sgraffito. Sadly there wasn’t enough sgraffito on the main make.  Tom’s pre- and post-global warming globes in the challenge missed the mark, and he was the sixth potter to leave.

Read what he had to say about being on the show, here

 

Week 8: Smooth self-sculptures, building kilns for sawdust firing and candlesticks off the hump, in the quarter-final

Potter of the Week
Christine was crowned this week’s winner with her ‘incredible’, ‘triumphant’, ‘brave’ and ‘powerful’ self-sculpture. Her moving sculpture was beautifully made, and told a powerfully emotional personal story.

Going home
Jenny did well in the Throw Down challenge, but her main build cracked in its first firing. Even though her sawdust firing resulted in amazing colours, but this was the quarter-final and the crack was enough to send her home.

Read what she had to say about her experience of being on the show here

 

 

Week 9: The semi-final! The ever-amusing Bathroom Week challenge was urinals, and the spot test was Wedgwood Jasperware

Christine’s legs blew off her lobster urinal, while Lucinda’s big areas of slab cracked. One could argue that the former is a worse example of potter error than the latter, but hey, we’re not the judges!

Potter of the week
AJ is really on a roll in these later stages, winning the urinal challenge with their knight’s visor

Going home
Lucinda came first in the Jasperware challenge, but the positioning of her slabs in the urinal meant that they’d cracked during the bisque firing, which was enough for her to leave the show

Read what she had to say about her experience of being on the show here

 

Week 10: The final. Garden totems telling a personal story and a piercing challenge decided the winner who was… drum roll… AJ!

Across 10 clay-packed episodes, we saw 12 of the best home potters turn lumps of clay into beautiful objects, everything from homeware to urinals. The Great Pottery Throw Down presented by Ellie Taylor and Siobhán McSweeney brought the messy and marvellous world of pottery to life.

After 20 tough challenges, filmed at the Gladstone Pottery Museum in Stoke on Trent, it was AJ from Aberdeen, who emerged triumphant as the winner of The Great Pottery Throw Down 2022.

It all began with a children’s crockery set and milk bottles, on to clocks and throwing a pet bowl blindfolded. The next main make was an homage to the Potter’s hometown and then Stoke-on-Trent. Everyone loved Raku Week and handle-pulling produced the inevitable innuendoes. Garden week saw Keith and Rich dressed up as garden gnomes and ’60s week was a great retro throwback. Wildlife Week followed and then it was Sawdust Firing week with self-sculptures that made for a very emotional episode for the potters, and of course we had to have urinals that flushed for Bathroom Week!

Judges Keith Brymer Jones and Rich Miller had the toughest decision to make –who had done enough to be crowned Britain’s best home potter?  And they saved the most complicated and demanding challenges for the final: the potters had to face two of their toughest challenges yet.

They all produced the most amazing Garden Totems and ended with magnificent crowns using the technique of ‘devil’s work’, or piercing.

Christine with final make

AJ with final make

episode 10

Anna with final make

But there was to be only one winner taking the trophy home and it was AJ

After hearing the announcement, AJ said:  ‘I am so happy – it’s a dream come true, a dream that I never thought would ever happen.’

Keith said: ‘A wonderful worthy winner, AJ has a real sense of style. Absolutely marvellous. AJ won three potters of the week and five second challenges – that’s got to be a record!’

Fellow judge Rich added: ‘From the very outset they had consistency. The quality of the makes has been incredible.’

AJ, the winner of The Great Pottery Throw Down 2022, said: ‘When I heard the announcement, it was completely overwhelming but in a good way. I didn’t know how to react or what to do with myself! The atmosphere on set was absolutely incredible.  It took a while for it to sink in that I had actually won… it still hasn’t really sunk in yet!’

 

Read more from AJ here

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