Season 5 episode 1 Bill

Bill

Was it liberating to be filming this series?
It was fabulously exciting and allowed me to try out new ideas and work with materials and techniques I’d never experienced before.

 

What age or time in your life did you start pottery and who inspired you?
I took up pottery at my local evening adult education class when I was in my early 40s at the same secondary school my daughters attended. I was really inspired by my first tutor there, a local artist and talented potter, Russel Wrigley.

 

Can you say something about the best piece of pottery you have ever made – even if it was your first piece – and any memories that are attached to it?
My favourite piece is one of my first porcelain mugs. I woodfired it at Guldagagard in Denmark.

 

Where do you make your pottery, do you have a shed or a workshop that you share?
I share a great pottery studio with a lovely and talented bunch of ladies.

 

What is your favoured technique – hand-built or thrown – or both and give reasons why?
I’ve always loved throwing. It’s what I enjoy most. I love finding out just how tall and thin different clays can be pushed.

 

Pottery is usually a relaxing hobby and a lengthy process, so what was it like to be working under quite strict time constraints that first week?
I’ll be honest, I struggled with the time restrictions and pressure of working quickly. I’m just not used to it. Obviously, I knew it was going to be like that but it was far harder than I had imagined.

 

What is your favourite piece of pottery that you make for friends and family, and do you get any special requests around Christmas or birthdays?
Everyone loves a mug and I like to personalise pieces for friends. I’m often getting asked to make personalised pet bowls! 

 

How did you find filming walking in on the first day?
Sooooo exciting! It was finally real and not just a dream.

 

Which judge did you want to impress the most and why?
Keith and Rich are just legends!  So great to meet Rose too. 

 

What do you feel that you will take away from your experience on The Great Pottery Throw Down?
So many amazing memories. We laughed so much! I have met 11 incredibly talented and lovely friends for life. I have renewed interest in pottery with lots of new ideas and projects I want to try.

 

Did you enjoy being in the midst of pottery country in Stoke, and filming at the Gladstone Pottery Museum – did it inspire you?
What an incredible place!! The history, the atmosphere and setting are just perfect and certainly inspiring!

 

How hard was it to keep a secret?
Really difficult! I couldn’t wait to not have to keep my mouth shut. It’s not my style!

 

Do you think your pottery friends or work friends were surprised to see you on television?
For sure!!! I think they were surprised and hopefully proud of me. 

 

What was your best and worst moment overall in the series, and why?
The best part was meeting the other potters and the forever friendship we now have. My worst moment was the pressure of trying to concentrate on that first technical milk bottle challenge. I had so much going on in my head that I just struggled to focus.

 

What’s next for you in the pottery world and what are your hopes and ambitions after The Great Pottery Throw Down?
It’s back to the studio but with lots more ideas and enthusiasm. I’m making lots of pots and would like to make more and sell some if possible. I’m teaching a wheel throwing class in Whitby and absolutely love doing that.

 

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