Season 5 episode 2

Zahra

 

Was it liberating to be filming this series?
It was an incredible experience to have undergone, and one I feel very privileged to have had the opportunity to be a part of and meet such amazing people.

 

What age or time in your life did you start pottery and who inspired you?
I started my journey into pottery three and a half years ago following a weekend hand-building workshop me and a friend booked after watching the first series of GPTD on TV. From then I was hooked.

 

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 I’ve made is a coiled fish ‘glug glug’ jug. It took me 15 hours to hand-build and actually makes the glug noise.

 

Where do you make your pottery, do you have a shed or a workshop that you share?
I mainly throw, which is currently done in the centre of my kitchen, and occasionally I hand build on the dining table. Then everything gets fired in my kiln in the shed.

 

What is your favoured technique – hand-built or thrown – or both and give reasons why?
My favourite technique is throwing, as I love how within less than a minute you can transform a lump of clay into a form. I enjoy how rapid but skilled the process is.

 

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?
Pottery for me was always a relaxing pastime to wind down with – so the time constraints were a bit of a shock to the system from the get-go of the first week. I’m definitely someone who needs to take my time with things but I really enjoyed being challenged in a different way, eg speed throwing.

 

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?
My favourite pieces of pottery to make for friends and family are definitely functional ware, especially mugs, I love knowing someone is using an item I made for regular day-to-day things.

 

How did you find filming walking in on the first day?
I found the initial process of being filmed very bizarre to be honest, as it is like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. With having to be filmed constantly and not look at the camera was a little like being told not to press a big red buzzer so basically impossible for me.

 

Which judge did you want to impress the most and why?
I wanted to impress both of the judges as they’re so well suited to working together and their feedback was so different.

 

What do you feel that you will take away from your experience on The Great Pottery Throw Down?
The most important takeaway from this experience is definitely getting to know and become good friends with the other 11 potters and the little season 5 community we formed both on and off set.

 

Did you enjoy being in the midst of pottery country in Stoke, and filming at the Gladstone Pottery Museum –  did it inspire you?
Filming in Gladstone museum was one of my highlights of the experience; the place is so beautiful and we were very fortunate to have a nosy around and make pottery in such a historic landmark.

 

How hard was it to keep a secret?
This was almost impossible for me, it has to be said.

 

Do you think your pottery friends or work friends were surprised to see you on television?
I think my friends and colleagues were surprised but mainly amused by my appearance on television…

 

What was your best and worst moment overall in the series, and why?
The best moment of my time on the series was probably halfway through the breakfast set challenge as I managed to somehow convince myself I had all the time in the world before I panicked and decorated half of my pieces in the last few minutes!

 

What’s next for you in the pottery world and what are your hopes and ambitions after The Great Pottery Throw Down?
In the world of pottery there is so much more I want to learn and explore and the 12 of us are constantly getting tips and advice from each other which is so lovely. I’m currently building my own raku kiln at home and I’m learning more about crystal glaze making and different firing methods.

 

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