Across eight-packed episodes we discovered the art and science of turning lumps of clay into beautiful objects. With its rich heritage, intriguing technical language and magical transformations, The Great Pottery Throw Down brought the messy and marvellous world of pottery to life.
After 24 gruelling challenges, Ryan from London, emerged triumphant as the winner of The Great Pottery Throw Down 2017. In a very tough competition the Judges - top potter Keith Brymer Jones and ceramic artist Kate Malone - had to decide who had done enough to be crowned Britain’s best budding potter.
What age or time in your life did you start pottery and who inspired you?
I first touched clay by going on a first date from tinder : ) just under 2 years ago! I instantly fell in love with it. I went on Ebay straight away and brought my first wheel and kiln and moved them into my grandma’s shed.
Where do you make your pottery and what is your favoured technique?
I love throwing as you have instant results and it’s more fast paced. I have my own small studio space at my grandmas and I also go to a members ceramic studio in London. I am a huge fan of Raku firing! Pottery is usually a relaxing hobby and a lengthy process so what was it like to be working under quite strict time constraints. Pottery is very relaxing and not usually so competitive…. So working under crazy time constraints and in a competitive environment was very difficult and a lot of pressure. It has improved my skills as a potter and speeded up my throwing a lot.
What is your favourite piece of pottery?
I tend to make a lot of bottle forms all different shapes and sizes with organic type surfaces and textures.
How did you find filming walking in on the first day?
The first day was very intense meeting everyone and being filmed making for the first time, but after a while you get use to the cameras being there. The whole experience was an emotional rollercoaster of highs and lows. With pottery when things go wrong they can go very wrong, and there is no getting away from the cameras.
Who did you want to impress the most?
I really wanted to impress Kate, so I always tried to figure out what she liked and pushed for that as much as possible. One of my main goals was to make Keith cry as I feel that’s an achievement in itself.
What do you feel that you will take away from your experience on the Great Pottery Throw Down?
I have made so many great friends from going through this challenge with the other competitors, and the practical side has improved my throwing dramatically. We also got to create and build things we would never do.
What did you find easier or enjoy the challenge more – the Main Make, Spot Test or the Throwdown?
I personally enjoyed the spot tests and throw downs the most as you really had to think on your feet and just get on with it, which I found so liberating and exciting.
What were the best and worst moment in the series for you?
One of the best moments was the beginning of the first time throwing, it really put the whole thing into reality and was a OMG moment “this is happening”…. Another great moment for me was winning the first episode with my 16 piece dinner set, that really gave me a confident boost which was needed from the overwhelming talent from the other potters. And impressing both judges and not just one or the other with my toilet. The first moment of them flushing it and me going pheeewwwwwwww it actually worked! I think we all found it super hard to see people leaving the series as we all bonded as a family. One of my worst moments was when I had a bad day throwing and there was no hiding it or getting away from all the cameras. I was trying to join my two large cylinders and was having a nightmare and it really showed!
What’s next for you in the ceramic world and what are your hopes and ambitions after Great Pottery Throw Down?
I am now starting to build a website to showcase some of my latest works. I loved being on the series and who knows what the next chapter will entail!