Bristol vet James hard at work on a pottery challenge
Bristol vet James hard at work on a pottery challenge

The Great Pottery Throw Down: Why ceramics is set to be the nation's next obsession

Bye-bye ‘Bake Off’, here comes the new king or queen of the kiln. Amira Hashish looks at  the growing trend for all things ceramic

Amira Hashish
Friday 30 October 2015 16:25
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The production team behind The Great British Bake Off is about to launch a new show centred around ceramics. The Great Pottery Throw Down, which airs on BBC2 this Tuesday, will see 10 potters battle it out to be crowned the queen or king of the kiln by judges Kate Malone and Keith Brymer Jones. Hosted by Sara Cox, it is set to be the nation’s next obsession.

“It’s no surprise that the BBC has created a show dedicated to pottery,” says a representative from e-commerce site notonthehighstreet.com. “We’ve seen an increase in sellers joining the site whose small businesses focus on creating unique, handmade pottery and ceramics.”

Independent design studios are putting colourful stamps on pottery. Guy Brown and Don Herd run an interiors business called Room 9. They have created a collection of functional pieces with distinct personality. Their new range of ceramic lights, named the Tajine pendant series, is inspired by North African clay cooking pots (£190, room-9.co.uk). All their works are made-to-order and individually produced by the designers.

Linda Bloomfield makes thrown porcelain tableware in her West London studio. She trained as a scientist before fulfilling her dream to become a potter. She makes all her own glazes in jewel-like colours which cannot be obtained using commercial ceramic stains. Mugs and bowls start from £12 (lindabloomfield.co.uk)

The contemporary British designer/maker Taz Pollard creates vibrant ceramics by hand. She is fascinated by traditional ceramics and this has heavily influenced her work. Her pieces are either thrown on the wheel or cast but finished with bright contemporary colours and materials. Vases are priced from £18 (notonthehighstreet.com).

Of course the go to place for pottery is Stoke-on-Trent, where Burleigh, Moorcroft, Portmeirion, Wedgwood and Emma Bridgewater have factory shops. Visitstoke.co.uk is a handy resource for opening times and details.

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