BBC’s The Great Pottery Throw Down I’ve been watching episodes of The Great Pottery Throw Down. I hadn’t previously considered ceramics as a spectator sport, but it’s crazy fun to watch people make pottery! Jodie at the wheel In every episode, amature potters respond to a wide variety of maker challenges. Some are races against the clock, some push contestants to go out on a limb on crazy design ideas, others are purely skill based. There’s always the excitement of chance, and a bit of luck involved. Though the potters are competing with each other to place well in the contest, the spirit of camaraderie is supportive, and you’ll see them cheering each other on, or lending a hand to help someone finish their project before they’re out of time. Alon’s ideas were nutzo and several of his projects didn’t work, but a couple of them did and they were fantastic Watching the potters decorate their wares before the glaze firing, it’s a strange sight to see the them drown their pots with wrong-colored paints. Glazes react chemically to the temperatures and oxidation in the kiln, so there’s no way of knowing exactly what they’re going to look like after firing. It’s every emotion from tragedy to ecstatic bliss when the transformed artworks are revealed at the end. AJ Simpson posing with their original handbuilt clay sculpture, from Season 5. Go AJ! Here are some of the fun challenges from Season One: throw as many egg cups as they can throw in 20 minutesmake a sink using the 15,000 year old coiling techniquethrow the tallest cylinder …while blindfoldedthrow ten identical long-necked vases using the raku technique15 minutes on the wheel to replicate two ornate candlesticks thrown by a master potterhand-build a five-foot garden sculpture out of slabs of clay10 minutes on the wheel to throw the widest plate they candesign and slip cast a decorative chandelier in translucent bone china15 minutes on the wheel to make the largest closed sphere without collapsingdesign and produce an original twelve-piece tea set out of porcelain20 minutes to make three high-shouldered jugs – one of the hardest shapes to throw at the wheel Don’t these challenges sound fun? I want to do them all! Challenge: wheel throwing the tallest cylinder while blindfolded I can’t wait to start pottery classes!