The Great Pottery Throw Down


Brandon Chan, Staff Writer

The Great Pottery Throw Down is a British television show that airs on HBO MAX. It is similar to The Great British Bake-Off, but instead of a baking competition, it is centered on creating works of art using clay. 

This show began in 2015. There are six episodes from season one, eight from season two, and ten from season three. The new season recently began airing on HBO MAX on Sept. 17. This show has a very light-hearted energy as the contestants and judges don’t get too upset over the little things. The two judges, Keith Brymer Jones and Kate Malone, are both pottery masters who understand the intricacies of creating works of art using only clay. For people who have just tuned into the show to see what it’s about, the judges do a fantastic job at explaining why a piece of pottery is either good or bad. For instance, one of the critiques they have given was that the temperature of the kiln (a furnace or oven for baking and firing pottery) was too hot which caused the design of the clay to be rather chaotic (in a bad way). The contestants also do a good job of being as entertaining as possible while still focusing on their challenges.

“I watched the Great British Bake-Off and I saw this in my recommended section so I decided to give it a shot as well,” said junior Jonathan Liu. “It’s definitely a solid show because it’s unique. I haven’t seen a pottery show ever.”

Similarly to cooking and baking shows, The Great Pottery Throw Down has a series of challenges, beginning with smaller projects leading up to the final task. Falling behind in the earlier challenges can be devastating later on down the road since they are essentially starting from behind in the final challenge. These challenges can range from simply decorating a piece of pottery to creating a whole set of cups. While creating a set of cups may sound easy, watching the contestants struggle with that challenge definitely showed differently. A few were struggling with shaping each cup to the same size, so designing the cups was rather challenging. 

Besides just creating cups and bowls, these contestants also have to create large garden sculptures, light fixtures, and even working toilets. Watching the contestants shape all of these intriguing objects creates a lot of suspense in the show because you never know when the contestants might mess up badly. 

“I remember watching this show in its second season, I believe, and I found it to be pretty entertaining,” said senior Vicky Li. “I specifically enjoyed watching the contestants use perfect precision to place designs in the clay. I also enjoyed watching the contestants fail, but then create something even better because it showed great perseverance.” 

Go check out The Great Pottery Throw Down, it’s worth a shot!