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Great Pottery Throw Down 2021 week 2

Well another tough make, mainly because of the time constraints and the nature of building with slabs. If they get too dry then they don’t like being attached to each other and have a habit of cracking apart in the bisque firing. Too soft and they will start to slump and collapse – as indeed happened to Alon.

Alon has a most intriguing approach to the competition. To experiment with something you have never done before seems a little crazy. But most people with any degree of experience of working with clay would know that brushing liquid clay onto bisque generally doesn’t work. The liquid clay (or slip as it is generally called) will need to do a lot more shrinking that the bisque which will cause it to come apart and peel off, which is pretty much what it did, thereby ruining the piece. I think the judges were completely perplexed by this- why on earth was he doing it? It seemed like self sabotaging. The very fact that these people are using clay and glazes that they are unfamiliar with is enough of an experiment for most of them I think. There is plenty of scope for things to go wrong without increasing the chances of that happening.

pottery throwdown 2021 - alon whale It is a great shame that Alon seems to have this lemming-like death wish as his off-the-wall approach “I’m going to make a building tilted at an angle on top of a whale” is terrific and probably what kept him in the competition, but I’m not sure he will get away with it too many more times.

I thought the efforts of both Sal and Jodie were terrific . . . with Sal having the edge (but they can’t let her be potter of the week every week). Peter, Shenyue, and Adam put in a good show, Henry, Lee and Hannah I felt were slightly less good.

pottery throwdown 2021 - Sal 3d building Did Irina deserve to go? Probably yes, but you couldn’t help but feel for her, and I think Suz probably came close to departing.

The lighting up of the piece worked really well for some people’s work: Lee. Sal, Adam, Jodie, Shenyue and Peter, also Alon. It didn’t work for Irina’s sadly and that was perhaps the deal breaker.

pottery throwdown 2021 - Jodie tiled roof Best thing for me: Jodie’s roof tiles – gorgeous.