The Great Pottery Throw Down

The Great Pottery Throw Down

Series 2 - Episode 3



Ceramic artist and Throw Down judge Keith “Tears for Fears” Brymer Jones blubs not once but twice at examples of the contestants’ Japanese ceramics.

The Throw Downers’ task is to make a saki set comprising a 25cm bottle and six cups, all fired in the unique raku way, which here involves the donning of flameproof clothing and goggles for the fearsome-looking process. The deliberate burning of hair (not the potters’) is also involved, and it stinks.

There are some beauties, hence the KBJ sobbing, and some that don’t work quite so well: “It looks like a five-year-old’s been at it,” says one amateur ceramicist of his own effort. As always judge Kate Malone wants precision.


The home potters are tested on the art of Japanese-style ceramics. For the main challenge, they throw a sake set, consisting of one bottle and six identical cups. The exciting part, however, comes during the firing, when they use a risky 16th-century method in which they pull their burning pieces out of the kiln and plunge them into a bin full of combustible materials. For the spot test, they must pierce and carve an intricate design into a lantern using a technique known as the `devil's work', and the throw down sees them back at the wheel, making as many rice bowls as they can in 15 minutes.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Sara Cox
Judge Kate Malone
Judge Keith Brymer Jones
Executive Producer Sarah Thomson-Woolley
Series Producer Elliott Gerner