The Great Pottery Throw Down 2021: Everything you need to know

The Great British Pottery Throw Down has returned for series 4 and we've got all the who, what, where and whens so you never miss an episode.

The Great Pottery Throw Down Final

The Great Pottery Throw Down 2021 has just finished and what a series it was! We’ve rounded up every episode on the show so you can catch up with the best series yet. Keep scrolling to meet the judges (we even interviewed Keith for our podcast!), this year’s contestants and find out the winner of The Great Pottery Throw Down 2021.  And if this year’s competition has got you curious about ceramics, have a read of our guide to pottery for beginners to find out how to get started at home. Get your clay at the ready, it’s time to make.

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Love a bit of crafty TV? Once you’ve become a Pottery Throwdown expert check out our guides to The Great British Sewing Bee and Grayson’s Art Club, which cover everything you need to know about these creative shows! We’ve also got a whole host of free daily craft patterns which will keep you entertained for hours. 

Warning: There are spoilers below!

Great Pottery Throw Down 2021
Siobhan McSweeney, Keith Brymer Jones and Rich Miller. Credit: Channel 4 / Love Productions

What channel is the Great Pottery Throw Down on?

The Great Pottery Throw Down is aired on Channel 4. The original two seasons were aired on BBC 2 in 2015 and 2017. The show was then bought by Channel 4 and has been a huge success ever since.

What time is the Great Pottery Throw Down on TV?

The Great Pottery Throw Down was on every Sunday at 8 pm in 2021. It was on for 10 weeks with the final on the 14th March 2021. We can’t wait for the Great Pottery Throw Down 2022!

Where to watch The Great Pottery Throw Down online?

You can watch The Great Pottery Throw Down series 4 on Channel 4’s on-demand streaming service. You’ll be able to watch the show live online as long as you have a TV license. Alternatively, each episode will be uploaded to channel 4 after the program airs meaning you can catch up with each episode whenever you like! You can also watch all the episodes from The Great Pottery Throw Down 2020 on channel 4 online.

Where is the Great Pottery Throwdown filmed?

The Great Pottery Throw Down is filmed in Stoke-on-Trent, a city at the heart of the UK which is known for its pottery industry.

The Great Pottery Throwdown
Photo credit: House Wares Live

The Great Pottery Throwdown Series 4: What to expect

A whole new series of The Great Pottery Throw Down is here and it’s better than ever. There will be 12 contestants from across the country battling out for the top prize of Britain’s best potter! There will be even more challenging tasks that will test the potter’s creativity, skill and technique.

The Great Pottery Throwdown 2021 will feature a new cast with both the judge Sue Pryke and presenter Melaine Sykes leaving the show. We say goodbye to last years host Melanie Sykes and welcome Irish actress Siobhan McSweeney instead. A potting novice, you may know Siobhán from hit show Derry Girls where she played the hilarious Sister Michael. We think she’s going to make a great addition to the show and we can’t wait to see what she makes of the potters.

Great Pottery Throw Down
Siobhan McSweeney. Credit: Channel 4 / Love Productions

Who is the new Pottery Throwdown technician?

The Great Pottery Throwdown Rose
Rose Schmits. Credit: Channel 4 / Love Productions

Rose Schmits is the new pottery technician for The Great Pottery Throwdown 2021 taking over from Rich Miller. Rose is from the Netherlands and says the practice of pottery is “a metaphor for the trans experience”. Her beautiful pottery takes all different forms often featuring abstract shapes with trans activism slogans. From her personal website she says:

My ceramic practice is a way for me to delve into my identity as a trans woman from Delft, the Netherlands. Using the Delftware pottery technique to create pieces that reflect my experiences as a trans person having altered my body and identity allows me to gain ownership of the struggles of transitioning as well as remember where I came from.
Rose Schmits

You can see some of Rose’s incredible pottery over on her Instagram page and Etsy shop. We’re so excited that she’s the new technician for this year’s Pottery Throwdown and her knowledge of the kiln and clay has already proved invaluable.

The Great Pottery Throwdown 2021 Judges

Last year the amazing home designer Sue Pryke judged alongside the nation’s sweetheart Keith Brymer Jones. This year Rich Miller, otherwise known as ‘kiln man Rich’, is taking over Sue’s spot as a judge. Richard has been the show’s behind-the-scenes technician for the last few years which means he’s got an eagle-eye for the technical accuracy and techniques used in pottery.

Great Pottery Throw Down
Richard Miller. Credit: Channel 4 / Love Productions

We interviewed Keith Brymer Jones back in 2020 about his love for pottery. He’s an incredibly talented man and we love how emotional he gets at the contestant’s creations! Read our interview with Keith Brymer Jones to learn more about the behind-the-scenes action at the throwdown HQ.

We also recently spoke to Keith for our podcast: We’ve Made It. In this episode, we chatted to Keith about the teacher who inspired him to become a potter, how pottery has helped him to get through some tough times and why some makes on the show make him very emotional!

He also shares a peek behind the scenes of The Great Pottery Throwdown and reveals how they managed to go on filming the show during a pandemic.

You can find the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Acast or wherever you get your podcasts. Alternatively, you can use the player below to listen to the episode online.

Great Pottery Throw Down
Keith Brymer Jones. Credit: Channel 4 / Love Productions

Meet The Great Pottery Throw Down 2021 contestants

There’s a whole bunch of beautiful new potters for this year’s competition. The Great Pottery Throwdown’s Twitter account @PotteryThrowdown shared a little bit of information about each contestant so you can to know them ahead of the show. Keep scrolling to meet all the 2021 contestants and head to their Twitter for all the show’s live updates.

The Great Pottery Throwdown 2021 the cast
The Great Pottery Throwdown 2021. Credit: Channel 4 / Love Productions

Hannah

Great Pottery Throw Down
Hannah. Credit: Channel 4 / Love Productions

Hannah was a brilliant contestant on The Great Pottery Throw Down and we absolutely loved that she was representing our hometown of Bristol! Hannah’s decoration was her strong suit and she made it all the way to the semi-finals. She’s made everything from stand out sinks to beautifully decorated pots on the show and we hope to bump into her in Bristol.

The Great Pottery Throwdown 2021 Hannah

Susan

Great Pottery Throw Down
Susan. Credit: Channel 4 / Love Productions

A creator of pottery that has story, emotion and illustration, Sus is a pottery legend who made us laugh throughout the show. She had her fair share of disasters and unfinished pieces but she bought pure delight with her Treasure Island inspired characters and magical Scottish castle. Sus went out of the competition in week three.

The Great Pottery Throwdown 2021 Susan

Alon

Great Pottery Throw Down
Alon. Credit: Channel 4 / Love Productions

Alon made it all the way to the quarter-finals of The Great Pottery Throw Down and was known for his risky and abstract pieces. He continually pushed the boat out and we love his creative mind. He’s also the youngest potter to ever make it that far in the competition!

The Great Pottery Throwdown 2021 Alon

Sally

Great Pottery Throw Down
Sally. Credit: Channel 4 / Love Productions

Sal also left the competition in the quarter-finals but her gorgeous pottery which paid homage to her home town of Cornwall will not be forgotten! Sal is an experienced potter, winning potter of the week and making Keith cry more than once. We loved how her dog featured in her pieces and we’re looking forward to seeing what she makes next.

The Great Pottery Throwdown 2021 Sally

Ara

Great Pottery Throw Down
Ara. Credit: Channel 4 / Love Productions

Ara was the first potter to leave The Great Pottery Throwdown. His pottery is inspired by his theatrical background and his cheese set in the first week was set to be a simple white dome with a flower handle. Unfortunately, Ara’s white glaze was too thick causing the set to meld together which ultimate sent him home.

The Great Pottery Throwdown 2021 Ara

Adam

Great Pottery Throw Down
Adam. Credit: Channel 4 / Love Productions

The Great Pottery Throwdown 2021 Adam

Irina

Great Pottery Throw Down
Irina. Credit: Channel 4 / Love Productions

Irina was the second potter to leave The Great Pottery Throwdown. She created beautifully delicate pieces which were inspired by her love of roses, floral and pastels. She also takes great inspiration from her homeland of Russia. We loved her delicate cheese set which had rose handles but it was her blue houses lack of thoughtful lighting and glaze which sent her home.

The Great Pottery Throwdown 2021 Irina

Peter

Great Pottery Throw Down
Peter. Credit: Channel 4 / Love Productions
The Great Pottery Throw Down Peter
We absolutely love this quote from finalist Peter!

Henry

Great Pottery Throw Down
Henry. Credit: Channel 4 / Love Productions

Henry was sent home from The Great Pottery Throwdown in week 7 of the competition but we will always remember him for his pottery which was full of his personality. From tattoo inspired pieces to cheeky racoons, Henry improved week on week in the show and we’re looking forward to seeing where his pottery journey takes him next.

The Great Pottery Throwdown 2021 Henry

Shenyue

Great Pottery Throw Down
Shenyue. Credit: Channel 4 / Love Productions

Shenyue created some beautiful pieces while she was in the competition, bringing her artistic flair to her pottery. Her pink University building in week 2 was incredible but it was her cookware in week 6 that sent her home.

The Great Pottery Throwdown 2021 Shenyue

Lee

Great Pottery Throw Down
Lee. Credit: Channel 4 / Love Productions

Lee left the competition on week 5 and his bubbly personality will be missed. He’s created some incredible pieces in the past weeks including his bumblebee cheese set and his Raku vase but it was his smashed Dolly Parton bust that ultimately sent him home.

The Great Pottery Throwdown 2021 Lee

Jodie

Great Pottery Throw Down
Jodie. Credit: Channel 4 / Love Productions

The Great Pottery Throwdown 2021 Jodie

The Great Pottery Throwdown Episode Guide

Pottery Throwdown episode 1: Cheese Set & Port Chalices

The Great Pottery Throwdown 2021 episode one
The Great Pottery Throwdown 2021 episode one. Credit: Channel 4 / Love Productions

The first episode of The Great Pottery Throwdown 2021 has aired and what an episode it was. There were unique cheese sets, 15-minute throwing challenges and a whole lot of emotion. Keith showed the potters how it’s done with his port chalice tutorial but 15 minutes to create more that one is trickier than it looks especially with Siobhán shouting at you! And for those cheese sets… well as Susan said ‘everything is in the hands of the kiln gods.’

Highlights: Potter of the week, the lovely Sal with her beautiful port chalices and emotional reaction, we would have cried too Keith. The potters all helping one another to get finished and Jodie’s gorgeous road trip cheese set. Shout out to Alon’s metallic acorns and Lee’s bumblebee form.

Lowlights: Keith’s savage binning of the potters port chalices and Susan’s unfinished treasure island cheese set. But it was poor Ara’s fused lids then meant he was sent home.

Quote of the episode: “Tell you what I’m going to have a glass of wine tonight’ – Lee, that’s us every time we complete a project too…

If you’re feeling inspired by the throwdown then check out our Pottery section here on Gathered. We’ve got loads of simple pottery makes to introduce into the world of ceramics like these clay salt spoons and DIY coasters in a funky terrazzo style.

The Great Pottery Throwdown 2021 episode 2
Shenyue’s building. Credit: Channel 4 / Love Productions

Episode two has hit your screens and was full of beauty, disaster and of course, Keith crying. The potters were tasked with the most ambitious challenge in the history of the Pottery Throwdown and it was the battle of the bricks with the newly named Bricky Ricky’s throwing challenge. Everything from mums afro comb to cutlery was used this week and they resulted in some rather magical buildings.

Highlights: Hannah representing our hometown of Bristol with her mini dragon, Siobhan yelling at everyone to hurry up but it was Jodie’s Moroccan masterpiece and Adam’s magical fairy castle stole our hearts.

Lowlights: Alon’s “technical disaster” of a whale and waving goodbye to the lovely Irina. Her beautiful, delicate pottery will be missed.

Quote of the episode: “I really want to stay and keep doing crazy things” – We’re glad you’re still in Alon and we can’t wait to see what wacky creation you make next.

Great Pottery Throw Down
Rich Miller and Keith Brymer Jones. Credit: Channel 4 / Love Productions

Each week just gets harder and harder for the potters – a blindfold challenge and a realistic fruit making challenge!? Keith and Rich are not going easy on the contestants this year. There were genius tools used once again (shoutout to Henry’s twig and Adam’s bubbles), some gorgeous fruit bowls and some all-important carafes with matching glasses. We’ll be needing them this lockdown…

Highlights: We love seeing the improvement in some of the younger potters and both Shenuye and Henry are improving every episode. It was Shenyue’s neat carafe and gorgeous orange fruit bowl that secured her potter of the week.

Lowlights: Alon’s abstract bowl didn’t impress the judges and there was some unfinished fruit in the pottery room. We said goodbye to the lovely Sus which was a sad moment for all the potters and all of us at home.

Quote of the episode: “…it’s me and my brother obviously” – Anyone else loved Henry’s cheeky fruit bowl??

The great pottery throwdown episode 4
Sal. Mark Bourdillon/ Love Productions

This week on the Pottery Throwdown we learnt techniques and terms from around the globe that blew our minds (and nearly blew up the set too). The potters took to the wheel to create two elegant vases decorated through the Japenese firing technique of raku then created delicate flowers for guest judge Rita Flloyd. There were haircuts, feather dusters and a whole lot of fire this episode…

Highlights: Alon’s risk finally paid off with his Eastern European bubbling technique and Hannah won potter of the week thanks to her daisies and gorgeous vases. But the biggest highlight of this week? No one went home! Always a result for us because we love them all.

Lowlights: We had our hearts in our mouths when Sal nearly dropped her vase and Lee accidentally stabbed a hole in his but they both brought it back with beautiful results. Peter struggled in the daisy challenge but who else could make 60 daisies in an hour apart from Rita!? She’s truly a master of her craft.

Quote of the episode: “I’m buffering like a demon” – Lee

The great pottery throwdown episode 5
Hannah. Mark Bourdillon/ Love Productions

We’re already at week five of The Great Pottery Throwdown… where has the time gone!? The potters got all musical this week crafting bust heads of music legends and adorable mini instruments. Plus they had a very special message from the queen herself, Dolly Parton. Pottery really is for everyone huh?

Highlights: We saw the likes of Tom Jones, Ed Sheeran and Dame Judy Dench immortalised in clay but it was Alon’s incredible Bruce Springsteen that stole the judge’s hearts. Adams intricate sax and Hannah’s pretty violin also had us gasping at their tiny beauty.

Lowlights: The potter’s busts got savaged by the kiln this week, Lee’s Dolly had a smashed face, Henry’s Ozzy had no nose and Adam’s Ozzy had a hole in his chest. Sal also had an emotional week with her mini trombone but we sadly said goodbye to the lovely Lee. We will miss his bubbly personality so much.

Quote of the episode: “Great bell on the end” – calm down Richard, calm down.

The great Pottery throwdown episode 6
The Great Pottery Throwdown contestants. Mark Bourdillon/ Love Productions

This week on The Great Pottery Throwdown it was all about that tricky clay terracotta! It’s an unforgiving material and it tested the potters time management and throwing skills to the max. There was a lot of cracked pots but also some beautiful cookware and tile designs which showed us just how creative these potters are!

Highlights: Despite a whole kitchen set of unusable cookware there were some stunning pieces. Peter’s cowboy cookware trio made us very happy and Sal won potter of the week thanks to her gorgeous Inuit set and Candian tiles.

Lowlights: Henry struggled to tell his story in the tile challenge and Alon’s pots got blown to smithereens but it was Shenuye who we waved goodbye to this Valentines. She’s brought a beautiful artistic element to her pottery over the last few weeks and we will miss seeing her creations.

Quote of the episode: “Think about those robust knobs” – will the innuendos ever stop?

the great pottery throw down episode 9
Henry & Siobhan. Mark Bourdillon/ Love Productions

Spring is nearly here so it’s very apt that this week’s Pottery Throw Down was all about gardens! Animal water features were this week’s main challenge which challenged the potters mechanical skills as well as their eye for sculpting large structures. Keith took to the wheel in his paint-splattered dungarees to show the potters how to craft strawberry planters and the heat was on for the contestants to secure their spot in the quarter-finals.

Highlights: We were amazed by the potters huge water features, especially Alon’s goat and Adam’s eco octopus (we love pottery with a message). There was also a “near perfect planter” from Henry but it was Jodie’s stunning wolf water feature that crowned her potter of the week for the second time.

Lowlights: It was a tough week for Hannah who had some tears after having to start her planter all over again and wrestle with her broken macaw. Henry also struggled to get his racoon bin working and it was this which sent him home from the competition.

Quote of the episode: “Turn off your hairdryers, wipe your tears and take a deep breath” – Siobhan that’s our new lockdown 2021 motto!

the great pottery throwdown Jodie
Jodie. Mark Bourdillon/ Love Productions

It’s the semi-finals! This week we were whisked off to America with water and seed pots inspired by the Acoma tribe and Alabama ring bottles designed for cowboys. It was an emotional week in more ways than one with beautiful pots making Keith cry and missed briefs which sent potters home. We waved goodbye to two of the potters this week which reminded us just how tough the competition will be going into the finals…

Highlights: Jodie paid her tribute to the wonderful NHS and Sal made the perfect Alabama ring bottle but it was Peter who stole the show this week! He demonstrated just how much he’s grown since joining the competition and there were tears shed over his gorgeous pots which won him potter of the week.

Lowlights: This week was all about celebrating the Acoma tribes culture and unfortunately both Alon and Sal missed the brief completely. Their pots didn’t replicate the traditional Acoma ways and it was this that sent them both home.

Quote of the episode: “I’ve just witnessed a beautiful kissing of rims” – Siobhan is talking about doughnut water bottles if you can believe it…

Great Pottery Throw Down Ep9
Ep9. Siobhan and Adam.

It’s bathroom week and Adam, Jodie, Peter and Hannah battle it out to see who will make it to the finals of The Great Pottery Throw Down. The potters were challenged to make fully functioning pedestal sinks and chamber pots which is much trickier than it sounds… They all worked their socks off and it was a fab episode that was full of teamwork, creativity and passion.

Highlights: There were sinks inspired by travel, art, nature and the sea this week showing us each of the potters unique personalities. It was Adam’s cheeky chamber pots and gorgeous mythical sink that won him potter of the week but our highlight was how much the potters worked together. It may be the semi-finals but it’s the teamwork and family vibe that have made us fall in love with The Great Pottery Throw Down and all its contestants.

Lowlights: Hannah struggled for ideas in the chamber pot challenge and although her sink was beautiful, it was a bit too leaky! It was this which cost her a place in the finals but we’re proud to have had her representing our hometown of Bristol all the way into the semi-finals.

Quote of the episode: “It’s worth spending time doing something you love” – Hannah we couldn’t have put it better ourselves.

The Great Pottery Throw Down Final
Siobhan McSweeney, Keith Brymer Jones and Rich Miller with The Finalists: Adam, Peter and Jodie.

Jodie, Peter and Adam battled it out to be crowned Britain’s best potter and as Adam said ‘this is like the Olympics for pottery’.  The 1920’s theme made the final one that’s full of colour, design and beauty. There were Art Deco-inspired tea sets and tini dolls house dinner sets with a splash of emotional family videos and a smattering of familiar faces.

Highlights: Where do we even start? Adam’s perfect miniature cups and incredible Miami vibes cups. Peter’s Clarence Cliff sunset bowl with moon ladle. Jodie’s simply beautiful art deco decanters and tea set. It was an episode full of beautiful pottery and it was our girl Jodie who was crowned The Great Pottery Throw Down winner 2021!

Lowlights: Adam’s wonky decanters would be accidentally smashed at our Gathered party (we’re a clumsy bunch) and Peter’s stoppers didn’t impress Keith. There were some broken mini tea sets but overall every single one of them did an incredible job. We’re going to miss them and the show so much!

Quote of the episode: “They believe in me so I’m going to believe in me” – you do that Jodie because you’re amazing and have inspired us all!

Who won the Great Pottery Throw Down 2021?

The Great Pottery Throw Down Final

The incredible Jodie won The Great Pottery Throw Down 2021. She has been consistently brilliant, adding story, colour and passion into all her pieces and making Keith cry on several occasions. She paid tribute to her Welsh roots throughout the show and has definitely done Wales proud! Congratulations Jodie, we can’t wait to see what you create next.

2020’s Great Pottery Throw Down winner

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Sue, Keith and Mel congratulate Rosa on her win. Credit: Channel 4 / Love Productions

Last year the incredibly talented Rosa Wiland Holmes won The Great Pottery Throwdown with her stunning Alice in Wonderland tea set which stole the show. Rosa, a businesswoman from Great Brickhill, inspired us all and we just had to interview her to get the low down on what it’s really like to be on the show. Meet The Great Pottery Throwdown’s 2020 winner and read all her highlights in our interview.

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We’ll be updating our Great British Pottery Throwdown guide every week so check back for all the latest gossip and pottery inspiration. Be sure to head over to our creative hobbies for adults quiz to find out your crafting passion and our craft ideas for kids to get the little ones in on the fun too!