Home potters compete to become the new champion of British pottery. In the throw down challenge this week, king of the wheel Keith demonstrates how to build a double walled pot.
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One potter has already waved tatty-bye, and now nine remain.
And here amongst the gorgeous old brickwork of Middleport,
it's almost as if time has stood still.
But not for our potters -
they've got to get to grips with their hand-building skills and,
for THEM, time is very much of the essence.
Welcome to the Great Pottery Throw Down.
Panicking a bit now.
'Middleport opened its doors to a new pack of potters.'
-Oh, my God!
First one down.
'A 16-piece dinner set was the order of the day.'
A beautiful baby dinner plate!
Sorry. That's great!
'Despite Cait's terrible timekeeping...
What are you doing, Cait?
'..Carol's lack of throwing skills...
'..meant she was the first potter to leave the pottery.'
It's been an amazing experience for an old girl like me.
'While model Ryan battled cage-fighter Nam
'to win Pot Of The Week and take
'the first place in the gallery.'
Really, really happy.
Now, the potters face a hand-building challenge...
..that must stand the test of time.
-Broke one of the pieces.
-I'm angry, because it's just a block.
'..A throw-down that's double trouble...'
What a mess!
'And a Spot Test that gets the potters on the pull.
It looks quite rude, doesn't it?
-I hope he's been practising at home(!)
MUSIC: Making Time by The Creation
# Making time
# Shooting lines
# People have their uses
# People have their uses. #
The potters return to the pottery for three more challenges.
At the end of which,
one will win Pot Of The Week and one will be sent home.
It's hand building day.
Fun day for me!
I don't like hand building.
Last week, I came first. I'm feeling really, really happy.
I know today's going to be a different task altogether,
so I'm quite nervous of what to expect.
I need to be a bit more "wow factor" with the stuff I'm making.
So I need to figure out how to do that under the time limit, as well.
Totally pumped. Let's get it together.
Let's get down and dirty, and game on!
-For your Main Make challenge this week,
Kate and Keith would like you to make a clock.
It's all going to be hand built
and it needs to be a minimum of 45cm in height,
so we really want to see some lovely big clocks, please.
Your clock must incorporate this standard mechanism.
-It's got to fit.
-Best of luck to you.
You've got three hours for this Main Make
and the clock is ticking.
Potters, get potting.
Have you seen my rolling pin?
I think, for me, today, the biggest challenge is the timeframe.
I'm going to stick to my plan and hope for the best.
For this first challenge,
the potters will be constructing their clocks
using the slab-building technique.
Slab building makes me nervous,
just because I don't have much
experience in it whatsoever.
They've been given a slab roller to roll out large sheets of clay.
You get a much more uniform thickness, in theory.
I'm not very good at using the machine!
By using these large slabs, they'll be expected to build bigger,
more complex shapes than they could at the wheel.
Wheee! Look at that!
I have built with slabs before.
I feel confident, definitely.
I'm out of my comfort zone, totally.
So, Keith, we've asked them to make a clock.
45 centimetres minimum height.
-It's quite a big ask.
when you're making something quite large, the construction is key.
They can either have these clocks freestanding, or hung on the wall.
If they show us a very complex construction
with lots and lots of joints,
they're opening, obviously, themselves up to more risk.
Cracks, or warps, or anything going wrong in the kiln.
But if they've taken more risks and they do it well, then I'm pleased.
I want the potters to have thought about time
and what it means to them.
We really want to see their character come through their work.
So, I've chosen to do an owl.
It represents me! He's a bit of a hoot.
In an attempt to impress the judges,
the inspiration for their clocks
are a plethora of weird and wonderful ideas.
It's called Mother Time.
The baby face, but it's pregnant.
The concept "time flies"
was inspired by a character who had feathers
when he turned into a monster.
But Daniel's decided not to stray
too far from it just being a clock.
This is an old-fashioned clock.
Keep it simple, that's the plan.
With little slab-building experience,
mortgage adviser Daniel is much more
comfortable in his garage throwing
off the wheel.
His simple clock will be wall hung
with a basic cog design
sat on a flat surface.
But even THAT is proving tricky.
I've just ripped a piece of clay.
I think I'm not happy with this at all,
so I'm going to start all over again.
Hi, Daniel, are you having fun with this Main?
No, I'm not! The slab roller and I
had a little altercation.
So you're not really au fait with a slab roller, then?
No. It ripped off.
-It wasn't a good idea.
This is very naughty clay.
It should be going to the naughty step.
If you use the rolling pin and press too hard, you'll see it, so,
just concentrate and focus.
Richard's also making a simple, flat, wall-hung clock.
Its design has its roots in England of old.
The inspiration is taken from a jug.
A 17th-century harvest jug.
Time of harvest, time of plenty.
Landlord Richard's love of 17th century pottery
can be seen all over his pub.
Oh, he's always been into history,
right from when he was at school.
He's all history, he really is.
He's in his second life, I think.
He lived in the prehistoric age!
Richard's harvest jug clock
will be embellished with a sundial and flowers
and made from just one slab of clay.
Simple, but effective, that's the plan.
But Elaine's wall-hung clock
will be made using multiple pieces.
-Nice textures going on here.
-The concept, it comes out of the clay, you know,
the fibres in the clay.
Just pull it apart and it's lovely, isn't it?
Back at her Buckinghamshire home,
Elaine is used to getting her hands dirty.
Elaine has a passion for power drills that I find somewhat strange.
Everyone always thinks that it's the guy in the relationship
that wears the trousers, but with my mum and dad,
it's totally the opposite.
My mum does everything around this house.
Don't even bother going to my dad, cos he won't do nothing!
Elaine's complex patchwork clock will also have a traditional touch -
a little cuckoo.
A little modelled one.
Or a real one. I could go down there with a big net down by the canal.
And the birds keep on coming.
Nam's clock features hundreds of feathers.
I am feeling the pressure now,
just because some of my designs are a bit weird.
Vietnam-born Nam uses London as his canvas and, like his hero Banksy,
treats the locals to his work.
His feathered clock design is inspired by a character
from a Japanese animated fantasy film.
His name is Howl. A big mythical, scary, feathered monster.
-It's like Jekyll & Hyde.
-It's dead complicated and confusing,
but I just love it.
Last week's winner of Pot Of The Week, Ryan,
has also challenged himself to build a complex wall clock.
I'm going for a geometric clock,
so I need to make 12 of these sort of diamond shapes,
along with another 12 on top of that.
These will all sort of sit together as a big, spiky,
sort of masculine thing.
When Ryan isn't elbow-deep in clay,
you can usually find him jetting around the globe,
modelling the world's most exclusive brands.
I first got into modelling when I moved to London.
I went to university there, got scouted.
I was fortunate enough to work with Gisele Bundchen
for a Versace campaign.
I wouldn't say modelling inspires my pottery.
It actually relaxes me from my job.
It's my therapy!
Ryan's sleek and stylish clock
will be made up of 24
triangular slabs of clay.
Is this the kind of thing you've done before?
Never hand built before in my life, so this is a big challenge for me!
-I've been quite adventurous, as well,
with my design. Diamond shapes to make, so I need to crack on.
A diamond for every hour?
-That's what you demand, isn't it, your diamonds every hour.
Your poor husband!
This is my design.
This is all of my inspiration,
weird figures that's dotted around my flat.
Freya's London apartment is filled with her quirky creations,
and she's bringing her love of cherub faces into her design...
A freestanding clock called Mother Time.
It's a big build, made from two giant slabs of clay.
Really important, this bit, to dry out.
You want it to be strong enough so that it stands up without flopping.
The potters can use their handguns
or the drying room to stiffen off their slabs for construction.
I'm now trying to prepare it to stand up on its own.
Things can collapse if the clay's too wet,
so I need to dry the clay out.
Yeah. Happy. Done.
But the more ambitious the size...
Oh. That is not dry enough.
..the longer it will take.
-Do you need another gun?
-Yeah, if you're not using it.
-Thank you very much.
-I've not used my heat gun yet because there was a
damsel in distress,
needed my help and I lent her mine.
Freya's not the only potter building big.
The clay is about as long as my arm.
Standing at nearly a metre,
Cait's freestanding owl clock is the tallest of all the potters' builds.
In fact, making large constructions is in her blood.
Dad's a civil engineer, so I think I've got a little bit of
an enjoyment of building things
and making structures.
But it's not just the size of Cait's owl clock that's ambitious.
Its cylindrical body is also the trickiest shape to make.
As the clay needs to be firm enough to stand up...
I'm just trying to create the curve at the moment with my arm!
..but soft enough to bend.
I'm not sure how I'm going to dry the other side of it, though.
I need to swap arms.
Oh, my word.
I'm destroying my slab -
look at the cracks! Argh!
It's a nightmare. No, no, no, no.
I'm just bending it too much.
I'm drying it out too much and it's just totally cracking up.
Is this saveable?
Probably not. I'll just do a new one.
With two hours remaining...
..it's time for the potters to start constructing their clocks.
The nerves have gone. The assembly has started.
But Cait has gone back to square one.
What's happening? More slabs.
I know, I've gone backwards, haven't I?
I was using this to dry it, so I think it was just too dry.
With a heat gun, you've got to have finesse with it.
Think about the mistakes you made.
Don't make them again, cos you've got to pull it together now.
As Cait prepares a new slab of clay...
..the others are joining theirs together.
This is the tricky bit.
They're using a technique called scoring and slipping.
By creating a rough surface on the clay's edges,
the elements of their clocks can be seamlessly fused.
This is the slip,
so I'm just breaking the hard clay down to a liquid form.
This becomes the glue.
If you don't score and slip properly, things can crack and die!
Fold out, fold out...
doesn't mind if his construction is a little rough -
that's the effect he's going for.
My design is based on this whole idea of like,
urban collapse and places that have had a thriving community
that have kind of disappeared.
So it is going to bend ever so slightly.
But again, that's the aesthetic, so it doesn't really matter too much.
Born and bred in Newcastle,
25-year-old James loves nothing more than taking inspiration from his
-A bit of metal, bit of wood,
bit of dishevelry, cranes. You know, this is kind of like
my background, this is where I was brought up.
I would describe James's work
as industrial, quite rustic,
and it does reflect his personality,
because he's quite...big
and so is his work!
James's passion for all things industrial
has inspired his freestanding clock -
a simple block design with minimal decoration.
And there's nothing he won't do to get that distressed effect.
This corner closest to us, I might just tear it off.
-What? So you're going to tear the corner off?
Do you reckon?
So it looks a bit more dishevelled and collapsed.
Well, we do want it to LOOK collapsed, but we don't want it to ACTUALLY collapse.
-Don't want it TO collapse, exactly.
-Don't do it.
I would have done it, I think, if I really wanted to.
While James tries to capture industrial Newcastle in a clock,
Clover's also gone for a 3D block,
but she's hoping that intricate detail
is what will bring hers to life.
I cast men on the four points here.
And just to give it a bit...
Give it a bit more interesting feature.
Clover sells her ceramic creations as a hobby at comic conventions,
but despite her passion for the arts, she did an accounting degree.
Because she didn't study anything connected to art,
I think she is so passionate to prove she can do it,
and I'm proud that she is achieving all the things she is.
Clover's figurines will sit on a freestanding centrepiece
representing the tree of life.
It's a legend, really. They say the Tree Of Life is like life itself,
don't they? Start as a sapling
and become a great, hopefully wise, tree.
Yes. Big oak.
Hickory dickory dock,
how are you doing with your clocks?
You have one hour left.
-I've left myself with quite a lot to do.
The potters are using all manner of tools to sculpt and create the
finished look of their clocks.
Freya has brought in a premade mould
to shape her cherub head that will be
the focal point of her design.
James, which face should be the front of the clock?
That one, or that?
-Yeah, that one.
-Yeah, that's what I thought.
'Elaine is imprinting patterns onto her clock face,
'but she's not using a standard kit.'
Have you been down that scrapyard, girl?
Those are nuts and bolts off my husband's lorry.
-He does know that you've taken these, does he?
He's not going to be driving along and suddenly be like... Eeek!
Elaine, she's got all her nuts and bolts
and she's using a surface design
in a more interesting way, isn't she?
Yeah, like a patchwork.
Tearing it because the clay tears well.
But not all the designs have taken off.
I'm not sure if I'm going to have time to make wings.
I'm a bit concerned it might look more like a penguin,
rather than an owl.
At the moment, it looks a bit bland.
I don't have the artistic flair of
doing what other people are doing here.
Daniel's building a clock and it's got cogs on it
and it's like, "Yeah, OK,
"Dan, that's fine, but give us a little bit more imagination there".
Then there's James with his sort of concrete structure.
Yeah. He's using it very simply.
He's not really showing us the nature of the material.
-So how's urban decay coming on?
I hear you've had the architect in.
It's decaying nicely, my friend!
Potters, 15 minutes left,
then all your clocks need to be in the drying room, please.
Really up against the clock.
While Cait's owl is still in pieces...
The irony that I'm making a clock
under time pressure with my ability to manage time.
..the rest of the potters are on the home straight.
Those clocks need to be in the drying room.
Time is marching on.
You do need to respect the clay, or it shouts at you.
You're going to hate owls after this.
It's not the owl's fault, it's MY fault!
You should have gone for a vole.
They're much smaller.
Two minutes, potters.
Get it stood up and joined together.
Is it even going to last?
I don't know.
We'll see how it turns out.
You've only got one minute left.
The clock is ticking, mwah-ha-ha!
You've got to get that in the drying room, sweetheart.
one. Time is up, potters.
Oh, my God!
You did it. You really take it to the wire, you nutter.
Potters, excellent work.
You can clock off.
Off you go.
The potters have turned
200 kilos of clay
into nine unique timepieces.
Under the watchful eye of kiln man Rich,
they'll be dried for just three hours
before the potters get to glaze them.
Ryan's has just been made up of lots of joined components.
Unless the joins are really, really good,
there's potential for it to open up anywhere.
Cait was running low on time and
consequently, the joins she's made
aren't quite as sweet as they could have been.
It's a bit untidy and that could have fairly negative repercussions
when it comes to the firing.
Those could open up, spit and cause
structural issues for the whole piece, really.
It quite literally fell apart.
Fingers crossed that I can do something
that will at least not make me last!
It got to me, because slab building, hand building,
is just not my... I just don't do it.
Pretty buzzed up. Looking forward to the throw-down, not all this
silly namby-pamby hand building stuff.
We leave that to the geriatrics!
Get the men in there! Rrrr!
'We all know there are some things which can never be changed.
'We can drive the potter's wheel by electricity,
'but we know that only a man's skill with only his two hands
'can shape a pot like this.'
Throwing at the wheel is indeed a real test of dexterity -
man or woman.
And Kate and Keith want our potters
to throw a pot that will push them to
Who's ready for a throw-down?
This of course is the part of the show where we test your skills at the wheel, and this week,
Kate and Keith would love you to throw a double-walled pot,
so watch Keith carefully.
So, I'm just centring it up.
Now going to start forming...
I love how these things just magically appear.
And give myself a piece of clay on the inside.
Working that clay...
..up the side of your wall.
So I'm now...
starting to throw the outside.
Watch him close it up now.
And here we go.
This is where the control comes in,
to bring it back in again, to seal it.
Having to seal it, you're working against the wheel.
It's a really tough challenge.
Suddenly just went "wow".
It's like some sort of magic.
Now it's sealed, curve that lip over.
And this is what you're going for.
That is really something, Keith.
You can see that it's nicely sealed.
You've got a nice rim.
-Right, easy-peasy, that's all you've got to do.
Get yourselves settled behind your wheels.
Oh, my word.
Potters, you have ten minutes to throw your double-walled pots.
Time starts now.
Potters, gets potting.
I'm really excited, because I'm a thrower.
Work that knuckle, Cait.
Oh, I've never thrown to that kind of time before!
Really out of my comfort zone.
Fear, trepidation, everything.
The middle bit first.
The MIDDLE bit first!
Visualise it in your head.
Richard's is way out.
-It's looking good.
Elaine's losing it at the back, there.
-Wasn't happy with that one.
Kicked to the kerb.
Crack on, you'll be fine.
It's the tricky bit now. This is the closing in.
Oh, dear. This is rubbish.
I'm willing it over, all right?
-I'm willing it closed.
-Start closing it in now, Freya.
-Got everything crossed for you.
Double-walled potting crew, you've got two minutes left.
Oh! Not going to do it.
Let me see how far I can take it without it collapsing.
Dan, take it easy.
-No, it's going.
One minute left.
Here we go. Ten seconds left of the throw-down, potters.
eight, seven, six...
Take your hands off it, Cait.
-Take your hands off.
Step back, please, from your double-walled pots.
The throw-down is over.
-Well done, guys, well done.
Kate and Keith are looking for a perfectly thrown
and SEALED double-walled pot.
You've got a good seal up here.
Lovely accent on the top.
-It's not sealed, is it?
No. And that's just made it slightly collapse.
I was just rushing.
You can see straightaway.
Just not sealed.
Do you think you'll ever have a go at one of these again,
-just for fun at home?
Not bad. It's sealed.
That's quite a heavy lid.
-Only just sealed.
Probably not any extra clay there,
just to sort of fold it over or make a good seal on there.
Pretty well sealed.
You've almost sort of put a lid on the top there.
This is pretty, isn't it? This is the prettiest top.
I love this fancy design here
that you did on purpose(!)
Yeah, yeah. I was going for twisty and slumpy!
It's not an invisible seal, but it IS sealed.
Here we go.
That's the difference between some of the other ones we've seen.
All the clay is in the right place.
A nice, lovely chamber there.
-It is really, really good.
Lovely accent and a nice rim.
It looks like a really decent seal.
The judges will now rate the double-walled pots
from worst to best.
So, in ninth place
It was seconds off being closed.
In eighth place, Elaine.
It was slightly closed.
Cait came seventh, James sixth,
Nam was fifth,
-Freya fourth and Clover third.
In second place,
Really nicely finished off.
And that leaves one person.
In first place today,
-Well done, mate!
Really good thickness.
-OK, that was hard work.
You deserve to go outside, have a little breather. Off you go.
How does it feel to come in first place, Richard?
Pretty amazing, as you well know yourself!
Yeah, it must be nice!
Time was against me.
But everyone else did it, so...
more fool me, really.
I need to up my game, really.
Decorating is not my forte, but I need to do something.
Daniel, he came last in the throw-down.
What are you thinking of his clock?
I think it was slightly lacking in the finesse, and design flair.
His concept is not that complex.
Anybody else you're worried about?
Cait. I mean, she was having real problems with her construction.
In her Main Make, she didn't have time to put on the appendages
-of the wings.
His design for the clock, he's been a bit lazy.
Now, who are you really excited about?
Well, I have to say Elaine's.
I'm blown away by it.
I like Ryan's. There's a great dynamism.
Very complex thing to build, but decorations will tell us all.
Ones we thought were leaders, it could be a catastrophe.
-We just don't know, do we?
After three hours of drying,
the potters collect their clocks, ready to decorate.
It's fine, it's fine, it's fine.
They'll be raw glazing,
which means applying glazes to clay before it's been fired.
-No! Let go.
They've been given a range of glazes to work with...
-So where's black?
-Black velvet is...
..and have just 90 minutes to make their clocks chime.
This is their last chance to bring together their design ideas.
I'm wanting to bring it to life a little bit.
I've limited it to simplistic colours.
Simple. Yes, that is me.
Because the potters are raw glazing,
the clay is still very fragile.
If you were to absolutely coat it in glaze at this stage,
there is a potential for it to crack.
You've got to be careful not to apply too much.
It's not easy getting it into the texture, I tell you.
I can't have too wet a sponge,
otherwise the form will collapse!
So the decoration of these clocks,
they can really come alive at this stage, can't they?
This is what will make or break them.
Also, if the potters created a simple build,
I'm going to be wanting the decoration to shine out.
I'm going to use this iron oxide to create some dark brown colour,
because I try to make a tree trunk pattern.
For his feathered clock design,
Nam has opted for a contrast of black and white to represent
the philosophy of yin and yang.
This is what my culture's like.
You know, we believe in the whole feng shui and everything like that.
Ryan is using three colours
to accentuate the sharp angles of his clock design.
I'm sort of sticking to a nice sort of blue,
a dark purple and tuxedo.
I'm sort of mixing that colour palette together.
Freya's choice of colours is a little more experimental.
I'm going to use everything.
Typical Freya, really.
And sometimes it is just a mess!
Ah, thank you!
Cait ran out of time and didn't make the wings for her owl clock,
so this is her last chance to get the design back on track.
I'm going to paint them on!
I really want the decoration to be vibrant and interesting,
because the clock itself is quite different from what I had planned.
This is looking rather spectacular.
-I wish I could come in playing a lute or something.
With a jug of mead or something like that.
Oh, absolutely, yes. Go down very well at the moment.
And a goose leg.
How much time have we got?
You're halfway through. 45 minutes left.
Maybe need to speed up a bit.
Hi, James. Out of everyone's here,
it's probably the most simple of constructions.
So you're really adding colour....
No. I've also left quite a bit of it just raw clay.
-I'm going for this industrial look.
It would rarely be painted, anyway.
I rarely sort of glaze pieces.
Now, this is a clock, Daniel.
-It is a clock.
-It is a clock, and I love the cogs.
I was just looking at other people's and mine looks quite pathetic
-compared to theirs.
-I'm not having you say the P word near this clock,
because that's not actually true.
Really liking it.
I don't want to do too much more to it, to be honest.
I don't know if it should just stay as it is.
I've got time to deliberate.
James's block is really...
I know. I think he has under-shown us his skills.
It's a nice block, but it is a block.
-Do you know what? If it were me, I would be feeling the pressure.
I'd be feeling the pressure that he's got to come up with something
fairly decorative, hasn't he?
Potters, I don't want to tick you off,
but you have only got ten minutes left.
It's a bit flat at the minute.
I might just do another colour over the top of that.
Five minutes left, guys and girls.
Time, time, time.
That's sick, Ryan.
Got that funny baby face.
She's going to give birth to a clock.
I'm happy with that.
It looks a bit crazy now.
Something went wrong on the decoration.
Potters, your clocks have to be in the drying room
or they won't get fired.
-This is your one-minute call, potters, one minute.
Needs to be in the drying room.
Cait, just go now.
one. You are done, potters.
You've all worked so hard today.
You can go home for a few days now,
remind your families of who you are.
"Remember me?" And then we'll see you back in the pottery for judging.
Oh, my word!
I know the judges are looking for "wow",
and I think I'm doing "wow" and then when I look at everybody else's,
I think, it's not so "wow".
But it's "wow" for me.
I tried to colour the wings on, but I'm not sure that...
..that it was really effective or not.
I'm confident in my clock myself.
Whether the judges like it,
I'm not sure. But that's my style, I'm not going to change it.
It was simplistic compared to other people's,
so with hindsight, maybe it could have been slightly better.
But then it wouldn't have been me.
I'm very much sort of a cult man.
It's in the lap of the gods now.
I can only cross my toes and fingers. That's all I can do!
As the potters head home,
they face an agonising 72-hour wait
before they're reunited with their clocks.
For two days, kiln man Rich tends to them in the drying room...
..before taking them to the electric kiln for their one and only firing.
With the flat clocks,
the main issue could be that as the clay shrinks during firing,
they'll just pull themselves to pieces.
Because the clocks have been raw glazed,
the clay is full of moisture and very fragile.
To avoid damaging them, the firing
will quite literally be a slow burner.
The early stages are going to be really slow
to allow everything to dry out completely,
and then we're going to go full whack up to top temperature,
which is 1,100 degrees.
We don't want to go too quickly,
cos it risks cracking the pieces unnecessarily.
Day five and the potters return to Middleport.
Their clocks have been fired for 18 hours and are cooling in the kiln.
Sleepless night last night.
Really excited to see what's going to come out of the kiln.
My clock didn't really go to plan,
but it's another day and I'm just going in there and seeing what they
throw at us and trying my best.
I know I'm towards the bottom this week, but, yeah, good to go.
I'm definitely not safe.
I came last in the previous challenge.
I need to up my game.
Before the potters come face-to-face with their clocks,
they have one more chance to prove themselves to the judges.
This is your Spot Test
and today we are returning to an old favourite. It's a classic.
It is pulling handles.
OK, so potters, remove your hessian cloths, please.
Kate and Keith would like you to pull the stew pot's handles.
Three handles per pot, please,
so that's one for the top and one on either side.
You've got 75 minutes.
Time starts now.
# This week, we'll be pulling handles. #
Pulling handles is the ultimate test of a potter's understanding of clay.
This is the most difficult thing I could have thought of.
So it's never something I've ever, ever done before.
Not looking forward to this one.
But one potter is very experienced.
This is what I'm waiting for!
I do handles every week.
They're going to be attaching handles to a large,
a medium and a small casserole dish.
We're looking for design consistency throughout the set of three.
The small one will have a smaller strap
and the bigger casserole will have
a slightly bigger one, so that's slightly bigger than the first one.
Pulling is the best way to give a handle a smooth, curved finish.
It looks quite rude, doesn't it?
And practice makes perfect.
How's your technique going, Ryan?
-All right, it's all right.
-Is this being shown after the watershed?!
If you squeeze them too tightly, sometimes a bit drops off the end.
I don't think small handles are going to be my forte at all.
Just because of the size of my hands!
So James seems quite tentative at pulling his handles.
You don't want to lose that fluidity of the shape.
No, it's about a sure pull, knowing what you're doing.
I hope he's been practising at home.
Look, guys, it's a bit harder than it looks.
-Ryan's on the pull.
How are you finding it?
-I'm doing all right.
-It looks like a relaxed thing to do.
It's just like milking a cow, you know? Not that I've milked any cows!
All cows watching this at home now will be like, "Muuuh!"
Not coming near me, buddy.
The potters have pulled.
Now, they must shape.
While some have gone for conventional...
I don't want to be over-fussy with it.
..others are adding a twist.
Doing a pull and twist.
Is that a dance, a pull and twist?
-Ryan's plaiting his.
-Yeah, I was hoping we'd see a twist.
The twisted designs seem to be very popular!
-I'm not sure whether this theme is unique enough.
The potters must also make their handles robust enough
to carry the weight of a casserole dish.
You've got to crosshatch and slip really well.
And design them so they work across the set.
It's getting scale right.
Size, in this challenge, is everything.
Hopefully, the size won't be a problem.
These look nice.
That's securing it and adds a bit more interest.
Hopefully, they'll impress the judges.
Pick up my street cred a bit.
It's failed me so far!
You're not the Fonz, what do you mean, street cred?
Daniel's making his attractive, too.
I'm using my thumb as the design.
I'm just titivating the side.
But not everyone's so confident in their handling.
I know it's not super-clean and I'll probably get shouted at.
The handle's slightly higher than everybody else.
The judges will tell me off after they've seen what I've made.
Potters, you've got ten minutes left.
At the end of those ten minutes, I need all your stew pots on your
ware boards displayed at the front ready for judging, please.
-Oh, my God, ten minutes.
That's two minutes per handle.
-Shall we go for a pint?
-Yeah, I think so.
I'm not sure what Kate and Keith are going to think of my bit on top.
Two minutes left.
Get them loaded up. Get them at the front for judging.
Well done, Ryan.
Come on, Clover, concentrate.
Just do it, just do it, man - do it, do it, do it.
I'm wondering if he's working with gusto or it's panic.
One minute left. 60 seconds, Cait.
Cait and Freya.
Well done, your Spot Test is done!
Kate and Keith are looking for beautifully pulled handles
to fit three different sizes of casserole dishes.
I'm going to look at this one first.
-The scale of the handles is lovely.
We have got these finger squeezes.
Just a tiny little accent, there.
A signature to the person who makes the handles.
I think this is traditional.
-So what have we got here?
This person is the only one that's
actually put the handles right on the rim.
I'm not sure I'd want to pull this out of the oven by these handles.
These look very, very delicate to me.
It shows a sort of lack of design awareness.
So moving to the next little piggy tail one.
Yeah. There's a design concept
working through the three sizes there.
I think it's a very original idea.
-I do, yeah.
-To twist a knob.
The handles, they could have been a bit more generous.
So here we have really nice twists, don't we, on this?
But are you too high? You needn't be that far off.
No, the whole thing could have just been condensed a bit,
just a bit tighter.
So, we're on this set here.
That thinness of handle is a little bit wrong.
They ain't going to last going in and out of an oven.
So here we've got symmetry.
Thinner on the smaller one.
And they go up to the thicker one on the larger.
Very traditional, isn't it?
This lovely little dot probably helped join it on
as well as make it look pretty.
As regards functionality and aesthetic,
really, really good.
What about these?
Wow! Well, I love them.
I mean, it shows the fluidity of pulling a handle.
Whether that's practical or not is another matter.
-You wouldn't want to spill your gravy over that.
-No, you wouldn't.
-The consistency of the handles.
-Can I have a look?
-That's definitely larger than the other one.
And they're not actually facing in the same directions.
No. A bit uninspiring, really, isn't it?
What about these, here?
-There's a lovely energy in the twist, isn't there?
-There really is.
-And proportionally, the actual
small, medium, large, actually works well.
Yeah, it does. The design concept works across the whole three sizes.
But which of our potters have pulled off the perfect set of handles?
So, in ninth place...
..is this set here.
That's you, James.
I don't know what happened, but missing that spring and freshness.
So, in eighth place...
..this one here.
-Those handles, they're a bit fragile, really.
Richard came seventh, Cait sixth,
Ryan was fifth and Freya fourth.
In third place...
..is this set here.
Nam. Well done, Nam.
The twisting's very nice.
A nice sense of practicality.
That leaves Daniel and Elaine vying for the top spot.
..over here on the far left,
whose is that lot?
Well done, Daniel. Lovely sense of proportion.
Very traditional look.
And that leaves first place...
..to this set here.
Well done, Elaine.
The whole set matches.
There's a sense of tradition and a sense of fun.
OK, so, the Spot Test is done.
I hope you all don't stew on it too much(!)
I will release you now.
You can go and get some well-deserved fresh air.
The next time we see you, we'll be judging your clocks.
I'm not worried, I don't worry about a lot in life.
If it's my time to go, it's my time to go.
I'm just hoping the strength in sort of the pattern
and design of my clock will sort of pull me through.
Well, that was totally unexpected.
To come from last to second.
Yeah, I'm chuffed. Really chuffed!
Really pleased I came first.
I did surprise myself, very much.
But I'm still apprehensive about my clock coming out.
After 18 hours of firing
and six hours of cooling,
Rich is now ready to take the glazed clocks out of the kiln.
It's always a bit nerve-racking.
You never know what you're going to come back to.
I'm just crossing my fingers they're not all black.
Let's have a look.
I have been thinking about all the things that could've gone wrong.
It might have split into two pieces.
It might have done that in the kiln and then fallen over.
It might just be a pile of shards!
That's the excitement of pottery.
You can plan and plan and plan, but at the end of the day,
it can all go wrong on you.
The moment of truth, isn't it?
GASPS AND SHRIEKS
Over the moon.
I'm so pleased!
I really feared the worst.
-'But it's not good news for Richard.'
Clay moves and shrinks as it goes to top temperature.
This has just started to flatten out a bit.
I'm feeling a bit down in the dumps.
And he's not the only one.
I'm not happy with this at all.
My piece warped. It's just appalling.
Yeah, it was a disappointment for me.
Daniel and Richard can't turn back time...
..as they must get their clocks ready for judging.
I think the hands are too big.
That's why we've got the scissors!
The hands must be fitted...
-..and the clocks turned on.
Tick, tock, tick.
Don't touch it. It might break!
I've broken one of my pieces off.
It's not going to work. I need to figure out a new way to hang it.
James, can you give me a hand?
-Just hold it...
-You want ME to hold it?
But Nam is struggling to get his up.
Take your time, take your time, take your time.
So, we're having trouble hanging it.
So we're going to put some wire through the clock
and hang it off there as if we're hanging a picture.
I've probably done something bad in my previous life.
Let go now.
-It's on. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
-It's going to fall down at some point.
I'm going to cry.
-Why is it going to fall down?
-It's not going to fall. It's fine.
-I'm having really bad luck.
-No, it's not going to fall.
What I'm disappointed in, this was all out and curved.
There's things we could do a little bit better.
I don't think any Swiss clockmakers have got to worry!
I won't be putting THEM out of business!
In just five days, the potters have built,
glazed and assembled their clocks.
Nine unique ceramic timepieces.
But which will be judged Pot Of The Week...
..and which could mean time is up for one of our potters?
So, Kate and Keith, nine clocks ticking away.
OK, I can tell both of you are desperate
to go and have a proper look.
We'll start off with Ryan.
I have to say, it's a very dramatic construction
and I take my hat off to you.
There's a lot of slabs there and
there's a lot of connecting points
and, from where I can see now,
the construction is fairly stable.
The black defining from the pale blue really makes it.
It's like time is like this great explosion.
Like an explosion, yeah.
We need to look at the way you built.
You seem to have joined the seams well.
This, to me, is a sculpture with a clock in it.
It's not a clock which is a sculpture.
-Would you have this in your house, Keith?
-Yeah, I would.
But it's not going to fit every house, is it, really?
Let's face it. It's obviously an acquired taste.
I quite like the idea of the feathers.
You set yourself a huge task to make so many, but it's all held together,
it's got a lot of integrity.
I'm looking for a more delicate touch with you,
-because the energy is there.
-You are breathing.
-I think the Tree Of Life is constructed fairly well.
You can't see any cracks.
There are no sort of distorted slabs there, which is really good.
-I sort of think you've thrown everything at it
but the kitchen sink!
Because you've got so many things going on and the purity of the idea
could have been better executed.
It's such a simple design,
so it has to be executed as well as possible and yet, to me,
when you're looking at it, it so obviously looks as though it's warped.
It doesn't look intentional, it just looks as though it's warped,
because you didn't use the slab roller.
Essentially, you say cogs,
and I think you used cookie cutters, didn't you?
-And to me, these are flowers, they're not really cogs.
That mixes the message.
Because it was so simple,
and it could have been executed so much better.
Absolutely looks brilliant.
It looks fantastic.
I'm loving all these textures accentuated with that black stain.
It's really, really good.
I think it works as a clock.
You have shown the clay patching, the stitching, if you like,
between this patchwork of pieces.
And the way you've impressed various things into it,
it's the joy of the soft material.
I was experimenting with it.
I found that it just had lovely lines when you tore it apart.
You've got a little cuckoo.
-A reference to the original cuckoo clock.
Just reminiscence of the original cuckoo clock, yeah.
Well, I think he's very sweet.
It's obviously warped quite a bit.
I am a little disappointed with it,
it didn't keep a little bit more of its shape.
You know, I spent a lot of time trying to get that shape.
To actually make a belly of a pot is quite simple.
And I just don't think you did that effectively.
You've lost your original idea.
If you asked someone if they thought that was 17th century,
I don't think they would see it.
I was disappointed in your make.
-You talk about the deterioration
and the wear and tear of buildings
and I know clay imitates that by breaking and snapping.
I did toy with that for a little while.
There's no sense of the broken here, for me.
You have salvaged it a bit with the decoration.
I have to say, James...
It's the best bloody use of colour I've actually seen.
It's absolutely fantastic.
This blue line there is absolutely brilliant.
-But I'm angry, because it's just a block!
-It's just a block!
-He shouts because he cares, you know.
No, hey, I appreciate it. Good. I'm glad it's invoking a bit of emotion.
Too-wit too-woo-hoo, you did it!
Out of all the people in the pottery,
you were really struggling with the building,
and you've managed to pull it back and actually create something.
The construction of the whole piece,
you haven't really got any stress cracks.
You've accentuated the parts that you couldn't get to do in the hand
building with the colour, which is fantastic to see.
He does have gravitas,
he has personality, this owl.
I think you have an inherent knack to make things work and that's
something you can't really learn.
You winged it right to the end!
And I think it's rather good.
Potters, after all your hard work,
I think you deserve a little bit of time out.
We'll see you back in here once the judges have decided who gets
Pot Of The Week and who sadly will be leaving us.
At the moment, I might be clinging on with my fingertips, really.
It's invoked a bit of emotion from people and that's no bad thing in my
-opinion, not at all.
-I thought the judges' comments were fair.
I think they probably thought it was a naive piece
and I'd probably agree with them.
I think Keith's just being nice to me.
No, I do. I didn't make him cry, did I?
So, judges, nine clocks,
all representing their personalities.
Who do you think is in trouble this week?
Well, I think James could have done so much better.
You went bananas at him.
His construction of his box was pretty hopeless.
But, you know, I have to own up,
that the decorative application was fantastic.
I think Richard's in trouble.
His piece slumped. He had an idea
and it kind of diluted as he went along.
Daniel, he came last in the throw-down,
but he did come second in the Spot Test.
The Main Make really wasn't up to scratch, really.
I just don't think he's got the imagination there,
flowing through him, at the moment.
Who could be up there for Pot Of The Week?
Well, I have to say Elaine's.
It's quite amazing. It's stunning.
Also, Ryan, he took so much risk, actually,
and I love it when they take risks.
And, dare I say it, it might be Cait.
I'm really impressed with Cait. She's really pulled it back.
It's a very, very dramatic piece.
Well, the clock's ticking.
I think it's about time we put them out of their misery.
-Shall we go and see them?
So, potters, our judges have deliberated,
they've debated, they've argued,
they've wrestled on the floor, but they have come up with a decision
for Pot Of The Week.
Pot Of The Week, this week...
You're going to make ME cry!
Well done, Elaine.
You showed us clay and all its lovely qualities.
-And now for the slightly sadder part,
because one of you does have to leave.
And the person leaving the pottery this week is...
Well done, Daniel.
Thanks very much.
It wasn't a particularly good clock.
Yeah, it wasn't as though I was thinking I was robbed.
I wasn't robbed.
A real pleasure to meet you.
I feel very strongly that we made the right decision.
His idea didn't have the depth that I wanted to see.
-But I'm really going to miss him!
-You should be proud of yourself.
-It's been great knowing you.
-I've met some wonderful people.
I will miss them desperately.
Well done, Elaine. Awesome work.
I've surprised myself.
Definitely put myself back in the game.
I mean, to win Pot Of The Week was just amazing.
Elaine looked visibly stunned when we told her.
She just couldn't believe it.
And it was a lovely thing to see.
Elaine's clock becomes the second pot
to take its place in the gallery.
I honestly thought I was going, I really did.
But, yeah, relieved.
I am ecstatic.
I think I dodged a bullet there.
But, hey, I'm there.
-..it's Raku firing.
First time I've done it!
..as the pottery is turning Japanese...
I love your kimono, it's lovely.
..Temperatures run high...
-Frightening, isn't it?
-..and so do emotions.
You've let us down.
You had two hours.
MUSIC: She's Not There by The Zombies
It is week two and the nine remaining potters face three more tough challenges, set by judges Keith Brymer Jones and Kate Malone.
In the throw down challenge, king of the wheel Keith demonstrates how to build a double walled pot, but against the clock, which potter can produce the goods?
Their spot test is handles, and the potters get to grips with pulling to create handles for a set of three casserole dishes.
And finally, the main make challenge this week is to hand build a large clock, slab rolling large amounts of clay to shape, then raw glaze and fire them to produce beautiful ceramic timepieces. But whose clock will win pot of the week and take their place in the winner's gallery? And whose time will be up and have to leave the competition?