It’s become one of the must-see highlights of winter TV, and The Great Pottery Throw Down, back on screens for its sixth season, is already another hit with viewers shining a spotlight on the world of potters’ wheels and glazing kilns.
For budding potters Stoke-on-Trent, the spiritual home of British ceramics, is not only where the series is filmed, but also where visitors can follow in the footsteps of the TV contestants and have a go at the wheel themselves at the very same historic pottery.
The striking bottle kilns of Gladstone Pottery Museum, the country’s only complete Victorian pottery factory, have become a familiar sight for Channel 4 TV viewers each Sunday during the annual search to find Britain’s best amateur ceramicist, with the winner set to be revealed in March.
For anyone inspired by the amazing clay creations from the TV show, Gladstone provides a fascinating insight into a time when coal burning ovens made the world’s finest bone china – as well as opportunities for visitors to try their hand at throwing a pot or decorating one. The Museum re-opens for the 2023 season on 1 April (£8.50 adults and £5.95 children, 4 – 16 years).
Series 6 of The Great Pottery Throw Down began on Sunday 8 January on Channel 4 and there will be 10 episodes, one every Sunday, until the grand final in March, with Stoke-on-Trent once again becoming one of the stars of the show, alongside the pottery champions.
Regarded as a world ‘Capital of Ceramics’ – and the only city in Britain to be named after its primary industry, The Potteries – Stoke-on-Trent has been shaped by its production for centuries. Today it is home to a host of award-winning attractions, tours, and factory shops.
It will also have plenty to shout about in 2023, including a “homecoming” for the Spode Museum collection, one of the country’s most important collections, while the UK’s largest contemporary event, The British Ceramics Biennial (BCB), returns to Stoke-on-Trent in September 2023.
Throw into the mix, Middleport Pottery, home of world-famous Burleigh, where pottery has been created since 1889, and World of Wedgwood, the ultimate destination to experience this iconic brand bringing together shopping, hands-on experiences, plus the historic V&A Wedgwood Collection, and it is clear that The Potteries more than lives up to its name.
Other ‘have a go’ sessions include painting your own pottery at Emma Bridgewater and Royal Stafford and designing your own dinner service at the World of Wedgwood.
For more information on Stoke-on-Trent as a destination, see www.visitstoke.co.uk.