Top of the pots: art teacher is no mug after wowing judges with feat of clay
Published 08/12/2015 | 22:06
An art teacher from North Yorkshire, Matthew Wilcock, has been crowned the winner of BBC Two's The Great Pottery Throw Down.
Wilcock, who is currently an artist-in-residence at a boarding school, beat nine other potters to take the winning title.
The show, which spanned across six episodes, saw aspiring potters work their magic to turn clay into works of pottery art.
As the youngest contestant on the show, 23-year-old Wilcock thanked his parents, who are both ceramic teachers, after his win.
He said: "Words can't describe it really, amazing, and I want to thank my mother and father for introducing me to clay.
"If I could break up the winning trophy into 10 shards to share with the other potters I would, but it would be a shame to ruin a good pot!"
The show's judges - potter and ceramic designer Keith Brymer Jones and ceramic artist Kate Malone - set the final contestants a few tough challenges before picking a winner.
The finalists had to make a 12-piece tea set out of porcelain, do a spot test (which tests their technical ability against against the clock) and then a 20-minute challenge to make three, notoriously difficult to make, high shouldered jugs.
Winner Wilcock also spoke about affectionately being "recognised" because of his dreadlocks, saying: " I don't know if my look has brought pottery up to date, I would like to think so, having dreadlocks and wearing a smart suit is not the usual potter stereotype!
"I teach in my studio and it's something I have always done, as the dress code for working in a school is slightly different then working at home in your own studio. I also want to bring the attention towards pottery that it's something young people do, and there needs to be an industry for it."