Ramsgate jeweller and ceramicist Lois Gunn is the winner of Channel 4’s The Great Pottery Throw Down 2023.
Loïs took the title after ten clay packed episodes competing against 12 home potters to turn lumps of clay into beautiful objects.
After 20 tough challenges filmed at the Gladstone Pottery Museum in Stoke on Trent Loïs emerged triumphant as the winner of The Great Pottery Throw Down 2023.
Over nine weeks the potters supported each other and brought amazing makes to the series, culminating in a nail biting tenth episode with finalists Loïs, Jon and James.
The Great Pottery Throw Down is presented by Siobhán McSweeney with judges Keith Brymer Jones and Rich Miller.
Lois, who was four times Potter of the Week in episodes 1,5,8 and 9, said: “It happened quite a while ago and at the time it felt like a bit of a dream, and it still feels like that! It was quite surreal to watch the final on TV, and we watched it as a family together – it was wonderful to have them all there to enjoy the moment.
“2023 has been an amazing year for me with big life changes and being part of the Throw Down has helped me to see that I can aim high and achieve what I want out of life. Opportunities are starting to open up for me and I am totally embracing them.
“I am very close to my family, and Adam my husband, who I have been with since I was 16, is so supportive of my creative endeavours. My mum was amazing while I was filming as she moved in to help look after my boys Jacob and Samuel. They were so excited that I had won, it was great to see their little faces at the final.
“When we got the brief for the final, I did feel that it was something good that I could work with and be expressive, and a chance to celebrate the phases of my life – and of course it meant I could decorate in my usual style. Having to make pots that big was not something I could have done before the Throw Down, I thought initially it would be daunting and then I actually quite enjoyed the challenge.
“Keith and I were both in tears at the final, especially when he judged my ‘Look How Much I’ve Grown’ pyramid vase. I was really emotional and it proved that my confidence had grown. I think my signature style throughout the whole series helped me to win, and I still can’t quite believe that I did win! I know I have more to give and that’s an exciting creative prospect.
“It was so good to meet the Judges, and getting feedback from both Keith and Rich on my work. It was such a privilege to be present at my own judging and also everyone else’s judging. They give constructive criticism, and they help to build your confidence.
“Walking in with my fellow finalists felt really like it was a very special and unique moment, and that we were all there together. The friendship was so good and between the three of us we had different strengths and different styles. I will stay in touch with all the Potters because we shared such an incredible time throughout the whole series from beginning to end.
“The trophy has been hiding in my bedroom so it will be great to get it out on show. I definitely won’t be keeping it in the loo!”
Lois says the public support has been “amazing,” adding:” The most special part of it has been people who have messaged me and said that they feel that they want to give pottery a go, and to try something that they haven’t done before.”
Lois says her worst moment of the series was the blindfold challenge where her final bowl was ‘unhinged’ and the best was standing in front of the judges with her final piece.
For the future Lois says she would love her own studio and retail space and maybe take part in an exhibition one day
Keith said: ‘What makes Loïs really special is that she gives something of herself every single time she makes something.”
Fellow judge Rich added: “‘Right the way through she has dazzled us with her incredible affinity for decorative work and all round pottery skills.”