Quality of life
Living in lockdown for the past two years has made many of us stop and take stock of what is important, a lot of us had time to slow down, no more rushing around for that long commute to work. With this slowed down pace of life along came the revival of crafts and one of the most popular has been pottery.
Smash hit The Great Pottery Throwdown has opened the eyes of millions of people to how fun, and therapeutic getting your hands on a lump of clay can truly be. Sheds are being cleared out to make way for wheels and kilns and there are over 1.5 million results on Google for pottery throwing workshops.
Moving away from our single use/throwaway culture has seen us look for more durable materials. Stoneware which is fired to high temperatures makes it one of the strongest ceramic materials out there, able to withstand high heats and freezing temperatures, stoneware ceramics are made to last.
We’re also moving away from mass produced products that everyone and their neighbour has in their kitchen. Post Brexit we are also seeing a resurgence in people buying British, whilst mass production of tableware does happen in this country it’s a fraction compared to the amount manufactured in China. Pottery made using traditional techniques makes each piece unique as well as practical. In contrast to the perfect, symmetrical objects mass produced by big factories no two pieces are ever the same giving each piece personality meaning it will be highly valued and in turn looked after.
Restaurants are constantly trying to stand out from one another, especially on the ever-competitive high street.
This has seen a slew of studio potters being commissioned to create bespoke pieces and ranges of tableware for those looking to really stand out and create drama. This also allows chefs to express their own style and bring individuality to dishes.
Image courtesy of Restaurant Interlude at Leonardslee Gardens
Production and creating new items
Throwing also has significant uses in the production side of the pottery business too, whilst other methods are undoubtably quicker in the manufacture of pottery, hand throwing allows us to create products that can’t easily be made with modern techniques.
We can also create and test new products on a smaller scale, allowing us to tweak the design before creating an expensive master mould.