The Great Canadian Pottery Throw Down Review: Seize the Clay With This Cozy New Show

The British import features Seth Rogan as a guest judge.

CBC’s The Great Canadian Pottery Throw Down, a local remix on the beloved British counterpart now on its seventh season, is the kind of cozy competition show we need right now. Harmoniously blending heartfelt moments with beautifully crafted ceramics and, let’s not forget, pottery puns, this is a fun and creative show for everyone. From the calm narration and soothing music to the pre-recorded competitor profiles, it doesn’t take long to recognize the wholesome formula similar to that of The Great Canadian Baking Show. Simply swap Toronto, mixers, fridges and ovens for Vancouver, throwing wheels, a drying room, and kilns.

Unlike other competition shows, The Great Canadian Pottery Throw Down differs due to the multiple drying and kiln firing phases. The potters begin working on their elimination challenge almost immediately which, in the show’s premiere, is centered around a hometown tribute. As these creations await their first firing in the kiln, potters participate in their second challenge, the “Throw Down.” Judged blindly and given limited time, these creations are closer to ‘leather-hard’ and not kiln-fired. Lastly, and what makes Throw Down quite interesting, is the potters do not see their final elimination challenge creations until the unveiling in front of the judges. This, of course, helps create those classic nail-biting moments through to the very end.

Renowned ceramicists and judges Brendan Tang and Natalie Waddell join host Jennifer Robertson (Schitt’s Creek, Ginny & Georgia) to help guide the potters through their weekly challenges. Special guest judge, executive producer, and pottery enthusiast Seth Rogan (notably the co-founder of Houseplant, who crafts ceramics for cannabis) leads the potters through their first Throw Down challenge based on his first ceramic creation – an ashtray. Over eight episodes, ten of Canada’s best amateur potters test their skills and nerves through various challenges. Each week, one will be hailed potter of the week, while another will be eliminated and sent home. At the end, only one will be crowned best at the wheel.

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The potters for the first season of The Great Canadian Pottery Throw Down are:

  • Kiefer Floreal, 27, from Winnipeg, Manitoba
  • Alice Gibson, 21, from Penticton, British Columbia
  • Thomas Haskell, 35, from Toronto, Ontario
  • Susan Johnston, 67, from Surrey, British Columbia
  • Renu Mathew, 49, from Olds, Alberta
  • Andrew McCullough, 32, from Fredericton, New Brunswick
  • Jen Sonnenberg, 39, from Stonewall, Manitoba
  • Jackie Talmey-Lennon, 39, from Vancouver, BC
  • Elsa Valinas, 43, from Fredericton, New Brunswick
  • Michael Wood, 35, from Salisbury, New Brunswick

The first episode of The Great Canadian Pottery Throw Down premieres tonight, February 7, at 8:00 pm EST (8:30 NL) on CBC TV and CBC Gem. New episodes premiere every Thursday.