The Great Pottery Throwdown: Preston contestant Christine Cherry stays for another week with help of roller disco gnomes

Preston potter Christine Cherry looked back to her youthful student days in Preston when she competed in Channel 4's The Great Pottery Throwdown.

By Fiona Finch
Monday, 31st January 2022, 1:31 pm

The former teacher from Penwortham took up the challenge to make three garden gnomes - despite admitting to not having a fondness for the popular garden ornaments.

In episode 5 of the TV series, broadcast last night, the eight remaining contestants were shown grappling with the challenges of Garden Week. They were all asked to make three garden gnomes.

Youth worker Christine said she had taken inspiration from her love of roller disco skating which she and her friends used to do around Preston.

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Christine Cherry

Her cool gnomes sported shades and skates and struck different poses, making the judges smile.

After the episode was televised she posted on her own Facebook page: "Do I still dislike gnomes? Erm yes, but I'm pleased to say that these little guys actually kept me in for another week of all things clay! So I'm OK with my boogie-woogie trio."

In the same episode the 57 year old former teacher was shown almost giving up on the pottery throwing challenge. Guest judge and demonstrator Adam Keeling from Whichford Pottery in Warwickshire demonstrated how to make a huge sea kale forcing pot. The contestants were advised their pot could be smaller and more suitable for forcing rhubarb. But even so Christine admitted the sheer weight of clay was too hard to handle and made a forcer which was much reduced in size. Judges admitted it meant her place in the series could be under review, meaning she could be the contestant to leave. But the gnomes saved the day. for her.

Heartened by the number of new followers she has received on social media Christine has now posted a video of her self at work. She wrote: "I thought I should show you a little video of the work I usually do when I'm not practising my throwing (and now handbuilding skills). I'm a slipcaster at heart, I just love casting layers of colour in my moulds and then carving the layers back to create patterns in the surface of my pots. The slip (liquid clay) that I use is Parian, a semi porcelain clay which I make myself from raw ingredients - it's just like making a huge amount of cake batter except I use a large bucket and an industrial mixer .I then use a variety of stains to colour the slip and paint these coloured layers into moulds, building up the thickness of the vessels walls. Once they are leather hard I can take them out of the moulds and carve away!"

For more on Christine's Pottery Throwdwon appearances see here and hereTo subscribe to the Lancashire Post see here