Curious about Keith? Find out more about Throw Down judge Keith Brymer Jones

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The long-awaited television programme The Great Pottery Throw Down is back on British screens for its second series. Each week, we explore issues and topics related to the show on our blog.  This week, we revisit an interview from issue 281 of Ceramic Review with Throw Down judge and potter Keith Brymer Jones. …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Keith Brymer Jones. Photo Cristian Barnett for Ceramic Review issue 281
Keith Brymer Jones. Photo Cristian Barnett for
Ceramic Review issue 281
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Keith Brymer Jones is an increasingly familiar face. From his role as judge on BBC2’s Great Pottery Throw Down, his own prolific output as a potter and ceramic designer, to unusual public appearances – such as his recent stint throwing live on his wheel in the department store window of stockist John Lewis on London’s Oxford Street – Keith’s is a name known to many.

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Work by Keith Brymer Jones in Ceramic Review issue 281. Photo Cristian Barnett

Work by Keith Brymer Jones in Ceramic Review issue 281. Photo Cristian Barnett
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However, there’s still much left to know about the charismatic character who is currently helping to bring ceramics to the nation’s attention. Here are some facts you may not know about Keith Brymer Jones:

  • His lifelong fascination with clay was born with an experience of making a ceramic owl, aged eleven. Keith told CR that during this experience, ‘I recognised that working with clay gave me a sense of escapism.’
  • Keith was the lead singer in a band for years. However, his bedroom walls as a teen were plastered posters not of rock stars, but of pots by Lucie Rie and Hans Coper.
  • To get started professionally, Keith placed a classified advert in Ceramic Review (below):
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    Keith Brymer Jones Ceramic Review classified advert…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
  • From age three to eighteen, Keith studied ballet. He failed to get into the Royal Ballet School because the school thought his feet were too large.
  • As a production potter at Harefield Pottery, Keith had to throw thousands of pots in a single day.
  • Keith’s playful music videos (such as the below spoof of Adele’s hit Rolling in the Deep) were what initially brought him to the attention of the Throw Down’s producers:

  • He once was commissioned by Habitat to throw 16,000 pieces – to a very tight deadline of only four months.
  • Keith has dyslexia – a factor which informed his decision to spend his life working with his hands.


Curious about Keith? Read more about Keith Brymer Jones in issue 281 of
Ceramic Review. You can purchase it 
here, or access it online with a digital subscription – included free with print subscriptions.
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Watch Series 2 of The Great Pottery Throw Down on BBC Two from 8pm on Thursdays, or catch up on BBC iPlayer. Can’t watch it? Follow us on Twitter @ceramicreview, where we’ll be live-tweeting the action as it happens.
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