Cait Gould - The Great Pottery Throw Down

PUBLISHED: 00:00 15 May 2020

Cait Gould Credit: Maureen McLean Photography

Cait Gould Credit: Maureen McLean Photography

Maureen McLean

You may have seen local potter Cait Gould on the latest series of The Great Pottery Throw Down. We visited her in her her studio in Newbury to find out more.

Cáit loves making fun, child-like pieces Credit: Maureen McLean PhotographyCáit loves making fun, child-like pieces Credit: Maureen McLean Photography

With a new home on More 4 and a new presenter in Melanie Sykes, the popular The Great Pottery Throw Down competition has got the nation all fired up. A quarter-finalist in series two, Berkshire-based ceramicist Cáit Gould says since appearing on the show she has seen an increase in demand for her workshops and ceramics.

Cáit has been passionate about clay since studying Ceramics at Glasgow School of Art in 2002, where she developed skills in a wide range of ceramic making techniques; from throwing and hand-building to mould-making and raku firing.

“I initially went into teaching, and even taught in China, but visiting the china factories there, and the Emperor’s Kiln, I was reminded of my passion for clay, so I decided to persue my dream on a professional basis a few years ago,” she says.

Having been selected to participate in BBC2’s Great Pottery Throw Down, Cáit impressed the judges with, among other creations, ‘Hoot’; an enormous owl clock, dog-inspired fountain, and bouquet of roses.

Berkshire LifeEditor Sarah takes to the wheel. Credit: Maureen McLean PhotographyBerkshire LifeEditor Sarah takes to the wheel. Credit: Maureen McLean Photography

While the show certainly had its quota of stress; having to create works of art against tight time frames in front of six studio cameras, Cáit says she enjoyed the experience and made life-long pottery friends.

“I loved making fun, child-like pieces, such as Russian dolls,” she says.

Since then, Cáit has been building her ceramics business from her studio at The Base in Newbury, creating and exhibiting her own unique pieces and working on a variety of commissions. “I love it here; it’s a creative hub. It’s close enough to London with all its galleries and exhibitions, but Berkshire offers gorgeous countryside. And having grown up by the water in Scotland, I like being by the river,” she says.

“I like creating interior, decorative pieces - I’m not a production potter,” she says. “Although I do like things to have a purpose and a use.”

Cáits new beautiful range of decorative pieces for the home  Credit: Maureen McLean PhotographyCáits new beautiful range of decorative pieces for the home Credit: Maureen McLean Photography

Her recent projects have included a shortlisting for The Penn Club Centenary Art prize in Bloomsbury, London, and a personalised series of tiles for a time capsule in ‘The Can of Ham’ in The City, London.

“I’ve always been interested in architecture; in particular cooling towers. I like structures and symmetry, and the shadows they create. And I think this comes through in my wor,” she says,

She is also about to start work on a new collection of cups, bowls, succulent pots and clocks.

Cáits studio is at The Base in Newbury, where she also runs workshops Credit: Maureen McLean PhotographyCáits studio is at The Base in Newbury, where she also runs workshops Credit: Maureen McLean Photography

Motivated by helping others unleash their inner potter, Cáit also teaches evening classes at Reading College as part of the ‘Activate Learning’ initiative and runs workshops and courses from her Newbury studio at The Base. “There is growing acknowledgment among health professionals that engaging in creative arts can reduce things like depression, anxiety and loneliness while boosting self-esteem, self-respect and self-worth.” she says.

She runs kids clay classes in the school holidays and spring clay flower making, plus christmas gifts.

Wen she invited me to take a seat at her potter’s wheel, I admit, I was a bit nervous. wedge and knead clay. You will learn how to centre and throw cylinder forms with step by step instruction and demonstration from Cáit.

One day, I’d love to see my work in the V&A.

caitgould.com

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