After winning The Great Pottery Throw Down, Aberdeen creative AJ Simpson says the future is looking exciting for them thanks to a “life-changing” year.
“I don’t know what the future holds for me in the pottery world, but I am more motivated than ever to make pottery and enjoy every minute,” said AJ, a graduate of Gray’s School Of Art.
“I hope that one day I can make pottery my day job. I want to introduce more people to this amazing medium and help to teach and facilitate more people making with clay.”
AJ had a brilliant journey on The Great Pottery Throw Down going from strength to strength and growing in confidence over the past 10 weeks until they were crowned winner of the series on Sunday evening.
“It was an amazing moment for me. It was a whirlwind of emotions and I was so happy to have my family there and all of the potters in the beautiful set up in the courtyard.
“I have just turned 22 and I do feel like this has been a life-changing year for me. I came into the New Year with so much more confidence and more friends. I had graduated from university, won the series, and moved into a new flat with my partner Celda.
Future is looking exciting for Great Potter Throw Down winner AJ
“There has been a lot of change in my life, but it’s all looking good and positive – the future is looking exciting for me, definitely.”
And AJ said they were delighted by the wave of public support shown to them as they battled through each week of The Great Pottery Throw Down.
“The response from the public and social media has been so positive the whole way through and it has been so nice to get messages from people online that they are enjoying the show,” said AJ.
“I have had great messages from non-binary people all sending encouragement.”
And much of the encouragement came from AJ’s own family, said the gifted potter.
“I didn’t tell them when I first applied but when I got an interview I told my dad, and he said let’s keep it a secret until you get in otherwise your mum will explode. When I did finally get accepted, and told her she did explode with excitement,” said AJ.
Proud to bring Great Pottery Throw Down trophy back to Aberdeen
AJ has also been flying the flag for Aberdeen during The Great Pottery Throw Down, with many of their creations inspired by the north-east, especially their love of nature.
They said: “Aberdeen is home and I have always lived here, it’s such a cool place to live. It’s a city but it doesn’t feel like one. It’s very close to nature and you can be in the countryside pretty quickly.
“A lady in Aberdeen called out to me on the street recently, and congratulated me on my gnomes, it was very surreal to be recognised. I was so proud to take the trophy home to Aberdeen.”
AJ loved their time on The Great Pottery Throw Down and heaped praise on the special atmosphere of the show both on screen and off.
“Some of my favourite moments overall were in between filming – having dinner together with the potters talking about the briefs and going through the sketches. They were all really special moments, that sounds soppy but it’s true.”
Winner’s trophy will now take pride of place in AJ’s living room
‘I will stay in touch with all the potters [Anna, Bill, Cellan, Christine, Jenny, Josh, Lucinda, Miles, Nick, Tom and Zahra]. We are such a tight-knit bunch and we all share the same passion, and we are always texting each other with advice. I have some lovely new friends!”
And while they are looking forward to the future, AJ has one last task to do after winning The Great Pottery Throw Down.
“The trophy will have pride of place in my new living room. Up till now I have been hiding it in the drying cupboard next to the Christmas tree!”