Ex-fashion designer crowned winner of The Great Pottery Throw Down

With Melanie Sykes, Keith Brymer Jones and Sue Pryke.
With Melanie Sykes, Keith Brymer Jones and Sue Pryke.

Danish former fashion designer Rosa Wiland Holmes has been crowned the winner of The Great Pottery Throw Down 2020.

The full-time mother, 44, from Buckinghamshire, said she could now unveil her trophy after keeping it hidden in her bedroom while the pre-recorded show aired on Channel 4.

She said she had brought “a little bit of Danish influence to the series” and had used “simplicity” in her work “to reflect a Scandinavian style”.

Rosa triumphed over studio potter Jacob Chan and professional cycling manager Matt Cronshaw across two increasingly tough challenges.

The Great Pottery Throw Down Ep10
Rosa has won The Great Pottery Throw Down (Channel 4)

The trio were tasked with creating a quirky tea set inspired by the Mad Hatter’s tea party from Alice In Wonderland, and competing a solo throwing challenge.

She said: “My emotions were a mix of elation, shock and surprise as I had only won potter of the week once and that was a joint win.

“So to win in my own right was so good, even though a bit overwhelming.

“I was ecstatic and sad at the same time as I knew this would be the end of the series.

“I could hear my friends and family next door so I wanted to share the news with them.

“My little boy said I am crying mummy, but they are happy tears.”

Rosa was born in Copenhagen and lived on the island of Bornholm with her sister, mother and sculptor father from the age of 10.

She impressed judges Keith Brymer Jones and Sue Pryke over 10 episodes by handbuilding a ceramic chess set, raku firing animal figurines, and pit firing and sculpting a nude Greek statue.

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Matt made it to the final (Channel 4)

The TV show, made by the company behind The Great British Bake Off and hosted by Melanie Sykes, saw 12 home potters strive to create their most intricate and imaginative works.

Rosa praised her children for keeping the win a secret and for being understanding when she missed school events for filming.

“My family are so proud of me,” she said.

“The children have been so good at keeping it a secret. I had to miss a school sports day, but the family understood and were all my greatest support.

“They kept encouraging me to do my best.

“As potters we all had different skills, so I just tried to do my best.

“My husband was the biggest support ever and he is so proud and honoured that I won.

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Jacob was in the final (Channel 4)

“A lot of love from the family, a lot of help from friends, and a good helping community spirit in the village really helped make it easier for me.”

Rosa said she now stored her trophy in her pottery room at home.

She added: “We live in a small village and everyone has been so incredibly supportive.

“At school, the children run up to me and tell me they have seen me on TV!

“I kept the trophy hidden in the bedroom but now I can keep it as a pride of place in my pottery room.

“It will encourage me to continue the good work I have learned, and to keep trying to achieve more.”

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