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A perfectly moulded family affair

24 November 2015

Lyndsey Boardman

UCLan graduate and pottery show star Matthew takes after his dad  

It’s a family affair for University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) graduate and star of BBC Two's Great Pottery Throw Down Matthew Wilcock who has followed in his dad’s footsteps when it comes to clay.

The 24-year-old ceramics graduate is currently flying high on the popular show which began earlier this month with a similar format to the Great British Bake Off. Now in week four, Matthew has already shown off his pottery making skills through weekly challenges including using the Japanese Raku technique to make ten identical long neck vases.

Matthew’s love for clay is in his blood. His dad, Geoff Wilcock, has worked at UCLan as Head Ceramic Technician and helped out with teaching for the last 35 years. He was able to work alongside son Matthew when he studied for a degree in ceramics from 2010 to 2013. Mum Pauline also taught Matthew during his art and design course at Preston’s College.

 

“As parents we are both involved in education and making so Matthew has been aware of the enjoyment of clay all his life. His early experiences were in our workshop so this replaced the normal childhood experiences of lego and play doh."

Geoff Wilcock with some of Matthew's work Photo: Matthew's dad, Geoff Wilcock, with some of Matthew's work.

Geoff commented: “As parents we are both involved in education and making so Matthew has been aware of the enjoyment of clay all his life. His early experiences were in our workshop so this replaced the normal childhood experiences of lego and play doh. He always enjoyed creating imaginative large works and used the medium as a building technique, although sometimes it was difficult to determine what these were.”

Since graduating from UCLan Matthew has completed a PGCE and is now a Ceramic Artist in Residence and teacher at Giggleswick Boarding School in Settle, North Yorkshire, where he makes and exhibits his own work alongside teaching the pupils.

 

"He enjoys making but also is passionate about teaching and passing on traditional skills to the next generation. Creativity is undervalued and may be lost otherwise.”

Speaking of Matthew’s ceramics success Geoff added: “Matthew is very passionate about his work and has some great skills throwing on the wheel but it is a very tough field, which is why he decided to have a dual career path. He enjoys making but also is passionate about teaching and passing on traditional skills to the next generation. Creativity is undervalued and may be lost otherwise.”

Despite currently enjoying national recognition Matthew has also remained close to his roots and still exhibits work with his dad at UCLan, most recently at the Northern Potters Association (NPA) West in the UCLan PR1 Gallery.

The six-part Great Pottery Throw Down airs on BBC Two, Tuesdays at 9pm.