You may not think of pottery as stressful, but that's very much the case in the new CBC show The Great Canadian Pottery Throw Down (premiering Thursday at 8:00 p.m. on CBC TV, available to stream on CBC Gem), hosted by Jennifer Robertson (Ginny & Georgia), featuring Seth Rogen.
"That's exactly I think what we were aiming for, and just showing people how intricate and elaborate ceramics are, you don't just kind of make a mug and throw it in," Robertson told Yahoo Canada.
"For myself, I have loved pottery my whole life, I don't know how to make pottery. ... I learned, as you did, as I was on the floor, this is not some chill, relaxing Sunday morning game. These are giant heaps of clay and there's a lot of ... sweat and tears that go into the making of these things."
What is 'The Great Canadian Pottery Throw Down' about?
Based on the original British concept, the premise of The Great Canadian Pottery Throw Down is that Canada's most talented potters have been brought in to show their skills. Over the course of eight episodes, the 10 competitors will make their best creations, based on the theme of the challenge, and one person will be named "Canada’s top potter."
While similar competition shows, like some based around food or other projects, often have those moments where you think things might just fall apart, it's even more intense in pottery. Just one little unexpected crack can result in complete destruction.
In the first episode, these talented artists are tasked with creating a piece that's a tribute to their hometown.
"It was the perfect challenge for the first episode, because you really do get to know the potters," Robertson said. "I just see them making these pieces that represent their hometowns and having conversations with them, there's so much that you don't see on the screen about what it means to them."
"It was so deeply personal and there are a lot more very personal challenges that come up in further episodes too. So you really are rooting for them and thankfully, that's my job as the host, is to just cheer everyone on and root for them, and try to make some jokes to crack the ice a little bit."
'He's very serious about pottery'
The Great Canadian Pottery Throw Down also begins with a mini-challenge courtesy of Rogen, who's an executive producer of the show and will also be featured as a guest judge.
Rogen tasks the potters with creating an ashtray, similar to what's sold by the company he co-founded, Houseplant, and we even get to see Rogen whip one up himself before our eyes.
"He's so fun. He's so funny, but he's very serious about pottery, which is really interesting," Robertson shared. "He's so invested in all the potters doing well and wanting them to have choices of glazes and all of those things."
"So he and Natalie [Waddell] and Brendan [Tang], [the] two judges, just nerd it out about pottery the whole time. It was really sweet and charming to just see them go, 'What about this kiln? Have you tried this kind of wheel?'"
Robertson herself has her own personal collection of pottery work that she's purchased, but she's also learned a lot more about it after being part of this show.
"The appreciation I now have for the pottery in my own home, knowing what goes into that is tenfold," she said.