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Burnley potter turns a hand to TV
A BURNLEY potter took part in a national TV show to win a chance to make a tea service fit for the Queen.
Daniel Bridge, 36, appeared on Monty Don’s Real Craft show on Channel Four as he competed against two other gifted amateurs.
They were set a series of challenges to win a commission to make a tea service at the Royal Suite of the prestigious Goring Hotel, in London.
Former St Theodore’s High pupil Daniel studied pottery at what was then the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff, and graduated in 2000.
Returning to Burnley short on cash, he retrained as a plumber and found he had less time and inclination to dedicate to pottery.
In 2009, Daniel suffered a bout of depression, coupled with pains down his arms, for which he was referred to physiotherapy. He was then diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.
He said: “I was really depressed. I felt like there was something missing in my life and I decided it was pottery.
“I built myself a workshop in the shed and got a wheel again and started to create.
“But then I started noticing a tremor in my hand. It got so bad that I couldn’t even hold my blowtorch properly.
“I was referred to a GP and was diagnosed straight away. It was a real shock. But the weirdest thing is, when on the potter’s wheel, my tremor subsides.”
Daniel started displaying his work at shows and entering pieces into competitions.
And when a Channel Four advert asked for people passionate about keeping crafts alive, he was encouraged to enter.
He said: “We had to do different tasks. In the first one, Monty Don said that mine was his favourite. We then met with Jim and Evan Keeling who are the owners of Whichford Pottery and had to make a replica of a 17th Century urn and they said mine was the best.”
None of the potters were commissioned but Daniel’s work was highly-praised and he may be commissioned in the future.
He said: “It was a great experience. I’ve had some dark days but everything is going so well now. I’m in a really good place.”
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