The potters’ wheel was reintroduced to England in the late ninth century. It spread rapidly throughout eastern England, yet little is known about the mechanisms that facilitated its dissemination and success. This article presents the results of multidisciplinary research into the diffusion of this technology. Focusing on pottery production in late Saxon Newark, Nottinghamshire, an industry thought to have been founded by a potter(s) who had relocated from Torksey, Lincolnshire, this study offers a rare opportunity to examine the movements and craft practices of an individual artisan(s). By considering their manufacturing choices in the context of pottery distribution networks and the contemporary political, social and economic climate, it is demonstrated that the supply of pottery to Newark from regional production centres was restricted, creating a gap in the market and providing an incentive for a potter to relocate, encouraging the spread of the potters’ wheel throughout eastern England.