Buff & Shirtless, Potter Gets Patrick Swayze Vibes on Social Media

Tuesday May 11, 2021

"I make stuff out of clay," says hunky, 20-year old ceramic artist Theo Hirschfield on his Instagram page. And it has made him a social media sensation, with many hoping he will recreate the iconic scene from the romantic drama "Ghost."

Dubbed the real-life Sam Wheat (Patrick Swayze's character from the film), Hirshfield has been "inundated with flirtatious messages from men and women longing to re-enact the sexy pottery scene from the 1990 supernatural film starring Swayze and Demi Moore," writes the Daily Mail.

"Hirschfield said people will leave comments on his videos, saying things like, 'You forgot a shirt' or 'This is giving me Ghost vibes,' while comparing him to Swayze.

"Sometimes the comments are more suggestive. He recalled one person telling him: 'I've never wanted to be a lump of clay so bad.'"

He started doing ceramics while in high school and "fell in love with the concept of manipulating a piece of the earth into art," Hirschfield said. "'I loved how I had complete control over how I wanted a certain piece to look and as I would consider myself a very physically orientated person. The fact that ceramics is so hands-on explains why I'm obsessed with it."

In March 2018, he purchased a throwing wheel, followed by a kiln, glazes, shelving. Eventually, he had a fully functioning pottery studio in his parent's back garden, spending some $18,000 in the process. But the result paid off — after his parents began showing his work on Facebook, he began to sell his work and making his presence known on social media.

"I sold my first white bowl for $30, which felt incredible," he said. "I couldn't believe someone wanted to purchase my pottery," he told the DM. "This really kickstarted me to make more art and I began filming myself making pottery and posting these videos online."

And his career took off. "Hirschfield, who is known as @thclay on TikTok, earned over four million views and more than 90,000 followers in his first three months on the platform." What put him over the top were his shirtless videos. After he started posting them, they went viral, with one reaching over 20 million views. Last week, he celebrated reaching one million followers.

"I couldn't believe the amount of attention I was getting from across the world and I still feel super lucky to be able to have such a supportive following," Hirschfield said.

"I definitely feed into this type of attention with the shirtless pottery videos I make," Hirschfield admitted. "However, some people do take it too far, and - especially at first - some of the comments and messages I was getting made me feel uncomfortable. I try not to pay too much attention to it, however, and I mostly focus on the light-hearted comments, as well as making my content."

Born with severe hearing loss, Hirschfield has also found a wealth of support from his fans. "As I used to struggle with being accepted as normal, the response received from hundreds of people reaching out, saying that they've been inspired by my story, was incredibly empowering," he said.

"I'm glad that I've been given this opportunity to share my story and hopefully inspire others who may have also felt held back in life due to their hearing loss, and I have my fanbase on TikTok to thank largely for this.

"As I'm still in college, I'm trying to balance my time between TikTok and my studies, but I hope to get my work into more galleries in the future and keep entertaining people as I enjoy making others happy."