The Great Pottery Throw Down winner Ryan was inspired to start potting after a Tinder date
The winner of the BBC Two series has spoken about how he fell in love with potting.
The male model who has been crowned winner of The Great Pottery Throw Down has revealed his love of clay was sparked by a Tinder date.
Thirty-one-year-old Ryan Barrett, from Suffolk, has been named the winner of the BBC Two series and spoke of how his love of pottery was fired up just under two years ago.
He said: “I first touched clay by going on a first date from Tinder just under two years ago.
“I instantly fell in love with it. I went on eBay straight away and brought my first wheel and kiln and moved them into my grandma’s shed.”
This year’s batch of contestants faced 24 challenges under the watchful eye of judges and pottery experts Keith Brymer Jones and Kate Malone.
The series was hosted once again by Sara Cox and also featured ceramics designer Emma Bridgewater as a guest judge.
Ryan said during the run of the show he wanted to impress one judge and make the other one cry.
“I really wanted to impress Kate, so I always tried to figure out what she liked and pushed for that as much as possible,” he said. “One of my main goals was to make Keith cry as I feel that’s an achievement in itself.”
Keith said: “I am so incredibly proud of Ryan. It just shows that hard work and determination can get you to grow and really flourish. Well done Ryan!”
Kate added: “It’s such an achievement and Ryan has only been doing this for a few years, that’s why we are here to see people like Ryan develop and learn and to watch the whole process. Gorgeous.”
The finalists were set a few tough tasks that included making Japanese lanterns using traditional techniques and doing a spot test (which tests their technical ability against the clock) that involved sculpting the torso of celebrity guest and ice dancer, Sylvain Longchambon.
The contestants also had to work with porcelain, which is a notoriously difficult clay to manipulate.
Talking about his win, Ryan said: “I was very very surprised to win, there were a lot of good potters there, and I feel anyone could have won it.
“The final was such a lovely day but very overwhelming, I couldn’t believe it all happened. After I won I called my grandma, and she asked how much I had won. I had to tell her that there was no money involved, bless her.”
He said he hoped his win had helped to impact the craft of pottery.
“Recently I was in the gym and a young guy said to me that I had inspired him to take up pottery,” he said.
“So I think it has reached out to different markets, I don’t think potters are stereotypical, especially in London at the moment. Ceramic fairs are very cool, so I think there is a kind of hipster style to it at the moment, and I hope I have had a little impact on the craft itself.”