New York City boasts a wide selection of ceramics teaching studios. The city has long been a mecca for hobbyists and professionals alike. The pottery scene originally centered on the village, where Greenwich House Pottery has been offering lessons since 1904 and counts the artist Jackson Pollock as alumni. New York also has a strong Japanese ceramics community, led by the studio Togei Kyoshitsu for nearly 30 years. As the city’s arts scene has shifted to Brooklyn, so have the ceramics studios, with next-generation studios like BKLYN CLAY, Choplet, and Gasworks catering to everyone from borough natives to fresh college grads.
There is no doubt an NYC pottery class for everyone. This guide is here to help find the right pottery class for you. Our team has taken classes at all of these studios, or have close friends who have. Whether you are looking for a glaze-and-date party, or for serious study on your hobby, we’ll make sure you find the vibe that is right for you.
Where and when also matters — a lot. We keep this up-to-date with nyc classes that are coming up, not those that already happened. We’ll start with Manhattan. Scroll down if you’re looking for Brooklyn pottery classes.
Tribeca ClayWorks is a ceramics studio located in the Tribeca neighborhood of Manhattan that offers pottery classes to students of all skill levels. Their "Pottery Wheel and Handbuilding" class is a popular offering, which provides students with one-on-one attention from instructors to help them build their hand skills and explore a particular technique of their choosing. The studio is part of the Manhattan Youth Downtown Community Center, which is dedicated to strengthening lower Manhattan communities by providing inclusive programs for children and families regardless of background or income. Come here to meet all types of people in a community-oriented setting.
Upper West Side / Morningside Heights
Mugi Studio is a pottery gallery and studio located on the Upper West Side that showcases unique work from local artists and offers classes. The studio offers workshops and classes, including their hand-building and glazing course, where students will learn the proper techniques to craft their own piece of pottery. The studio has small and intimate class sizes for all skill levels, including adult classes, kid-specific classes, beginners, and even date night classes. The classes are fun for all occasions and the price includes firing fee. The studio is tall, well lit and ventilated, instructors are friendly and helpful. They have Covid-19 protocols in place and the studio is a great place to spend the evening with a loved one. The classes are taught in a way that allows students to work at their own pace and get extra help as needed. The studio owner Outi is kind and patient. Come to Mugi for fun, relaxation, or a date night.
Greenwich House Pottery operates like a mini-university for pottery, with instructors supplementing projects with reading material from their extensive library of over 700 pottery books. The studio offers an exceptionally wide range of glazes and materials, making it a favorite of longtime ceramacists. The established nature of Greenwich House is reported to be both an upside and a downside: for those passionate about the craft, this is a mecca with a serious community. However, those looking for a party may want to look elsewhere.
Togei Kyoshitsu offers a variety of classes focused on Japanese techniques. The studio has a "One Day Pottery Class" and 4-6 weeks long hand-building and wheel-throwing classes. The studio's unique approach is the Edo-period style of throwing, in which potters use one big mound of clay to create multiple pieces in one sitting. The practice was perfected in Japan for faster production, and allows students to "mess up and keep going" without feeling pressure to create a perfect piece every time. The studio is run by Risa Nishimori, whose father opened it in 1994. The studio also teaches Japanese throwing and kikuneri, a kneading technique to remove air from clay. The studio's tucked-away loft space provides a quiet and peaceful atmosphere, ideal for those looking for a respite from the city. The studio is perfect for those who want to build a community with their classmates, and for those looking for a convenient option for those living in Manhattan.
South Park Slope
Gasworks is known for their gas-fired kilns, unique among NYC pottery studios. Gasworks is built on a community model, with members, guests, and well-curated workshops. Gasworks is right for you if you want a studio where people feel like neighbors, but also come from all around for their shared passion for the craft. Classes sell out fast, and the studio can get cozy.
If a rom com starred a protagonist who was into clay, BKLYN Clay is where it would be filmed. This is a big, modern, state-of-the-art ceramics studio that offers membership, classes, private lessons, events, and one-time experiences. The studio is a community space that's perfect for anyone looking to give ceramics a try. They have TryDay Night classes that are a fun way to get the feel for the equipment and materials, but it's important to know that you won't be making a beautiful vase on your first day. The making, finishing, and glazing process takes time, and it requires a lot of hand-eye coordination which can be frustrating the first time. The studio is perfect for young and hip Brooklynites there to practice, meet each other, and have fun.
Clay Space has grown from a small studio to a Greenpoint institution.
This pottery studio offers a wide variety of classes for all ages and skill levels, including an introductory wheel-throwing class that covers all the basic steps on the wheel. The three-month course, consisting of weekly three-hour classes, starts with a comprehensive lesson on tools and sponges before jumping off with a challenge to make a cylinder on the wheel. The studio's instructors, which include artists Min Choi and ann/drew gayle, often use two-minute wheel-throwing exercises to assess new students' skills. The studio recently relocated to a new address at 275 Calyer Street, built with some prescient design elements, including the ability to function with doors and windows open, inviting in fresh air and making visitors feel safe and welcome. Come to hang with the Brooklyn art kids, both figuratively and literally (as Clay Space offers a “Clay Play” after school program).
If Williamsburg is the new Village, Choplet is the new Greenwich House. Choplet has classes for adults, kids, and social events like BYOB Sip & Spin sessions. They offer a good range of classes for adults, from one-day wheel workshops to more focused workshops involving pottery-making techniques and styles. The rambling studio befits the style of its French founder, with a mix of students from different ages and nationalities, including professionals and beginners. The classes are designed to push students past old habits and encourage experimentation. Come for: a serious hobby or a Williamsburg meet-cute.