The Recs: Six Great NYC Pottery Studios

A potter at work making pottery on their pottery wheel.

Get ready to sling mud and throw down across New York City.

Pottery is for everyone. Perhaps once regarded as a hobby for retired women in chunky jewelry and the occasional fuzzy-haired man in sandals, the art form has recently surged in popularity. In some ways, it has become a near-perfect antidote to our increasingly screen-bound lives. After all, you can’t text or doomscroll with wet clay on your hands, and you certainly can’t center a pot if your mind is centered on KPIs or Real Housewives drama. 

But don’t hastily dive fingers first into an unmolded lump of clay. Consider if you’re more interested in learning handbuilding or wheel throwing (or which one you want to try first). Familiarize yourself with studio operating hours; if you can only practice on weekends or after work, find a place that stays open late and all week. Ask potter friends or acquaintances about their experiences with specific studios and instructors. Finally, remember that pottery can be an expensive habit. When looking for a class, ask about supplies (some places charge extra for clay, glaze, and firing) and open studio hours (also typically an additional fee).

Now, take a seat behind the pottery wheel and get fired up at some of our favorite ceramics workshops in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens.


Greenwich House

This venerable institution has taught pottery classes since 1904 and recently expanded to meet booming demand. The primary studio location, a lovely c.1928 townhouse on Jones Street in the West Village, is now augmented by a 5,000-square-foot annex on the sixth floor of a Chelsea office building. Once enrolled, students can practice outside their classes by reserving open studio hours for a fee.

92nd Street Y

An Upper East Side mainstay (founded in 1874) that began offering pottery classes in 1947. 92NY offers various lesson schedules — those taught in the spring and fall work with stoneware, whereas the summer provides chances to work with the trickier porcelain — and open studio hours to enrolled students. More experienced potters, with an instructor’s recommendation, can enroll in independent study to work in the studio without formal instruction.

Pottery sitting on a table is ready for decorating and painting.



This airy, purpose-built workshop in Prospect Heights (with a sibling location in Tribeca) maintains a mile-long waiting list for its studio memberships. Thankfully, you won’t find as lengthy a line for seasonal semester-long classes catering to all skill levels. Nevertheless, the dream of 24/7 access to clay remains the key to BKLYN CLAY’s appeal — and maybe for counting yourself part of the Brooklyn-glam pottery crowd.


From along bustling Grand Street in Williamsburg, this studio packs a lot into a small space: an active gallery in front, plus one workspace in the basement and another out in a garden courtyard where heaters permit year-round al fresco fun with clay. Choplet offers multisession classes as well as one-offs (including the sip ‘n’ spin variety), skill-intensive workshops, and all-ages programs. Memberships are offered at both the main studio and the nearby Williamsburg Ceramic Center.



Located on a Long Island City block of low-rise auto body shops and truck parking lots, Brickhouse offers 4,000 square feet of studio space, a dedicated glazing room for mixing and application, and a kiln room. Classes are taught by the semester or in two-hour private lessons for the clay curious — an ingenious way to find out if you prefer handbuilding or wheel throwing. Experienced artists can pay a monthly fee for unlimited access to a dedicated workspace with personal shelves and a locker. A downside for weekend hobbyists: The studio is only open until 4 p.m. on Saturdays and closed on Sundays.

AlterWork Studios

AlterWork offers community to artists who work and study side by side in this Astoria storefront. Pottery classes are offered throughout the year and provide a steady beat. However, there are also printmakers, photographers, fabricators, painters, sewists, and more getting all types of work done here. The result is ample inspiration and a positive, competitive environment. More experienced ceramicists can choose studio memberships at varying levels of access and fees. A regular calendar of art shows and performances and participation in local art fairs and open street festivals keep things creative.

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