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Where to Throw Down

Studios and classes with extra-hot kilns, boozy Friday nights, and a ceramicist patient enough for your 11-year-old.

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Studio to the stars:
Choplet Gallery and Ceramic Studio

238 Grand St., nr. Driggs Ave., Williamsburg; 917-547-8316
Name any two successful young ceramicists in Brooklyn, and they probably met at Choplet (see map). Paris native Nadeige Choplet’s classes come with access to her 50 original glazes. Starting July 7 ($300 for eight weeks).

Tom Sachs’s kiln:
92nd Street Y

1395 Lexington Ave., nr. 92nd St.; 212-415-5562
Gagosian-represented sculptor Tom Sachs fires his porcelain tea bowls in the Y’s rare high-temperature gas kiln. For beginners, there’s basic handbuilding and wheel classes; single sessions are $25 a pop.

Makers of all ages:
Greenwich House Pottery
16 Jones St., nr. Bleecker St.; 212-242-4106
Founded in 1902 as a resource for immigrant families, this Village institution caters to entry-level ceramicists. Even if you land in a class of “hot artist girls,” as one patron describes them, the room across the hall will be “full of octogenarians.” The beginner session starts July 7 (from $330 for six weeks).

For the birthday kid:
Stilclay Ceramic Center @ 601
67 West St., at Noble St., Ste. 601, Greenpoint; 718-383-7845
Stiliani Moulinos launched her all-ages school with kids’ classes in 2012 (currently her youngest student is 11). She also does birthday parties and private lessons. Starting July 14 ($210 for six classes).

Pros’ choice:
Clayworks on Columbia
195 Columbia St., nr. Degraw St., Red Hook; 718-694-9540
Commercially successful ceramicists including Sabina Magnus and Paula Grief have made this their go-to studio. The 2,000-square-foot space hosts weeklong clay camp sessions throughout the summer ($260 per week).

Master training:
Togei Kyoshitsu
5 W. 30th St., nr. Fifth Ave., third fl.; 212-268-1711
Learn traditional Japanese techniques like kinuneri, a kneading method that’s also used in making soba-noodle dough, in classes taught in English and Japanese. The late founder Mr. Nishimori’s background was in cooking, and he opened the studio in 1994 with the hopes of making functional and artful kitchen and tabletop ceramics. Monthly (from $275 for four weeks).

M.F.A. fast-track:
BrickHouse Ceramic Art Center
10-34 44th Dr., nr. 11th St., Long Island City; 718-784-4907
This studio sets beginners and advanced members alike on a path to sell their own work. Instructors have M.F.A.’s in ceramics and are full of advice for grad school. Starting July 8 ($280 for six sessions).

Drinking and pinching:
Mud, Sweat & Tears Pottery
654 Tenth Ave., at 46th St.; 212-974-9121
Every Friday at 7 p.m., this studio hosts Friday Night Out, a BYOB handwork session that sells out consistently ($30 per class). Famous alumni include Jonathan Adler and the women who throw onstage in Ghost: the Musical.

High-output hub:
La Mano Pottery
110 W. 26th St., nr. Sixth Ave.; 212-627-9450
This 14-year-old Chelsea institution recently moved from a cramped studio on 18th Street to a multi-level storefront with five electric kilns and 24 wheels, and a street-level gallery. Tools, aprons, clay, and glazes are on hand, included in the class fee. Of the 75 studio potters (unlimited studio use and firing fees for $175 per month), 40 of them currently sell their work.


A Year and a Half in High-Art Ceramics

Takuro Kuwata, “Flavor of Nature” at Salon 94 Bowery, January 2013
Betty Woodman, “Windows, Carpets and Other Paintings” at Salon 94 Freemans, May 2013
Josh Smith, “Make It Snappy” at Home Alone 2 Gallery, May 2013
“Bad Fog,” curated by Eddie Martinez at Martos Gallery, January 2014
Dan McCarthy, “Dan McCarthy” at Anton Kern Gallery, February 2014
Shio Kusaka at the Whitney Biennial, March 2014
Sterling Ruby, “Sunrise Sunset” at Hauser & Wirth, May 2014
Tom Sachs and Roger Herman at Frieze New York, May 2014
I’m Revolting Ceramics Shop, curated by Su Wu at Sight Unseen Offsite, May 2014


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