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The 5 Best Pottery Classes in Brooklyn - CourseHorse

By Jenny Tobin | Published 7/24/2012

New York pottery classes offer an incredible creative outlet, and for Brooklynites there’s no shortage of great options.


When you think “pottery” you may think “shirtless lost spirit Patrick Swayze providing emotional comfort to grieving Demi Moore as she masterfully constructs a large vase” (what she’s doing is called “wheel throwing” for those new to the scene). Then again, maybe you’re not as obsessed with Ghost as us and just love working with your hands, are looking for a therapeutic creative activity, or are experienced and want to pick up some new crafty clay skills. Whatever your motivation, if you’re in Brooklyn you have some great options to choose from. Where Brooklyn [pottery] at? Just below this paragraph.


Wheel Throwing (Intensive)

Choplet Ceramic Studio
Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Choplet Ceramic Studio is one of the best in the business and it’s no wonder their classes are frequently some of the highest reviewed by students. Their large Williamsburg space features more than 20 wheels, 5 kilns, and a host of other equipment from hand building tables to drying closets. They even have an outdoor garden area with an additional setup for both wheel throwing and hand building so when the weather is nice you can soak up the sun with your sculptures. In this class, you’ll meet five times and get plenty of hands-on wheel throwing instruction. Beginners will get an introduction to fundamentals while more advanced students will be able to work on specific techniques they’re looking to hone. Students claim they’re impressed with how much they’re able to take away in such a short period of time, and we love that Choplet offers plenty of rental time to continue to work on your projects or skills outside of class hours. If you’re looking for a great introduction to the wheel (or just really want to be like Demi Moore), this is the perfect place to start.

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Porcelain Planter Workshop

Wilcoxson Brooklyn Ceramics
Greenpoint, Brooklyn

Wilcoxson is a beautiful design studio which specializes in functional porcelain products, but they also have some incredible classes which riff off of their functional focus. It’s worth swinging by the studio just to check out the collections (and decorate your apartment a bit), and if you like what you see keep in mind you can make your own. The Porcelain Planter Workshop focuses on hand building techniques to send you home with a fully glazed and usable -- yes, you guessed it -- porcelain planter. If you’re the kind of person who has a less than perfect track record keeping plants alive, it may help to know that the planter you’ll make has such a modern design aesthetic that you can easily repurpose it for other storage or just display it on a shelf so you can field confidence-building questions like “wow, that’s beautiful, where did you buy it?” We’ve heard students rave about the instructors and the variety of ways you can design your planter, and if you have time Wilcoxson will let you make more than one piece to take home.

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Tap Dance

Hand-building Workshop – Ceramics

Chameleon Club Studio
Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Conveniently located by the Lorimer stop on the J/M line, Chameleon Club Studio offers a variety of workshops and events run by local artists and makers. If you love the idea of learning from a plethora of native creatives, this is the place to be. They even run regular meetup type events where you’ll get to mingle & converse with others passionate about art, and generally are just great supporters of the Brooklyn art scene. In their hand building workshop (think of it as Clay 101) you’ll learn fundamental techniques and create your own ceramic masterpiece, such as a mug or sculpture, with the option of having your work fired. It’s all about learning how clay works and what you can do with it in a low-pressure environment. Students love working in a functional artist’s studio, being encouraged to think outside of the box and receiving knowledgeable one-on-one instructions as they bring their creations to life.

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Colored Porcelain Coffee & Espresso Mug Workshop

Wilcoxson Brooklyn Ceramics
Greenpoint, Brooklyn

As noted in our writeup of their Porcelain Planter Workshop, Wilcoxson is all about functional pottery, and their Colored Porcelain Coffee & Espresso Mug Workshop is no different. This class focuses on using hand-building to create tumblers or coffee cups, fully usable at home for your quick pick-me-up pleasure. Everyone will get to finish at least 2 mugs and will get to pick up the finished, glazed product just a couple of weeks later after the studio has had a chance to fire them. As with all workshops at Wilcoxson, materials and firing costs are fully included so you won’t need to bring anything but your imagination & thirst for a hopefully quenchable new, self-made coffee mug. Students love the in-depth decorating detail that instructors go into, allowing you to go home with something truly uniquely yours, and of course, leaving you the envy of all your coffee loving house guests.

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8-Week Hand-building Workshop

Bushwick, Brooklyn

For anyone who’s been in NYC long enough you know Bushwick wasn’t always the cool kid on the block, but these days it’s a burgeoning scene for some of New York’s best and most creative businesses. Like most trend-setting Bushwick businesses, MostRecklessly is fairly new to the scene, opening in 2018 with their first-hand building and piping classes. Since then, they’ve built one of the premier Brooklyn pottery locations with a beautiful shop to boot. In their intensive (once a week for eight weeks) hand building workshop, you’ll get 25 pounds of clay, access to every hand building tool imaginable, and enough hands-on instruction to accomplish a number of clay creation dreams. Students also get free access to open studio hours in case the building bug hits during a non-class day, and the studio and classes are BYOB friendly in case you need a kick to get the creative juices flowing. If you don’t use all 25 pounds of your clay (it’s a lot, trust us), you’ll get to keep it for home use or can always continue renting studio time.

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