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BrickHouse Ceramic Art Center Is Preserving Pottery Creation

By Pamela Sosnowski

At a time when many people find it hard to put down a mobile device, the ancient art of pottery is still thriving thanks to BrickHouse Ceramic Art Center. Whether one has never used a potter's wheel or needs to perfect their technique, the facility does it all from teaching classes to firing and glazing pieces.

"I created BrickHouse Ceramic Art Center to be a sanctuary in NYC where adults can relax and create art," says Ellen Day, the studio's director. "The studio is fully equipped with slab rollers, potter's wheels, extruders, glazes, and kilns. Year-round pottery classes are offered to adults at the beginner, intermediate and advanced level."

BrickHouse is located in an air conditioned 4,000-square-foot building in Long Island City and is equipped with several classrooms, a glaze mixing room, a kiln room, 18 potter's wheels, and more. The studio strives to present a clean, safe, and creative environment for pottery artists and students. BrickHouse is not a "paint your own pottery shop" but rather teaches the art of pottery from the ground up; students have the opportunity to make and bring home their own cherished creation after several lessons that they'll enjoy for years to come.

The studio can also accommodate experienced pottery artists that wish to rent space for their work and enjoy creating with others in communal setting. For a monthly fee, associate artists receive rented shelf space and use of the studio's equipment. The associate studio is designated for paying members and includes eight potter's wheels and several work tables.

The classes range from learning the basics of hand building or using the potter's wheel to learning about the various types of finishing glazes. Classes are held during the day and evening during the week and Saturday mornings. If you are curious, you can register for an introductory hour long "try it out" session which gives participants a chance to determine if it's right for them. And while children are not allowed in adult classes, the studio offers several concierge pottery classes for kids age six and up.

BrickHouse also hosts private parties for groups of adults or kids, making for a fun and creative birthday celebration, team building event, bridal shower, and more. The client supplies any food and treats while the studio provides the materials to make and later bring home a ceramic piece which will be fired and glazed after the event and picked up a week later.

The studio also features "The Shop" which offers pieces for sale that were made by BrickHouse students and artists. BrickHouse transforms the studio for its Holiday Sale the 2nd weekend in December where artists sell their work and holiday shoppers get a chance to bring home a unique gift and support artists at the same time. Our Student Exhibition is also on display. BrickHouse is fostering a love for pottery with the local community, at annual events such as LIC Arts Open (LICAO) and LIC Springs (Springs) in May. LICAO is the free, self-guided tour of over 150 vibrant artist studios in Long Island City and Springs is an annual free Block Party on Vernon Blvd given by the LIC Partnership.

"Knowing that the item that you use everyday to drink your coffee or eat your cereal was handmade by someone who just wanted to make the perfect item for personal use makes that item special," Day said. "Handmade items are well crafted from a love of process and passion for perfection. When buying handmade, you support local craftspeople who you can visit to learn about their creative process."

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