5. Greenwich House Potters originally sold their pots

Woman at Pottery wheel
Photo Courtesy of Greenwich House

Adam Welch, Former Director of Greenwich House Pottery, told Untapped New York that in combing through the Greenwich House archives, he’s found evidence that pottery classes were happening as early as 1904 with a basement kiln at 26 Jones Street. In 1908 the Handicraft School was officially formed and the pottery program was officially founded in 1909. The Handicraft School taught marketable skills such as stone carving and woodwork.

The Greenwich House Potters, explained Welch, were a group of adults who “came in after factory work was done and made pots in order to sell. They got free use of the studio and everything they made was sold by Greenwich House to make money for Greenwich House. 50% went to Greenwich House, and 50% to the potters.” The goods were even shipped over to New Jersey using horse-drawn carriages. In 1948, Pottery became the sole focus of theHandicraft School and took over the entire building at 16 Jones Street, where the pottery program still runs today. Now, instead of teaching a marketable skill, pottery is practiced simply for art’s sake. “Were offering an opportunity for students to manipulate materials into something else and to express themselves and to live a more fulfilling life,” said Welch. Fabio Fernández, Director of Greenwich House Pottery told Untapped New York that students today range from “people who are having fun and being introduced to clay for the first time to people who are exhibited by New York galleries.” There are a range of competitive programs and residencies as well as classes for people who “want to take advantage of the therapeutic aspects of clay and find community.”