Long before Greenpoint had the shipbuilding, oil refining or sugar refining industries, ceramicists had established Greenpoint as America’s first ceramic capital and it is more than a little ironic that recently a number of New York’s best ceramic artists have decided to call the area home. These artists are reviving an art form with over a hundred and fifty years of local history.
There are in fact so many first-rate potters working locally that just to mention them all would require too much space. Visit galleries like Greenpoint Hill (Freeman St.) or Wilcoxson Brooklyn Ceramics (67 West St.) to acquaint yourself with just some of the many talented locals turning out a stunning variety of ceramic art pieces.
The great poet Walt Whitman was also a journalist and in August of 1857 he visited The American Porcelain Works on Freeman and West Street to profile Greenpoint porcelain production. The pottery there stood atop a hill that was later leveled, appropriately called Pottery Hill, on account of the number of local potters there.
Englishman Charles Cartlidge, who established the American Porcelain works there way back in 1848, came to Greenpoint from a family of potters in Staffordshire, the center of English pottery. The Englishman’s Greenpoint company manufactured tea sets, pitchers, busts, and other porcelain pieces, but the firm really excelled at porcelain busts of famous figures, sculpting busts of John Marshall, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, John Joseph Hughes, Roman Catholic Archbishop of New York, Senator Daniel Webster, and President Zachary Taylor. Cartlidge’s Greenpoint Pottery exhibited wares that won a “first premium” award at the Crystal Palace Exhibition in 1853 in New York. The firm, however, could not pay the bills and became bankrupt.
To survive local potters would need to find commercial uses for porcelain. The man who first set up an economically viable local pottery was Thomas Smith, whose stately home on Milton Street is now occupied by the Greenpoint Reformed Church. Smith, a successful builder, never trained as an artist or a potter, so his success as a ceramicist is all the more remarkable. Continue reading →
Humans have been making pottery objects for at least 27,000 thousand years—let that sink in for a moment—and the earliest ceramics were either made simply from clay or from a mixture of clay and other materials, like silica. They were then hardened and heated at relatively low temperatures in a fire. Now, flash forward an astounding number of millennia, and we can produce a variety of ceramic products, from bricks to tableware to nuclear fuel uranium oxide pellets.
Recently, we tracked down eight artists based right in our neighborhood who have been making some ceramic magic in their studios.
We are taking our Terrarium Class to Williamsburg on May 4th from 3-5pm at Passenger Bar (229 Roebling St). Our lovely and talented teacher Claire will show you how to create a miniature living kingdom. Spruce up your dark and lonely apartment with plants that are actually very easy to care for. $60, includes all materials PLUS a FREE beer! Reserve your terrarium now.
Nothing feels more like Spring than fresh herbs from your garden. Plant some basil for summer pesto or sage to season your roasted chicken!
This Sunday our Terrarium guru Claire is switching things up and we are hosting a DIY Herb Planting & Pot Decorating Class during our Spring Market on Sunday 4/13/14 at 1:30pm. You will get the chance to not only plant a mini herb garden but also embellish your planter and remind yourself what is was you planted in there and how to care for it!
It’s time to get ready for Spring (we promise it will eventually come and it will be glorious!) Spruce up your dark and tiny apartment with a bright and happy living terrarium. And if you suck at plants, don’t worry terrariums are super easy NOT to kill. Continue reading →
We are offering two GIFT TERRARIUM workshops with Claire in the loft during our Holiday Market on 12/8/13. Learn to create gorgeous woodland plants terrariums and take home two gift sized mason jar terrariums. A gift for a friend and one to keep! Self-giving is very important during the crazy holiday time and terrariums are gifts that keep on giving!
*$45, Includes plants, materials and beer! (Space is limited.)
Join us for a Fall Terrarium Class with Claire at The Diamond (43 Franklin St) on Sunday 11/24/13 at 5pm. Make a gorgeous Woodland Plants Terrarium in a beautiful glass bowl to warm up your home during the winter months. They also make great gifts. Terrariums require very little maintenance which makes them perfect house plants for busy bees. All materials are provided plus a complimentary beer! Hurry – tickets sell out quickly.
Got skills? Want skills? Greenpointers is presenting an ongoing series of classes and workshops, taught by Greenpointers for Greenpointers. If you want skills, attend a class. If you have skills, let’s talk about how we can set-up a class for you to teach and make some cash. You can teach anything! How to make beer? How to start a website? How to speak Cantonese? How to pinstripe your hot rod? ANYTHING! As long as it is fun and informative…
For our first class we are going green! Our first Terrarium Class with Claire will be on Sunday March 4, 2012 from 5-7pm. It includes all materials and a free beer! Claire Typaldos is an amazingly talented floral designer, as well as an amazing artist, and we are going to have a lot of fun learning how to make a terrarium. At the end of class you will take home a gorgeous terrarium all for $40! I am personally hoping this will be the solution to my plant problem at home, since my cat murders all my plants.
To rsvp email greenpointers (at) gmail.com with “Terrarium Class” in the subject line. Limit 15 students per class.