You wouldn’t know by the industrial facade of 10-34 44th Drive that there is a bustling holiday workshop just through the front door, but that’s what BrickHouse Ceramic Art Center has become every December for the past decade. Inside, instructor and master potter Peter Goldwater plays Santa, unloading one of BrickHouse’s five kilns in readiness for the studio’s holiday shopping weekend.
In what’s become a tradition for this Long Island City artistic hub, nearly two dozen of the studio’s associate potters begin producing their work in bulk (or as close to “in bulk” as the methodic, precise creation of art pottery allows) as early as August in preparation for the annual sale. The center’s 4,000-square-foot space will transform into a combination ceramics gallery and gift store for the span of 72 hours (December 8–10). The sale offers anyone interested in the art of pottery both a fascinating showcase of work from the community and a selection of one-of-a-kind artworks and functional dinnerware to purchase as holiday gifts at incredible prices.
BrickHouse was founded in 2007 by Queens artist and businesswoman Ellen Day. The M.F.A.-trained ceramist has gone out of her way to make the studio accessible to artists of all talent and experience levels. Longtime associate artist and holiday sale vendor Kam Cichowski considers BrickHouse’s diverse selection of visiting and resident potters one of its greatest assets. “The community here is something very special,” says Cichowski. “Everyone is always learning from each other, feeding off of the creative energy you get when this many artists practice in a shared space.”
Want to make your own ceramic gifts? Come to the holiday sale to get inspired, then sign up for a class. BrickHouse offers single-day private instruction for singles, couples, or groups on weekends and evenings. But if you’re ready for a more serious commitment, monthlong intensive courses in either hand or wheel building meet on weeknights and weekends. Who knows, maybe you’ll be exhibiting your wares at next year’s showcase!
Why You Should Go: BrickHouse’s holiday sale is an excellent opportunity to explore new work from local artists and, if you’re curious, a world-class studio to both learn the basics of pottery and maintain an ongoing practice.
Annual Holiday Sale and Showcase at BrickHouse Ceramic Art Center
10-34 44th Drive, Long Island City
Reception and opening on Friday, December 8, 5–9 p.m.
Holiday shopping on Saturday, December 9, 10 a.m.–7 p.m., and Sunday, December 10, noon–5 p.m.
Care to make a day out of exploring Long Island City? We already have you covered.