Helen Levi Serves Up Pottery Tips for Total Beginners
Before she started working on her own collection of just-left-of-center pottery full-time, Helen Levi was a ceramics instructor, teaching kids (and adult beginners, too!) how to throw clay at some of the same East Village studios where she learned as a child. So, since she’s introduced a lot of people to the wheel through the years, she seemed like the ideal guide for any first-timers looking to dive on in.
Helen gives you something to work toward.
TAKE A CLASS!
There’s really no other way to learn the basics, and most classes will provide all the materials you need. If you’re in NYC, Helen recommends La Mano Pottery in Chelsea and Greenwich House in the West Village.
Some of Helen’s mini fruit necklaces—yah, adorableness.
PRACTICE AT HOME.
Helen’s favorite way to get creative without a pottery wheel? Making tiny food! “Little kids, when you give them free time, often just make little foods out of clay, naturally,” she says. “I certainly did when I was a kid, and that’s why I make those little necklaces with fruit on them. I love doing things out of Sculpey. It’s really easy to make beads, and it’s really fun and rewarding.”
The setup at Helen’s studio.
IF YOU'RE REALLY SERIOUS, GET YOUR OWN SUPPLIES.
If you’ve taken a few ceramics classes and you really love it, Helen recommends making the drive to Bailey Pottery in Kingston, New York, where they’ll hook you up with everything you need for a teeny, at-home studio.