How an Up-and-Coming Ceramacist and Jeweler Sets Up Her First Solo Studio
After years of cramming into shared spaces across Brooklyn to make her curvaceous jewelry and ceramics, Malka Dina’s Elana Noy made the ultimate #bosslady move and signed a lease on her own studio in Sunset Park. Flying solo has its own nail-biting moments—“They just renovated the building, and I’m one of the first people to move in. They’re doing construction above me, and I’m terrified the ceiling is going to fall in!” she explains—but it’s worth it. See what she’s done with the place.
“Getting the kiln installed was such a huge thing but maybe the most exciting part. I now know so much about the electrical requirements for them—I had to have a special breaker installed in this building. During the last huge snowstorm, I trekked out to my old space to get a big batch of pieces out of the kiln, and it had short-circuited during the night and ruined everything. Never again!”
“I had this sign made at a place in North Carolina—it would be such a cool thing to be able to bend neon. The furniture is thrifted. I’m renting out the front part of the studio to my boyfriend’s film company, and they’re moving in soon—so I’ll actually have someone here to eat lunch with!"
“My clay work is a combination of handbuilding, wheel-throwing, and slip casting. I’m obsessed with arches. I visited L.A., and all the doorways there are arches. I don’t know why New York doesn’t have that, so I wanted to try to bring them into my home. I also tend to gravitate towards natural colors—but I just got something called a pugmill for the new studio. It kneads all the air out of the clay and makes it really easy to mix colors. So I’m really excited to start experimenting with that.”
“These cabinets were custom-made for me by a friend from my old studio, Aaron Black. He’s an amazing artist. They came about in a funny way—I knew I need to have a fridge and a microwave in the space, but I really didn’t want to see them. So then I was like, I guess I have other stuff to store too! The window is actually made from an old door that I stripped and refinished.”
“These are all of my sample pieces. Even if I’m using the same finishes, I really like each piece to be a distinct shape. This is a starting point, but then I’ll make the actual pieces to order. This bubbly glaze on the bottom was actually a mistake—I fired it at the wrong temperature, but when it came out like this, I knew it was amazing. It took me eight months to reverse-engineer what I had done by accident and re-create it.”
“This is my jewelry-making station. I’m experimenting with bigger metal pieces, like the base for my cone vases, but I’m still doing that the way a jeweler would, which is really inefficient. I know there’s a better way, but I’m here alone—so I have no one to ask. But I do have Google!”