Pottery Notes

Pottery Notes is for currently registered students. It is their resource for all Pottery news and is updated weekly. Pottery Notes is read in class each week, available here and on the Message Center in the studio.

Community Updates in Response to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Spring Decision
New Online Resources Added!
Looking Forward…
GHP is Open Online
Letter to the Community
Update for Students
Efforts for Studio Preparedness

March 28, 2020
Dearest GHP Community,

Thank you all for your continued support and patience. Your outpouring of support has been a bright spot in a dark time. I appreciate all the phone calls and emails and I hope that this message addresses any questions you have at this time.

As indicated in our last email, we are not going to be able to open on time (April 6) for spring term. I do not know when we will be able to reopen, but I am hopeful that we will open at some point during spring term. With that in mind, along with our upcoming (March 30) refund deadline, I am asking that you review these options and, if you have not already, let us know ASAP which you decide. In abiding by our current policies on refunds and transfers, your decision will be defaulted to Option 3 if we do not hear from you.

Stay engaged by exploring the online programming we are developing, and consider your tuition an investment. In the event that classes do not begin on time, tuition for missed classes will be recognized as a donation to the Pottery. For example, if we open up partway through the spring term, you will resume attending class in the studio as normal and you will receive a letter acknowledging your donation in the amount equivalent to the portion of classes that you missed while we were closed during spring term. If we are not able to open at all during the spring term, you will receive a letter acknowledging the full amount of your tuition as a donation to the Pottery. (GH has the resources to pay staff and faculty through April 10 after which time the agency has to make fiscal decisions about the best way to move forward. Leaving your spring tuition in place is the option that will ensure some—hopefully all—staff and faculty continue to get paid. The number of students that stay enrolled as “investors” in the spring term will have a direct impact on our ability to sustain staff and faculty employment. Greenwich House is a larger social service organization, and it will be an agency-wide decision.)

In accordance with our regular refund policy, if you require a refund, you will get all of your tuition back less $50, if requested by March 30. Submit your request in writing to pottery@greenwichhouse.org. Although we will try to expedite these requests, refunds can take 4 to 6 weeks to process.

With everything so uncertain, you can simply leave your registration as is. When we have a date set to open, you will have two options to choose from at that time:

  • You can continue in the spring term. We will recalculate the cost of the term and the amount that we discount will be retained as firing credit, or
  • Defer your full tuition to a future term (summer 2020, fall 2020, winter 2021 or spring 2021 terms).
    *If you choose to ride the wave, there will be no later options for refunds.

In light of the uncertainty of our situation and in gratitude of your dedication to the Pottery, we hope this is the most sensible compromise that we can make to sustain our community and get you back into the studio.

We do not yet know what the future holds. As a small arts nonprofit, donations are always vitally important. If you have the means, any contribution that you can make is deeply appreciated.

I hope that we can open our doors very soon. I am looking forward to when we will all be pinching, coiling, throwing, trimming, and glazing together in the studio instead of online. I hope that you are well and have been enjoying the content we have uploaded onto our website. We have started offering zoom classes throughout the week, uploading teacher demonstrations, handouts, and artist presentations and plan to continue to offer these until we can once again meet in person. I am so thankful to our incredible staff and faculty who have jumped right in to do whatever they can in this new situation, and I am thankful to you, our students, for your outpouring of support and care for us and for each other.

This is a time full of uncertainty, but your support and strength make me hopeful and confident in the future.

I hope you are holding up and staying healthy.

Adam Welch

March 25, 2020
Dear GHP Community,

Our incredible staff and faculty have been hard at work using their regular GHP teaching hours to make demos and curate interesting content for you! Many of you have already been enjoying our Online Resource page, but if you haven’t checked it out yet I encourage you to take a look soon. It is full of demos, artist talks, podcast recommendations and more to keep your creativity flowing. The page will be updated with more content every day, so keep an eye on it!Once a week a different staff member will be emailing you their top picks from the page. This week, I get to do it! I’m Kaitlin McClure, your friendly Gallery and Residency Manager. I don’t have a home studio, so I’ve been spending my time developing skills that will be useful to my practice when GHP re-opens and I can get back to it!

  • First up, Alan Caiger Smith and Michael Casson’s  Decoration Part 1 and Part 2 from “The Craft of the Potter.” Alan Caiger Smith demos how to practice different brush strokes and really learn what each one of your brushes is capable of. I’ve been using watercolors to practice this at home.
  • Next up, learn the technical side of firing at GHP with Trevor King! What are pyrometric cones, anyway? What is the difference between oxidation and reduction firing? What is an updraft kiln? All of this information can help you better understand your medium and influence the creative choices you make.
  • Lastly, have a blast from the past with “Let’s Take a Trip” from CBS and check out what GHP was like in 1958!  Meet Jane Hartsook, who was a GHP director for 40 years and see how much the studio has (or hasn’t!) changed in 62 years.

In addition to these great videos, we can also be together while we’re apart! Join any of the following webinars to engage with your GHP faculty and studio mates in the coming days:

As always, don’t hesitate to reach out to us with questions, concerns, or just to stay in touch!

Wishing everyone health and safety,

P.S. Don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel!

March 23, 2020
To the Greatest Community,

The Pottery has been my home for 16 years. For many, it has been your home for much longer than that. On March 12th, we celebrated Lilli Miller’s 99th birthday together. Lilli has been at the Pottery since the 1950s. Marianne Yoors, who is only a decade her junior, says “If not for the Pottery, I wouldn’t be alive.” More than half my clay-life has been shaped by this community, and I know that so many of you share that sense and appreciation of community we have cultivated.That is also why even though it was the right decision, it was such a tough initial call to close our doors for several weeks—because we know the sense of fulfillment and connection that so many of you draw from your interactions with our faculty, staff, and other students. I have no doubt we will persevere. In our 116 years we’ve survived wars, depression and many other calamities, but it will take a dedicated effort to ensure that our community comes through this time stable and even stronger than we left off.

Despite our present situation, I’m quite excited about the work our beloved faculty and staff already have underway to help stimulate, enrich and bring some beauty and peace to you, our dedicated students, during this challenging time. We are hoping that you will stay with us and support us during these truly uncharted times.

We have already begun to create and share content (from social media to online videos and demos), make studio improvements, and explore ways that we can safely provide additional resources for you to utilize during this time. It is important that we find ways that Pottery faculty, staff and community might support others in need during this difficult time.

To that end, it is unlikely we will be able to start our spring term on time. I would direct you to the following possible options for consideration:

  1. If you have already enrolled in our spring semester, do nothing at this time. I am asking that you stay engaged with us, explore the programming we are developing, and consider your tuition an investment. An investment in the community that has and will again sustain you. A community who has mixed your clay and carried your work throughout the years. A community of teachers, staff and fellow potters and artists teaching and sharing knowledge. As they have supported so many of us, we hope to continue to be able to support them. For the next few weeks we will be providing enrichment, guidance and resources, and hope to get back to work in our building as soon as is reasonably possible. In the event that classes do not begin on time, consider donating the tuition for your missed classes to the Pottery.
  2. If you are disinclined to stay with us this spring, I would ask that you allow us to retain your tuition as a credit to a future class at the Pottery.
  3. If you require a refund, we will surely provide it if requested by March 30, in accordance with our refund policy; submit your request in writing to pottery@greenwichhouse.org.
  4. If you are able to make a donation to the Pottery, now is the time. Donate now at https://www.greenwichhouse.org/pottery-about/donate-to-the-pottery/

We know that this is an uncertain time and that things are changing moment by moment, but we are also reminded in times like these that Greenwich House Pottery is part of a historic legacy of service to our community. We want you to know that we are doing everything we can to ensure the welfare and well-being of our faculty, staff, students and those in need around us. Moments like these are when a community and a small nonprofit organization are put to the test.

We cannot do this without your support. Be well and be safe. We will be pinching pots and commiserating over Shino together soon.

Your devoted director,

March 20, 2020
Dear Students,

Although we cannot be together in the studio we are thinking of you and want to continue to stay connected and engaged with clay. The past few days our staff and faculty have been hard at work researching, compiling, and creating online content for your continued education and enjoyment. We are proud to announce, GHP is officially open online!

Visit our new ONLINE RESOURCE page
Video learning, webinars, GHP artist talks, interviews and so much more—now available on our website.This will be a valuable resource for all students now and after life returns to normal. You can visit the page by clicking the link above or you can find the page by visiting Greenwich House Pottery’s website at https://www.greenwichhouse.org/pottery-about/home/; click CURRENT STUDENTS, STUDENT RESOURCES and then ONLINE RESOURCES. We will add new content daily and additional resources from our faculty as it becomes available.

Join the conversation on Instagram: #ArtistsOfGHP
Turn social distancing into an opportunity to get to know each other’s work and process. Post one image of your work to Instagram each day (a finished piece or work in progress) and follow along to see other’s pieces.Use the #ArtistsOfGHP hashtag and tag @greenwichhousepottery. Share info about clay body, glazes and firing temperature. Ask questions and give feedback. After you post, click the hashtag and hit follow—every time someone posts, it will show up in your feed.

Share with us!
If you’ve found something interesting that you would like to share with our community, send us a link! You may see it show up on our page!We cannot be together in the studio, but we are still the strong community we have always been. GHP is officially open online so join us for online demos, artist talks, and more! We appreciate you bearing with us during these difficult times. And as always, our staff is here for you by email.
Be well, stay healthy & don’t hesitate to reach out.Warmly,
Your Pottery Staff

General Inquiries:


Executive Staff:


Education & Events Manager

Gallery & Residency Manager

Studio Manager

March 14, 2020
Dear GHP Community,

For 116 years, Greenwich House has been looking after its community with singular focus on its health and happiness. Today you remain our top priority and due to the challenging and complex situation of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we have decided to temporarily close Greenwich House Pottery. The Pottery will close Monday, March 16 through Sunday, April 5, 2020.

Beyond our own operations and logistics, we are even more concerned for our community and its safety, for you personally and for those with whom you interact. To be clear, we do not have a report of infection within the Greenwich House community. We are closing at a time when city and state officials are universally recommending social distancing and limiting movement around New York City.

As an historic provider of important health and human services to our community, Greenwich House, and Pottery, continue to follow the recommendations provided by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), the New York City Department of Education, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That said, we ask that you please be patient with us during this time. This is all truly new territory for us.

Additionally, and in case you were worrying about our faculty and staff, we are working to provide at least temporary supports for all staff (including part-time and faculty) during this shutdown, to ensure that they don’t experience any undue financial burden as we all do our part during this global health crisis.

If you have questions or concerns about this situation, please contact us at pottery@greenwichhouse.org. We sincerely hope these measures help reduce the spread of the virus in New York City and keep our most at-risk community members safe. We look forward to welcoming you back as soon as this pandemic subsides.

Stay healthy and be well.
The Pottery Crew

March 13,2020
Dearest GHP Students,

Beginning Monday, March 16, the Pottery will close for three weeks. If you are enrolled in the current semester, you have the rest of today until 6:00 p.m. and tomorrow from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. to pick up, wrap up, and glaze up your work. There will be an additional liaison measuring both days. Take the opportunity, if you are healthy and available to come in, to finish things up or take care of something for a fellow potter. If you do come in, please label and consolidate any work in progress with your name an spring class number as it will be very helpful to clear up confusion when we resume next term.

We will not be open to the public until we re-open on April 6th; there will be no work pick-up or locker or studio access. We are anticipating opening on time at the start of the spring term but we will be monitoring the situation with care and caution.

Don’t worry about your glazed ware and bisqueware. Your glazed pots aren’t going anywhere and we will allow for the usual glaze grace period in the two weeks following our reopening. We will not throw away any work during the closure.

Since the pottery is completely closed to students beginning this Sunday evening until spring classes resume on Monday, April 6,  and the Gallery is also closed, we will not be open to accept work for the Member’s Exhibition. The exhibition opening will be postponed and the duration of the show abbreviated. We will do what we can given the situation we are in. We will provide an updated timeline once the details have been ironed out.

We have also had to postpone our residency and fellowship program. Our current Fellow, Biata Roytburd only just started working on her first piece in our studio this week. Since she is scheduled for only a 2-month fellowship, we have decided to postpone her residency and reschedule for another time.

As for the Spring Term, as is our refund policy, if you are to decide to withdraw from your spring class, you must do so 7 days before the start of the class. We understand and respect your decision. As always, we need to receive a written request for refunds, which you may email to  pottery@greenwichhouse.org. Full details of the refund policy can be found on our website under Registration Policies. It is important to note that we will not be able to hold your spot if you withdrawal. Again, ideally, we will resume spring term as planned, however do not yet have a scenario worked out if we are to have a delayed opening.

We understand these are uncertain times and that uncertainty causes confusion and panic. We appreciate your patience and support at this time. While we would love to be open and keep providing you with access, it simply is not prudent to do so out of concern for those that are most at risk.

While we look out for our community, we know you are looking out for us. We appreciate your concern and support. GH has expressed its support of its employees and allowing us to continue to find ways to keep things moving forward. We are working with staff and faculty to come up with content that will be useful to us all whether through social media or online, or content that will pop up in the classrooms in the terms to come. We will make something good out of this mess.

We know how hard and disappointing that this is for you. Again, we think that through social distancing we will slow the progress of the virus and will allow our healthcare system to keep up with things and that we will soon return to our studio practice.

With Love,
Your Pottery Crew

March 4, 2020
Dear Pottery Community,

The Coronavirus has been at the forefront of the news and has now become classroom conversation. I want you to know the Pottery is taking the warnings seriously. There is speculation about statistics and dangers or lack thereof; nevertheless, none of us really know the complexity of this issue. As is always our policy, if you are feeling sick, stay home.

The precaution recommended by the CDC is that if you have come in contact with someone who has been sick after traveling to an area of known infection, you should allow two weeks to ensure you are not sick before returning to your regular activities.

Though this might seem like an extreme precaution, our community has a large population that is more susceptible to the effects of this virus. The same goes for the common cold or the flu; if you are feeling under the weather, stay home. We need to think about everyone.

Below is information distributed by Greenwich House who have been paying very close attention to this matter. Please read it over carefully.

Thank you very much for your attention on this matter.


Adam Welch, Director
Greenwich House Pottery

Dear Greenwich House Community:

The health and safety of our clients, students, members, staff, faculty, partners, and friends is a top priority at Greenwich House, and so we continue to remain alert and are actively monitoring information and directives shared by local, national and international public health organizations.

All of our programs and sites are aware of and following protocols as directed by various licensing and regulatory entities for our social service and childhood education programs, and we are extending similar approaches to our arts programs. In addition, we are taking proactive steps to increase the frequency of general cleaning disinfection, especially in shared spaces and on high-touch surfaces.

Beyond the steps that we are taking, we are also encouraging our clients, students, families, members, partners, and friends to follow the recommendations from key health professionals as we go about our daily lives. These steps are generally the same (if more vigilant) health and safety precautions as we would take during cold and flu season including, but not limited to:

  • Wash your hands well and often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
  • If you are sick or feeling sick, please stay home.
  • Minimize inter-personal contact such as handshakes during this heightened period of sensitivity.

In addition to the general illness prevention practices:

  • If you or a member of your household has recently returned home from one of the countries that have confirmed cases, please notify the Program Director, and we will assist in assessing whether your specific situation might require you to stay home for a period of 14 days according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s interim guidance.
  • If you ever have concerns regarding your health and safety while you are at Greenwich House, please speak to the Program Director at your site.

For more information on coronavirus and to stay up-to-date on the evolving situation, visit:
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene:
New York State Department of Health:
The World Health Organization: