Potters in Protest dinner on January 16!

I'm very excited to be hosting another Empty Bowls-style dinner, coming up on January 16! There are sister events all over the country during that week (in Oakland, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Athens GA), in anticipation of the inauguration, with all proceeds donated to local organizations who provide protection to groups who will need it under the next administration.


Included in the ticket price is a three course meal, very good wine, and a bowl to keep from one of 47 east coast potters. There are three seatings, and tickets can be purchased here:

So many wonderful people have gotten involved, and I'm so grateful! Hosted by Vinegar Hill House with Mission Chinese, with wine provided by Wenzlau Vineyard.  
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Thank you so much to Design*Sponge for sharing some of the beautiful photos Andrea Gentl and Martin Hyers took of my studio!   160520_helen_levi-26132-1

Holy cow, I'm in GLAMOUR!  

Beeswax Candle Launch!

Last winter I was experimenting with making ceramic candlestick holders. They were really fun to make, but challenging to get them to survive all the firing steps, and time consuming too. After realizing they would end up retailing at too high a price point to really make sense, I got the idea to make the candlestick into the candle itself. What followed was several months of trying to DIY something that was really above my pay grade, and then finding a couple of experts who could actually make the idea come to life.

Sight Unseen

Thanks to Sight Unseen for helping me launch my dinner plate line!  

Open studio & seconds sale Saturday October 8!

1-4pm at 201 Richards street in Red Hook

Dinner plates, beeswax candles, tree planters, Beach series pieces, and lots of seconds!

Hope to see you there <3

New process for a new dinner plate line!

I've never offered dinner plates regularly before because as any potter will tell you, they're a bear. You need a lot of clay for each one, then you have to trim a lot off of the bottom after you throw them, and then they need to dry very slowly to avoid warping or cracking. Other potters I've talked to say they break even on plates, and there's always a lot of seconds. Also, unlike a mug, which doesn't bother me if they're 1/4" different in height, I think for function's sake it's important to have plates be relatively consistent, so they stack well in your cupboard.
For this reason I decided to try out RAM pressing for my dinner plate line! A RAM press is a hydraulic press that uses 60 tons of pressure to press soft clay into a mold. Several months ago I made a bunch of plate samples on the wheel and sent them to a ceramic manufacturer in California. He made a steel mold of my best plate, and sent me back a sample from the press. There was a bit of back and forth to tweak them to be exactly as I wanted, but once we got it down, he produced several hundred plates in just 3 days on the press. Then he bisqued them (fired them to a low temperature so they're ready to be glazed) and then packed them up on a pallet to me. Now I have blank canvases, white stoneware plates ready to be glazed.
I spent all summer experimenting with glaze chemistry and testing out palettes. All the plates will be glazed to order in my studio. It's my first time ever working with a manufacturer outside my own studio, but I'm excited to learn how to grow my small business in a way that feels natural to me. A great benefit of making my plate line this way, besides consistency, is that they will be priced significantly lower than if I threw them on the wheel.
As for the colors, I was very much inspired by growing up with mismatched Fiestaware dinner plates and setting the table being aware of which of the four of us got which color, and when we had more people over, not repeating colors next to each other. So the set of four mismatched plates is what I'm most excited about. Then I have the Artist's series plates, which was one of the very first colorways I ever offered when I first started selling my work almost four years ago. I also of course wanted to include my Ocean colorway, one of my favorite surface designs. And last but not least, I found a matte cobalt glaze that I had to include!
To check out the whole finished collection click  HERE.
And here's some photos and video of the process it took to get the plates to me:

A day spent with F von F

So proud to have my work and studio appear on Freunde von Freunden. Thanks for the great photos James Chororos!img_8317-copy

The Shopkeepers

Thank you to Paula from The Shopkeepers for featuring my work!