The Chelsea Ceramic Guild, a pottery studio on West 19th Street in Manhattan, has been a community space for ceramics enthusiasts for over two decades. While the studio itself has not changed too much, continuing to offer working space and lessons, the neighborhood has. High rents have driven out some of the quirkier elements of the area and, particularly as the art market struggles to right itself after an economic downtown that was dearly felt in buyers’ wallets, that change can be felt within the Guild. Just this month, the Guild’s adjoining gallery space, which has been selling art made by Guild members and others since the late 1980s, closed for financial reasons.
However, according to Fred Rose, who owns and manages the organization, the studio half of the Guild has not suffered at all. Lessons continue to fill up, and, at the weekly Saturday open workshop hours, artists and students continue to come in, to work on their projects and to see each other.
Click through for a look into the Guild’s Saturday world—and why it matters to the city’s ceramics community.