Cool Friends: Helen Levi 

December 15, 2021

Meet Helen, a Queens-based ceramicist who is perhaps best known for her swirled clay tableware. We’ve been fans of Helen’s work for years and were so so excited when she was able to contribute to this lil ol’ newsletter. AND GUESS WHAT – if you’re still looking for a list minute gift for the holidays, Helen is having her final studio sale of the year Saturday, December 18th. Swing by 562 Grandview ave from 12-3 (and don’t forget to bring a mask & a tote bag).

How did you begin your career as a ceramicist?

I have been a hobby potter since I was a kid. When I graduated college I was trying to be a photographer but teaching ceramics part time. I took over for my childhood teacher for a few months full time while she was on maternity leave, and that was the first time I was in the groove running a studio, and I really loved it. I still had a lot to learn, but when I got the chance to sell my work at one store, something clicked for me that I really wanted to pursue that. I started in a shared studio with 30 other potters, and slowly worked my way up to have my own studio, and then into a bigger space. I've been in Ridgewood for the last 2 years and hope I stay here a long time.

What's your favorite part about the New York creative community?

I love how unexpected industry and production can be in this city: going to a brass caster that's in a nondescript midtown high rise, a floor above a dentist and below a silk trimmings distributor. I grew up in NYC but I get to continually find new corners of the city when I go visit a colleague's studio, or look for a producer for a new project. What's brand new to me has been working hard in the city for a long time, and I love that experience of discovery.

What's inspiring you right now?

The concept of time! Becoming a mom and learning how to make do with less time has been an interesting design challenge. This means pushing myself to conceptualize styles that my assistants might be able to execute without me, or streamlining an existing design to make it more efficient. It's really hard but also really satisfying.

Follow along:
@helen_levi on Instagram

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Made in Brooklyn, NY