Get your hands dirty at one of the Upper West Side’s pottery studios

Looking to spice up your kitchen with some homemade dishes? Instead of buying them, you can give pottery a spin at the Upper West Side’s Mugi Pottery Studio.

Mugi Pottery has been dishing out pottery lessons to New Yorkers since 1987 and is well-known in its community. Here, you’ll find a relaxed, comfortable and fun environment where you can create and learn whatever your heart desires when it comes to pottery. The studio is equipped with all the tools needed (like kilns and wheels) to create beautiful and unique pieces. They even have a fun-loving “studio guard dog” named Maxie.

Those who are interested in taking Mugi’s pottery classes will find and intimate learning environment with enthusiastic, expert instructors.

“Our class sizes are small to ensure individual attention to every student, from the most inexperienced and curious beginner to a seasoned pottery veteran,” said Raquel Muslin.

When it comes to the classes, students have the option to commit to a full session, for a duration of eight weeks, or you can opt for one of their monthly “Intro. to Wheel Throwing” classes to try it out first.

“It lets you get your hands dirty on the wheel without the time commitment,” Muslin said of the Intro. course. “You will experience how thrilling it is to get the clay spinning on the wheel while we explain the basics of centering and pulling up the walls of the clay.”

In the adult pottery classes, the curriculum will focus on wheel throwing techniques, so you can learn how to make that bowl or vase you’ve always dreamed of. Other topics include throwing projects, glazing, and surface techniques. There are also available practice times if you become really serious about your pottery making skills. These courses are offered during various days and times to help you find the best fit for your schedule.

“Each one of our instructors is prepared to help you with getting started with the very basics or to consult while developing your own individual pottery style,” Muslin said.

Kids learn to make pottery in one of Mugi’s kids programs. (Photo: Mugi Pottery)

If you and your significant other are looking for your next date night idea, look no further — Mugi hosts a “couple’s night” studio event twice a month. Here, you and your love will learn to make all kinds of fun items like cups, vases, and trays. You’ll learn basic pottery techniques like pinching and coiling the clay and it’s great for those who don’t have much experience with pottery making. But, don’t come expecting to to have some fun with the pottery wheel, as it isn’t used during this class because it takes more than one, two-hour class to complete work on the wheel. What’s more fun than creating works of art with the person you love?

While pottery can appear to be very technical and a bit complicated depending on your creative talents, it’s not just for the adults. Mugi Pottery Studio also offers options for the little ones to get their little hands dirty in the clay. Like the adult courses, the kid’s classes are spread out over an eight week long session. There are three different course options, including hand building pottery, hand building and wheel throwing, or just wheel throwing. The studio says pottery can be beneficial at teaching kids about focus and discipline. They can even be available for your child’s next birthday.

“Our birthday parties serve as an interactive setting for your children’s birthday party for an actual class that the kids are directed through the projects step by step and we will clean up the mess afterward,” said Muslin.

If you really have a knack for pottery making, you can take your skills outside the pottery studio. Aside from their many classes, Mugi also offers retreats, where you and like-minded potters can get away and focus solely on pottery making. Maybe you’re interested in a fall trip to a craft center in the Catskills where you can spend the weekend creating intricate and decorative pieces. If you can’t make that trip, there’s also a similar retreat to Connecticut in the late spring and early summer.

Muslin said Mugi aims to offer a wide range of activities and programs to make pottery making fun and enjoyable.

“We create a community of new and tenured artists who learn and support each other,” she said. “We take classes together and if you are inclined, we even travel to potter retreats together. It is really a family of talent and we are eager to meet you!”

Those in corporate can also get their hands dirty with their selection of corporate events to encourage team building or just a relaxing day out of the office.

Next time you’re in the Upper West Side swing by their store to take a look at their colorful gallery of handmade pottery created by instructors and students.