It seems Hell’s Kitchen is all fired up about making pottery — and that love of ceramics has prompted an expansion for one neighborhood business.
Pottery NYC opened less than a year ago at 786 9th Avenue between W52nd and W53rd Street — and has proved so popular that owner Peter Ramirez has opened two more studios in the neighborhood.
“It’s been a huge success,” said Peter, who ingrained himself into the Hell’s Kitchen community as a dancer for the popular LGBTQIA+ bar Hush. “I feel like the people are supporting us here and that’s why I don’t want to go into other neighborhoods. The Hell’s Kitchen community has been super supportive from day one. When we first started building out the first store, people were stopping in being super excited.”
He opened his second business, Zerimar Clay, in August at 402 W51 Street, focusing on colored clay and techniques like slip casting and Nerikomi, a Japanese technique. The sessions here run over four weeks and are tailored to people who want to take more advanced classes. The original Pottery NYC studio offers one-off classes for the more inexperienced potter and uses solely white clay.
Store number three, Ceramic on 10th recently opened at 756 10th Avenue for events and bookings and Peter has plans for a membership scheme, allowing committed potters full access to the studio for a monthly fee.
The three studios are within walking distance of one another and run almost like a graduate system. Peter runs classes at Zerimar Clay and has teachers running sessions at the original Pottery NYC store.
“I learned over time that the community here has a variety of needs, so what we offer at the first location is not sufficient for a lot of people who live here as a lot of them are artists. They want more education than our first studio offers and that’s what we’re hoping to give with the new stores. They’re a little more in-depth and more thorough,” said Peter.
Peter moved to New York in 2004 to pursue a creative life. After taking a ceramics class in college and winning a couple of awards for his work, he decided to push into the ceramics space — and credits the nightlife community at Hush for giving him the confidence and support to open his three businesses.
And who knows, someday those worlds could come together, said Peter: “I would love the two to collide whenever. I would love for them to sort of blend — because I always want to be involved with nightlife whether I’m working there or not.”