Who We Are
Cor founded Gasworks with the goal of creating an inclusive, community-centered ceramics studio. She has a Masters in Art Therapy and, before opening Gasworks in 2016, worked as an art therapist with children with neurodevelopmental disorders and adults living with mental illness and addiction. These days, it’s hard for Cor to find time for her own work, so when she gets the perfect vessel back from an upstate wood-firing field trip, it’s extra special.
Emiliano’s been following Cor around the country from studio to studio since 2004, but didn’t take his first ceramics class until a full year after Gasworks opened. More than making his work, Emiliano likes watching as students and members evolve as artists over the course of their months and years at Gasworks. He’s been known to wax philosophical, so don’t be surprised if he starts comparing the transformation of clay to the transformation of the human psyche.
Assistant Manager, Teacher
At the time of this bio, Tiffany (the studio’s youngest staff member) has been working with clay for a third of her life. She’s inspired everyday by Gasworks’s community of artists and loves opening a glaze kiln and seeing everyone’s finished pieces for the first time. Her own work is decorated in intricate carvings of flora and fauna—though she’s had to switch from making oversized vases to four-inch-tall tumblers after running out of room in her Brooklyn apartment.
Sabine grew up in East Germany, but some of her biggest life milestones happened after she moved to New York in the late 90s: working as an urban planner, having a family, and—of course—discovering clay. Her favorite tech duty is reaching elbow-deep into a bucket of squishy waterlogged clay as part of the recycling process. Sabine’s signature line of pottery is carved with Brooklyn brownstones, and she’s working on a new series that resembles tufted upholstery.
Before he was recruited as a tech, Paul was a member (and down-the-street neighbor) of Gasworks, making complex, honeycomb-like sculptures that reflect his formal education in biology and animal behavior. Now, as a part of the staff, his favorite task is examining test tiles from the studio’s latest batch of glaze experiments. If you happen to walk by the member space at 4am, you might catch Paul inside, working out new ideas in clay when he can’t sleep.
Assistant Manager, Try-Night Instructor
It was only in her final semester of college (after spending four years studying photography) that Marlaina realized her real passion was clay. To make up for lost time, she started Googling “ceramics” and “New York” and cold-called every studio in the city, and the rest is Gasworks history. As a tech, Marlaina enjoys learning new skills—like mold-making and slip-casting—that she might otherwise not have picked up while making her carved tableware.
Ester Sang Hee Kwon
While other techs might avoid high-risk responsibilities, Ester actually enjoys the perilous sport of loading delicate, bone-dry greenware into the kiln. She’s still finding her own ceramic voice, but as she gets more proficient with clay she hopes to incorporate decorative Eastern craftwork details into her work. When Cor and Emiliano are out of town, Ester is Ayla’s first choice when it comes to surrogate roommates.
Casey enjoys new challenges and trying out everything as a tech and as an artist. She loves to experiment with glazes, embracing all the happy accidents that happen in the kiln. You can often find her downstairs in the glaze lab mixing away during her shifts. She enjoys making large sculptural work and is challenging herself to make work on a smaller scale. Casey has a passion for teaching as well and hopes to be able to pass on her skills to others in the community.
Ayla’s been working with clay all her life, but her practice is ever-evolving. While her earlier work was conceptual in nature—with experimental performances revolving around acts of eating and digesting clay—recently she’s found herself drawn to the traditional process of wood-firing. Some may say she’s getting tamer with age, but she prefers to think she’s more like a fine wine and getting more complex with time.
Brandi Cheyenne Harper
Brandi was only three months into her newfound ceramics hobby when she joined the Gasworks team to flex the social media chops she picked up in her life as an Internet crafter. As a queer black femme, Brandi prizes community above all—and the one at Gasworks has not disappointed. Her latest project combines her expertise with yarn and her budding practice in clay in a series of functional ceramics for knitters.
If you’ve ever been to a holiday sale or art show at Gasworks, you’ve seen Ali’s work. She brings together a decade of organizing trade shows and 15 years making her own pottery to bring together ceramicists and non-makers alike at the studio’s community events. When she’s not working in clay, Ali makes meditative oil paintings of stacks—stacks of linens, stacks of folded shirts, stacks of sandwich ingredients (also known as a sandwich).