The art of pottery dates back to the prehistoric era and is still alive and well in the 21st-century. Clay-formed vases, kitchenware and decorations can add life to your home, and Connecticut is home to many independent shops owned by talented potters. Some will even let you try your own hand at the kiln. Here is where to go to find that perfect piece of pottery.

Sawmill Pottery
112 Main St.
Putnam, CT 06260
(860) 963-7807

Dot Burnworth started Sawmill Pottery as a venue for displaying and selling her creations, as well as those of other local potters. Ten percent of every purchase you make is donated to non-profit groups. The shop also hosts classes and workshops for potters of all ages and all levels of experience. It carries dozens of bisque ware pieces that customers may paint themselves, and anyone who has attended classes at Sawmill Pottery may reserve use of its studio for private use.

Greenleaf Pottery
240 Chapel Road
South Windsor, CT 06074
(203) 528-6090

Former draftsman John Macomber became a potter at 28, and in 1975 began Greenleaf Pottery in East Hartford as a showcase for his work. In 2004 he moved the shop to South Windsor, where it continues to house thousands of items for sale. There is a wide array of beautiful, microwave-and-dishwasher-safe plates, bowls, dishes and pots, all fashioned solely by Macomber. And if you are looking for a unique gift idea for a special occasion, consider ordering one of his custom made, 10-inch diameter commemorative bowls that he will engrave with the recipient’s name.

Wesleyan Potters
350 South Main St.
Middletown, CT 06457
(860) 347-5925

This non-profit cooperative guild traces its origin to the Middletown university it was named for, where in 1948 a professor began teaching students the art of pottery. Seventy years later it offers regular youth and adult pottery courses taught by some of the state’s most skilled artisans. Classes in weaving and metalsmithing are available as well. The gallery shop at Wesleyan Potters sells homemade crafts from teachers, members and students, and more unique works are sold during its large Annual Sale which starts after Thanksgiving and lasts two weeks.

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Pottery Plus
185 Boston Post Road
Orange, CT 06477
(203) 795-0527

This gift boutique in Orange has been selling fine ceramics for over three decades. It stocks pieces from potters some of the top potters in the U.S., including Liz Kinder, Donna Toohey, and Minnesota’s Dock 6. The artists they feature have a range of signature styles range from traditional and muted to bold, playful and colorful. While you’re there check out Pottery Plus’ other items, including Vera Bradley handbags, handcrafted jewelry from several American designers, and decorative items for the home.

Cornwall Bridge Pottery
415 Sharon Goshen Turnpike
West Cornwall, CT 06796
(860) 672-6545

Cornwall Bridge Pottery is only open on weekends, but it is well worth it to make the trip. Owned by potter Todd Piker, the two-story shop displays his wood-fired pots along with creations from past students at the pottery. Customers may also take a tour of the workshop, where they may ask the potters question and observe how they craft their pots on the 35-foot tube kiln. The rest of Cornwall Bridge Pottery is filled out with rare and homemade lamps, furniture and crafts.

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Joshua Palmes is a freelance writer covering all things Connecticut. His work can be found on