The best ceramic studios and stores in Shanghai

Explore the world of clay and ceramics through one-off classes, comprehensive courses or speciality shops

Cover by Sammi Sowerby
By Coquina Restrepo

Can’t resist collecting ceramic pieces whenever you can? Us too, especially in China, where the ancient art has existed for over 10,000 years, and options are aplenty.

Home to dozens of hidden artist enclaves, Shanghai is a great city for exploring the world of clay and ceramics through one-off classes or comprehensive courses.

However, if you deem hunting down one-of-a-kind pieces more thrilling than making your own, check out the latter part of this article, where we’ve listed local artists known for putting their own spin — pun fully intended — on ceramics.

1) The Pottery Workshop
Mandarin name: 上海乐天陶社
📍180 South Shaanxi Road (alleyway), Xuhui
⏰ Mon + Tue, 9 AM - 5 PM; Wed - Sun, 9 AM - 9 PM
☎️ 130 4410 9668
✳️ WeChat ID: pws-sh


Open since 2002 (that‘s 22 years now!), The Pottery Workshop (PWS) is one of the best pottery studios around. You can take professional lessons in English or Mandarin, sit in on artist lectures, and/or practice the craft at your own pace.

Make the most of PWS‘s spacious workshop and hone your skills at throwing, pinching, slap building and sculpting. Time slots can be booked through their mini programme.

Not only does PWS offers multiple types of clay and glazes, but the studio is also outfitted with several industrial-grade firing ovens, and the staff can help you procure speciality clay, glazes and paints for your personal projects by placing special orders with their suppliers.


TIME OUT TIP: Beginners should focus on the basic pinch method first, which revolves around building a cup or a bowl by hand — because few things are more frustrating than having a project fall apart on the wheel over and over again!

2) Pottery People
📍741 Julu Road, Jing’an
⏰ Daily except Wednesday, 10:30 AM - 7 PM
✳️ WeChat ID: potterypeoplestudio


Set up inside a small lane house, Pottery People is perfect for hosting small groups. This cosy studio runs a range of ceramic classes, from kid-focused, family-friendly workshops to a thorough 30-day advanced course, which walks you through wedging and centring, making multiple kinds of objects (cup, bowl, pot, vase, magnets, brooches, etc), and more.


We love that the studio has an amazing variety of clays and colours so you can create wildly colorful pieces.

The firing space is on the small side, so your projects may take a few weeks before they’re ready to come home, but the wait will be worth it.

3) Shanghai Pathways
📍Various locations
⏰ Depends on calendar
✳️ WeChat ID: ShanghaiPathways

New Project

Though not a ceramics studio per se, Shanghai Pathways often organises clay-focused classes in partnership with Pottery People. In keeping with its mission to help people “understand the city through unique cultural and art activities,“ the company constantly releases a roster of tactile events, from Chinese cooking classes to precious metal workshops.

During their most recent pottery workshop, participants discovered the history of Sichuan ceramics, the ancient Shu-style culture, and the clay ’faces of Sanxingdui.’

4) Spin Ceramics
📍 First floor, 5i Center, Building A, Lane 538 Hutai Zhi Road, Jing’an
⏰ Daily, 11 AM – 7 PM
☎️ +86 21 6279 2545
✳️ WeChat ID: SpinCeramics


This ceramics gallery and store sources and showcases the recent collections of ceramics artists from all over the world! There is no better place to discover what’s trending in modern homeware, ceramic art and porcelain.


They have several locations around the country, including in Beijing and Jingdezhen, and as well as an international branch in Singapore.

5) Sól Studio
📍 Wuyuan Road home studio
⏰ By appointment only
📍 Also sold at Okra Studio, 211 Anfu Road, Xuhui
⏰ Saturday, 2 - 6 PM
✳️ WeChat ID: LXTL1228 or Sol Studio
☪️ Instagram: @solstudio.byloula


Started by local artist and healer Louise Lam, Sól Studio is a tripartite passion project: 1) Sól Objects (ceramics and more), 2) Sól Rituals (earth magick and gatherings), and 3) Sól Healing (reiki treatments).


Lam’s ceramic pieces celebrate the sacredness of daily rituals. You’ll find simple homeware, ceremonial pieces, decorative ceramics and even wearable ceramic jewelry. Each collection seamlessly is made in small batches, making them all the more special.

6) Brut Cake
📍 232 Anfu Road, second floor, Xuhui
⏰ Mon - Fri, 12 noon - 6 PM; Sat + Sun, 11 AM - 6 PM
☎️ 021 5448 8159
✳️ WeChat ID: Brut Cake
☪️ Instagram: @brut_cake

brut cake1

It’s impossible not to fall in love with Taiwanese artist and designer Nicole Teng’s charming handmade mugs and tableware with adorable hand-painted characters.

If her works look familiar, it might be because they are in use at Brut Eatery, a perennially popular brunch spot also owned by Teng.

brut cake2

Ceramics aside, Brut Cake has recently expanded its output to include furniture with recycled fabric upholstering as well as drink containers for on-the-go lifestyles, like enamel cups and thermoses.

7) Pinyin Press
📍 89 Anshan Road, Building 9, Room 3410
⏰ By appointment only; visit mini programme for e-shop
✳️ WeChat ID: PinyinPress
☪️ Instagram: @pinyinpress

New Project

Arguably one of Shanghai’s most famous expat-founded homeware brands, Pinyin Press produces extremely fun ceramics in addition to textile products, apparel and accessories.

“When I was looking for gifts and design to send to friends and family, I wanted to gift something which would tell a story of my everyday life here,” reads Scottish founder and creatie director Sarah Armstrong’s mission statement.

TIME OUT TIP: Crafted in Jingdezhen, the ‘birthplace of ceramics,’ Pinyin Press‘s baozi and har gao salt and pepper shakers are among the brand‘s bestsellers, with the former even winning the Hong Kong Smart Gifts Design Award in 2016.