The studio of Brooklyn-based ceramicist Helen Levi is perched above, of all things, a mouse trap factory. When a certain machine in the Sunset Park warehouse is switched on downstairs, a consistent melodic thumping sound can be heard throughout the building. Visitors joke about her neighbors playing house music, “when, really, it’s the glue traps,” she quips. With the help of designers Chen and Kai (and her dog Billy), Levi set up this 250-square-foot workspace a year and a half ago in a carved-out corner of the markers’ larger studio. Levi worked in a communal space before arriving at this location, and she desperately needed to spread out. She aimed to create as much storage as possible without feeling cluttered, and she lines the vertical height of the room with tall shelving units to get the most out of each wall. The huge industrial windows maintain a bright, open quality even as the metal racks reach capacity.
Despite its small square-footage relative to the amount of production it puts out, Levi is happy with her studio as it is today, though she anticipates a time when continuing to grow her business will require more. Until that day comes, Levi loves having a workroom that belongs only to her, where she can leave a mess if she doesn’t feel like cleaning up (which she admits is often). She also appreciates the ample sunlight, even if a mostly-glass facade offers minimal insulation from extreme hot or cold temperatures. Not even the mouse trap soundtrack below can harsh this vibe. —Annie