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Living Above the Shop: Ceramic Artist Paula Greif in Hudson, NY

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Living Above the Shop: Ceramic Artist Paula Greif in Hudson, NY

May 22, 2023

When we first met ceramic artist Paula Greif back in 2012, she had set out to make every utensil in her Brooklyn kitchen herself out of clay (see The Handmade Kitchen; we date our infatuation with small-batch pottery to that post—and Paula’s work remains the standard bearer.) Since then, the former graphic designer and director of music videos and commercials has devoted herself full time to her ceramics, and set a new goal: to establish her own all-in-one studio and home in an impossibly skinny three-story structure in Hudson, New York. Join us for a tour.

Photography by Justine Hand for Remodelista, unless otherwise mentioned.

The Workshop

located on warren street, hudson&#8\2\17;s shopping hub, paula&#8\2\17; 12
Above: Located on Warren Street, Hudson’s shopping hub, Paula’s quarters are a mere 10 feet wide (nine feet on the inside) and “must have been built as an alley infill,” she says. The building, likely a commercial space to begin with, was used as a home in recent years. Paula gave it a gut renovation, including introducing a storefront and painting the exterior black (it’s Benjamin Moore Black Tar). The studio is at 419 1/2 Warren St. and is currently open by appointment.
paula worked on the project with her friend stephen shadley, diane keaton&# 13
Above: Paula worked on the project with her friend Stephen Shadley, Diane Keaton’s longtime interior designer, who happened to be building his own place across the river. Starting on the ground floor, which houses the combination shop and studio, Paula had every room paneled with pre-primed horizontal poplar Trim Boards for a shiplap effect: “This was my splurge. It makes the place feel like a treehouse in Scandinavia, or a glamorous trailer.”
paula works in stoneware, porcelain, and terracotta, and uses a range of techni 14
Above: Paula works in stoneware, porcelain, and terracotta, and uses a range of techniques: “hand building, slab, wheel, pinched.” Most of her pieces are one- or few-of-a-kind. Her pieces are also available online at Paula Greif Ceramics, and tend to sell out fast. Paula sends alerts to subscribers every few months when she replenishes her site.
paula’s work and setup are inspired by celebrated ceramic artist lucie r 15
Above: Paula’s work and setup are inspired by celebrated ceramic artist Lucie Rie, who fled Nazi Vienna and had her own live/work studio in a mews house in London from 1939 to 1995.
Paula Greif ceramics Hudson NY 7
Above: A porcelain bowl and compote with hand-drawn lines. Photograph by Paula Grief.
ceramic serving utensils–which look something like pieces from a childre 17
Above: Ceramic serving utensils–which look something like pieces from a children’s book illustration brought to life and are fully functional (even dishwasher safe)—are displayed below the stairs, which lead from the shop and studio to Paula’s home.

The Living Quarters

the interior narrows from 600 square feet downstairs to 400 square feet on the  18
Above: The interior narrows from 600 square feet downstairs to 400 square feet on the second floor, home to the living room and kitchen. In the living room, Paula’s vintage Knole settee, a long-ago purchase, is “in its fourth life, last slipcovered in white canvas and now upholstered in yellow linen.” The floors throughout are painted Benjamin Moore Decorator’s White in a gloss. This room doubles as guest quarters thanks to this pair of 1940s chairs that each convert into a twin bed.
paula furnished her intimate home with antiques paired with her own pieces and  19
Above: Paula furnished her intimate home with antiques paired with her own pieces and work by friends and family.
flanking a center stair, long halls on the upstairs floors connect the light fi 20
Above: Flanking a center stair, long halls on the upstairs floors connect the light-filled rooms at either end. Here’s a view from the living room to the kitchen.
i did everything at the lowest cost possible,&#8\2\2\1; says paula, who cre 21
Above: I did everything at the lowest cost possible,” says Paula, who credits her builder Glenn Young of Catskill, New York, with “always having the right solution.” In the kitchen, that involved coming up with an affordable combination of custom cabinetry with white Formica counters on plywood.

Paula looked for white appliances and paired an Ikea built-in range (a since-discontinued model) with a Whirlpool cooktop and a 24-inch-deep Summit refrigerator (“the cheapest counter depth at the time”), both special ordered for her by her local Home Depot in Catskill. Paula sprang for a Bosch dishwasher and vent—”worth it for their soundlessness.” Paula’s Grohe Minta Pull-Out Spray Faucet came from Faucet Direct: “I blown away by the service; I had to exchange things and there were no questions asked and shipping was free.” The Ikea aluminum tab cabinet pulls are “not bad knockoffs of Sugatsune.”

paula&#8\2\17;s open shelves provide a place to display her wares. 22
Above: Paula’s open shelves provide a place to display her wares.
drawings by a friend hang over the dining table. 23
Above: Drawings by a friend hang over the dining table.
a mini gallery at the base of the second floor stairs includes a drawing by pau 24
Above: A mini gallery at the base of the second-floor stairs includes a drawing by Paula’s daughter, Anna Zanes, one of  Paula’s plates, and a ceramic comb by former assistant Sula Burmudez Silverman.
in paula&#8\2\17;s tranquil bedroom, a bench from the essex street market i 25
Above: In Paula’s tranquil bedroom, a bench from the Essex Street Market in NYC holds one of her terracotta vases. The bed has Ikea white linens topped with mustard yellow throw purchased in the neighborhood.
on a bureau from &#8\2\20;legendary antiques dealer&#8\2\2\1; joel math 26
Above: On a bureau from “legendary antiques dealer” Joel Mathieson rests a Jackie Kennedy portrait by the late Hudson folk artist Earl Swanigan.
a view into the master bath. 27
Above: A view into the master bath.
beneath a painting by chicago artist george colin and one of paula&#8\2\17; 28
Above: Beneath a painting by Chicago artist George Colin and one of Paula’s vases, the Wyndam Collection’s 5.58-Foot Laura Soaking Tub is another Home Depot special order (“They, too, were great to work with, and we got a contractor discount”). For more details, see Steal This Look: A Hudson Valley Artist’s Bath Above the Studio.
a small plate from paula&#8\2\17;s blue line collection makes a perfect soa 29
Above: A small plate from Paula’s blue line collection makes a perfect soap dish.

Find her latest on Instagram @paula_greif. Paula has also recenty begun offering some exclusive new work at Battle Br0wn, a neighboring antiques shop at 528 Warren Street in Hudson.

Where Paula goes, we follow. Take a look at her previous Brooklyn apartment and peruse more of her ceramics.

N.B.: This post is an update; the original ran on July 10, 2015.

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Frequently asked questions

Where is Paula Greif Ceramics located?

Paula Greif Ceramics is located in Hudson, New York.

What does Paula Greif Ceramics specialize in?

Paula Greif Ceramics specializes in handmade, functional ceramics.

Can I purchase Paula Greif Ceramics online?

Yes, you can purchase Paula Greif Ceramics online through their website.

Does Paula Greif Ceramics offer international shipping?

Yes, Paula Greif Ceramics offers international shipping for their products.

What other products does Paula Greif Ceramics offer?

In addition to ceramics, Paula Greif Ceramics also offers jewelry and home goods.

Are Paula Greif Ceramics products dishwasher safe?

Yes, Paula Greif Ceramics products are generally dishwasher safe, but it is recommended to hand wash delicate items.

Does Paula Greif Ceramics accept custom orders?

Yes, Paula Greif Ceramics accepts custom orders for personalized and unique pieces.

What is the return policy for Paula Greif Ceramics?

Paula Greif Ceramics accepts returns within 14 days of receipt, as long as the item is in its original condition.

Does Paula Greif Ceramics offer wholesale options?

Yes, Paula Greif Ceramics offers wholesale options for retailers interested in carrying their products.

Can I visit the Paula Greif Ceramics shop in person?

Yes, you can visit the Paula Greif Ceramics shop in person at their location in Hudson, New York.

Product summary  Item 6 143Item 7 144

IMG 4993
Paula Greif Ceramics

Peacock Platter

$285.00 USD from Paula Greif Ceramics
IMG 4957
Paula Greif Ceramics

Spotted Pitcher

$210.00 USD from Paula Greif Ceramics
IMG 5015
Paula Greif Ceramics

Oh Really Cat

$165.00 USD from Paula Greif Ceramics

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