Make Your Own Pottery in Yingge Pottery Class
Do you like pottery? I do. I collect, use, and cherish them. So when I first visited Taipei, I had to visit Yingge Ceramics Old Street – the pottery capital of Taiwan. Then, I came back to the States with a half suitcase full of ceramics.
Years later, on my second visit to Yingge, I took a DIY pottery class to make my own ceramics. I will share my experience in this post and my favorite Yingge pottery shops and museums.
Yingge Old Street is a small pocket of an area in the outskirt of Taipei. It is an excellent place for a half-day trip from Taipei. However, if you are serious about shopping for ceramics or make your own, allow yourself a full day.
>> Many travelers prefer to take a day trip from Taipei to Yingge pottery town and Sanxia Old Street.
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>> This is the third article of my Day Trip from Taipei Series. See also Juming Museum, Shifen, Wulai Hot Spring, and Beitou Hot Spring. And find out how you can add these destinations to your Taipei itinerary.
How to Get From Taipei to Yingge
TRAIN: Getting Yingge from Taipei is super easy. From Taipei Main Station, hop on a train to Fuxing and get off at Yingge Station, which takes about 30 minutes. This train is similar to a subway with a row of seats along the wall facing each other. So there is no need to make a reservation. But having an all-in-one-public-transport EasyCard will make it even easier. (Just swap the card as you take any public transportation.)
TAXI: The first time I visited Yingge, we stayed at a hotel in Taoyuan and took a taxi. Yingge is close to Taoyuan or the International Airport. In that case, it may make sense to call a cab.
>> Yingge is a great day trip either from Taipei or Taoyuan. However, if you are thinking about staying a night there, consider a highly-rated Thinker Hotel.
Yingge Ceramics Old Street
Once getting out of Yingge Station, Yingge Old Street is only a 5-min walk away. Most shops open around 10:30-11 am.
In Yingge district, you can find a variety of ceramics, anything from cheap Made in China factory porcelains to mid-range unique designs to one-of-a-kind artist collections.
Insider’s Shopping Tips
- I always go there with the intention to buy. So I think about my needs and budget; otherwise, it is easy to get distracted and come back with something I would regret later.
- Stay away from Made in China mass productions. Even if you don’t have a budget to buy artisan work, there are plenty of other quality ceramics within your reach.
- Flip them over. You will see a brand signature or the origin written on the bottom. When in doubt, ask where they were made.
- Roll them up carefully with your clothing when packing a suitcase. Pottery shops here use bubble wraps and secure your goods in a sturdy box. But I usually use clothing for extra protection, and they all made home safely.
BIJOU SENSE ART
BIJOU (福藏泰然) is exactly what I think of a high-end pottery shop in Taiwan. A very friendly employee welcomes you with a warm tea, and enthusiastically shares their brand story. The shop exuding the zen vibe displays high-quality tea sets, tea tools and accessories, linen and clothes. While many items are from Tibet, super cute fabric hong bao (red envelope) is a nod to the store’s Taiwanese identity.
Hours: 10 am – 7 pm (Closed on Tuesday)
Location: No.11, Taoci Street, Yingge District, New Taipei City [Open Google Map]
If you are looking for a high-end artisan ceramics, THZ Gallery is the place to be. Because they respectably asked not to take photos, I don’t have images to show you. But all the potteries here were indeed an artwork. Some of my favorites were made of metals like bronze, and others were decorated with plated gold. I am sure they were made to appreciate and occasionally use, although I would save them for special occasions only if I ever take them home.
Hours: 11 am – 6 pm
Location: No.45, 239 Jianshanpu Rd., Yingge District, New Taipei City [Open Google Map]
The Shu’s Pottery
For those for all-in-one experience, The Shu’s Pottery is an excellent place. The Shu family has been in the ceramics business since 1926. With its legacy and history, the studio offers everything from a factory tour to a pottery-making class to a tea house and ceramics shopping.
It is not the cheapest store, but you will find many unique designs within reach. In fact, I bought some mug cups here that you will not find anywhere else.
I will write more about the DIY pottery class below.
Hours: 10 am – 6 pm (Closed on Monday)
Location: No.81, Jianshanpu Rd. Yingge District, New Taipei City [Open Google Map]
Eilong is a pottery shop with high-quality ceramics. It is also a great stop for snacks and coffee (upstairs) or tea (downstairs).
Their ceramics are exquisite yet practical, modern yet traditional, and adorable yet affordable. I seriously could have spent hours and hours adoring their collections.
Yong Kang Street (>> Read my complete guide here) also has an Eilong shop. Good news if you don’t have time to visit Yingge!
Hours: 10 am – 7 pm
Location: No. 62-1, Chongqing Street, Yingge District, New Taipei City [Open Google Map]
Yingge Spot Aesthetics Museum
Yingge Spot Aesthetics Museum is a new addition to Yingge Old Street. It is a shopping mall and art space, which reminded me of many cultural shopping complexes in Insadong, Seoul.
I think this space was created to showcase Made in Taiwan products beyond ceramics. I enjoyed looking around handmade organic soaps, kitchenware, lamps, and other lifestyle design products, as well as modern art exhibits.
Hours: 10 am – 7 pm (Closed on the first & third Tuesdays)
Location: No. 239, 18 Ceramic Street, Yingge District, New Taipei City [Open Google Map]
Yingge Old Street Kiln
Although the shops inside this complex look ringarde and tacky in my eyes, the kiln might be worthwhile to visit. If you are interested in seeing smoke coming out of the kiln chimney, it happens every 60 minutes. It’s right behind Starbucks.
Hours: 11 am – 7 pm (10:30 am to 7:30 pm on holidays)
Location: No.99, Chongqing Street, Yingge District, New Taipei City [Open Google Map]
Yingge Ceramics Museum
Yingge Ceramics Museum is the largest museum of its kind in Taiwan. The educational exhibit showcases the history of Taiwan ceramics, Yingge as the ceramics town, and various traditional pottery techniques.
In the art gallery, it stages gorgeous ceramic arts from around the world.
There also is an art exhibit by children. The museum offers many hands-on workshops and other activities for children.
The museum souvenir shop is great. The price range is also on-point compared to the Yingge Old Street shops, although you may find more variety outside.
Admission: NTD 80
Hours: 9:30 am – 5 pm | 9:30 am – 6 pm on holidays
Location: No. 200, Wenhua Road, Yingge District, New Taipei City [Open Google Map]
Sanying Art Village
Across the bridge from Yingge pottery district’s main area, make a pit spot at Sanying Art Village. There are many sculptures and structures themed with pottery for you to enjoy.
One tip is that you cannot go from/to Yingge Station. I walked from the Yingge Ceramics Museum over the bridge, but then got lost from the art village to the train station only to find out later that you have to go back to the Old Street first.
Location: [Open Google Map]
A Guide to Taipei Old Town
Interested in Taiwan’s historic places? See the Glamor of Old Taipei during its Golden Age. Don’t miss Dadaocheng and Dihua Street.
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Yingge Pottery Class
I chose to take the workshop at Shu’s Pottery because of the positive reviews online and my shopping experience there years ago.
Surprisingly, during the pandemic weekdays with no foreign tourists, the pottery class filled up quickly. So I recommend you book your class in advance. Or first, sign up for the course before exploring the Old Street.
The studio offers many options and price ranges for you to pick. I chose a 2-hour Pottery Throwing class, which uses a pottery wheel. We put our stuff in the coin locker, wear a plastic apron they provided, and sat in a pottery wheel to start throwing. The class had a relatively big group, but also had many instructors to help beginners like me.
Throwing was not as easy as I thought it would be and required firm grips. But no worries. If you mess up, they provide an unlimited supply of clay for you to restart, although the class has to end at some point.
They had tools for me to decorate the mug if I wanted. If I wanted to bake my creation at an extra fee of NT 240, I could have selected color options for professionals to finish and ship to my address at an extra cost. (It takes two weeks for this process, so it is unlikely you can pick it up in person.) I decided not to because I did not like my cup, but it could make a great souvenir for others.
It’s not possible to take your photos while making pottery. Silly, but I posed after the class was over.
There are other places you can take a pottery-making class, such as Gu Zao. Personally, I did not care much for their ceramics – just not my style. But I took a look at one of the traditional tunnel kiln (see the photo below) next to the store, which is free of charge.
>> Whether you are planning for a Taipei trip now or adding on your travel bucket list for the future, be sure to check out my Taiwan Travel Tips and Taipei Travel Guides:
- Taipei in 3 Days
- A Guide to Taipei Old Town
- 6 Historical Places to Visit in Taipei
- Taipei Hotel Review: An Award-winning Design Hotel
- Where to Find the Best Pineapple Cake in Taipei
- Yong Kang Street: A Food Paradise of Taipei
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