Wassi Art Studio

Jamaica Saint Ann Saint Ann's Bay

Wassi Art (9 a.m.–5 p.m. Mon.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Sun. and holidays) is easily the highest commercial quality and most productive ceramics studio and gallery in Jamaica. A complimentary tour of the ceramics studio is offered, showing visitors the complete cycle of creativity, from processing of clay to the throwing and firing. The raw, red terra-cotta clay used in much of the work is brought from Castleton, St. Mary, before being processed at Wassi. The studio also works with imported white clay.

There are 20 full-time artists on salary, many self-taught who started at Wassi through an apprenticeship program where they developed their skills. The name Wassi is from Jamaican slang, meaning anything terrific, or something sharp like the sting of a wasp that would create an impression. General manager Sylvie Henry oversees the day-to-day operations; the company is owned by Robert and Teresa Lee. Wassi Art began as a hobby of Mrs. Lee's in 1982. The company gets a volume discount with FedEx, savings it passes on to customers who wish to ship pieces abroad. There is a wide range of pottery on display and for sale at Wassi Art, from small souvenir items to huge display pieces (US$5–5,000).