The Gorse Mill Studios

The Potters Shop & School occupies a spacious studio in the Gorse Mill StudiosOur own historic mill building dates back to the late 19th century and was built by J.B. Thorpe in 1893 to house his fabric manufacturing company. It was sold to William Gorse in the early 20th century. Gorse continued to manufacture knitted goods, most notably corsets, as the William Gorse Company. The Gorse Mill closed in the mid 1970's and lay vacant until a high tech lock and security company bought the building. That company closed in 2007 when it was purchased by our Founder and Director Steven Branfman and repurposed into artist studios.

GMS is home to over 50 artists occupying 30 work-only studio condominiums and a central gallery. There are three aspects that make the Gorse Mill Studios a unique artists development; It is work-only studios, no live-in; They are condominiums, we own our studios; And the Gorse Mill Studios is permanently deeded and permitted as artist studios in perpetuity. 

We are painters, jewelers, photographers, stained glass artists, graphic designers, children’s book illustrators, mosaic artists, a storyteller, sculptors, encaustic artists and potters. Having preserved the last surviving mill building in Needham, we are a group of people who, through our common interests and like-mindedness, have formed a creative community for the benefit of each other, the neighborhood and the town. In recognition of his combined vision, having returned the building to place of handmade objects,  and accomplishment, in 2009, the Needham Historical Commission awarded  Steven The Bosworth Award for Historic Preservation. The Gorse Mill Studios building continues to be a place where imagination, creativity and craft bring people together in support of the arts.