Downtown Putnam in the bottom of the Montgomery Ward Building, within walking distance of dining, shopping & entertainment!

Contact us:

dot@sawmillpottery.com 860-963-7807


About Us

Dot Burnworth
Owner, Head Custodian 

I opened Sawmill Pottery in September, 2003 despite overwhelming advice against it. I was told that it would never survive, that Putnam was not ready for a pottery studio. What I've found is exactly the opposite. Folks in Northeast CT were just dying for a creative outlet like Sawmill Pottery. 

I'm super proud of the creative community we've built. The amazing people I get to share the studio with are what keeps me at it year after year. I am passionate about building community through the arts, and I'm currently working on bringing more public art to Putnam. 

When I'm not in the studio, I'm usually out in the woods on my mountain bike or traveling in and building out my adventure van. 


David Sullivan
Studio Manager, Glaze Guru 

I have been part of the awesome Sawmill Community for just over a decade. Most of my time is spent working with our students and community members, helping them get the best out of their work. 

When I get a chance to make my own pieces, I attempt to make work that reflects the natural world around us. I want these pieces to become part of one’s daily routine, making those little moments in our lives more joyous.

When I'm not in the studio, I'm working on building a bamboo bike and trying to survive cohabitation with my cute but sharp, not-so-domesticated rescue cat, Tika. 

My earliest memory of working with art was when my preschool classmate told me I was supposed to color inside the lines. Well, I showed you Tommy! 


Heather Viveiros
Director of K-12 Programming, Ray of Sunshine 

I have been with this amazing community for 3 years! You'll most likely find me in the studio covered in clay and hanging out with the kiddos. 

I am currently studying Art Education at Rhode Island College. After I graduate I hope to continue teaching kids about the importance of creativity and self-expression. 

When I’m not in the studio or studying I am usually gardening, reading, or eating sourdough bread. 

I am passionate about creating a fun learning environment for every child who comes into our studio!


Jennifer Field
Instructor / Employee of the Month….every month

I have been lucky enough to be a part of the Sawmill Community for the past 10 years.

What first began as a journey to find myself after a divorce has developed into the best side hustle a girl could hope for!  I love creating, experimenting and ultimately producing pieces that people enjoy as much as I do.  And even more rewarding is the opportunity to teach others to do the same.

When I’m not at the studio, I’m working at my main hustle or driving my son to soccer, a lot.


Shannon Ferri
Studio Tech/ Workshop Instructor/ Organizer of Incessant Clutter 

As a young child, I was always found playing in the mud. In fact, my mother took the spigot off the outdoor faucet because she feared I would run our well dry providing water to my “mud pie bakery.” As an adult, my passion for mud was channeled into more productive means. I began my journey in pottery in 2010 taking classes at Worcester Craft Center. In 2018 I joined Sawmill Pottery’s amazing clay community. 

After teaching young children for 20 years, I decided to devote my energy to ceramics full time. When I am not wrestling the pug mill into submission in the backroom of Sawmill, I can be found teaching clay workshops or creating work in my home studio. 

For me, pottery is the perfect blend of science and alchemy! I am inspired by the basic elements of nature-earth, air, fire and water. My work reflects the synergy of the elements with gentle lines, smooth curves and earthy colors. 

My non clay time is spent with my husband and son (who happen to be my best friends) reading, listening to music, and providing the best life ever for our rescue cats. ( I swear I'm not a crazy cat lady! I prefer the term feline enthusiast.) 


Testimonials ...

We had such a wonderful time on Friday!!! My mom was thrilled and couldn’t believe what a great present this was for her… especially having never thought of doing something like this before. Heather was amazing with us, including putting up with my spectating father's oddball questions. I cannot say enough about how wonderful of a teacher she was. And how lucky you are to have such a great person to work in your studio :). Thank you again, we hope to be back soon for another lesson ! ~Jill F

You’re doing an exceptional job with this. You guys make a brilliant team. Thanks for keeping the dream alive for those of us who live for our pottery family. — Lindsay

Last night WAS really really fun. I was skeptical at first, like how will I feel inspired at the end of a day teaching online, to watch another video and want to do anything else. But, I did. You made it really enjoyable. And even though I had to skip out early to help with getting the kids prepped for bed, I look forward to revising the video this weekend and possibly making a coil bowl or two. I will need to set up "shop" in my garage and come by and get a bag of clay (unless I can meet you somewhere to grab some).

THANK YOU for continuing to do what you're doing. --Vicki

You are doing a great job keeping the circle connected. Impressive and what I would expect from your attention to all the people that you interact with and your social conscience. —Gail

Here are some links to potters we know and/or those whose work we enjoy:

* Nancy Dziki, Nancy Pottery
* Larry Elardo, M Street Potters
* Holly Shaw, Meadow Point Pottery
* Sally Resnick
* Carolyn Judson
* Jon Puzzuoli
* Mark Zellers
* Doug Peltzman  
* Jeremy Randall  
* Ruchika Madan  
* Todd Wahlstrom  



www.HistoricNewEngland.org (Roseland Cottage) www.woodstockhistoricalsociety.com
www.tlgv.org (The Last Green Valley)

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