Learn through life practice. 
Trade your time for mentorship.

The Basic Exchange: An Overview 

This is a work-trade agreement. Assist Deb Schwartzkopf in exchange for studio space, & instruction in a variety of topics pertaining to succeeding as a professional artist, best studio practices, and clay working techniques.  This is an opportunity to work with an active artist and to apply this information in a hands-on manner.  Have one foot in the real world of supporting yourself, and take in the cycles and challenges of making a living as a working artist.

What I Am Looking For:

Rat City Studios

Rat City Studios

I want to work with individuals who are committed to a career in the ceramic arts.  Someone who has personal motivation and is eager to learn.  I work very hard and will expect you to as well. While the work you show me in the application is vital, above all I am looking for a good fit for my studio and a dedicated worker.  My work-spaces is important to me; they are a huge part of my daily living.  The mental space and energy I foster supports my ability to be successful and to work long hours. As a potential assistant I ask that you respect the space and add as much as you can to this exchange. This includes striving forward with your own work, finishing the task at hand to its fullest however small, and contributing your enthusiasm to studio life. I expect you to look for show opportunities and to help promote Rat City Studios.  In my studio I strive to balance long hours with a sense of humor, attention to detail with experimentation, & community with respect for privacy and personal growth.

The Goal:

Dedicated to your own Studio Practice- This assistantship is intended for those looking to grow in their own practice.  Plan on spending a minimum of two days a week working towards your own goals and two days a week as an assistant. This makes having a day-job difficult. I expect you to be at the studio 40 hours a week (working on your own work and assisting me).

Commitment- With this assistantship I am looking for a one-year commitment. Two full days a week are regularly scheduled for assisting. If you plan to have a day job, these two agreed upon days will need to be the priority.  Your studio practice days should also take priority over any other day job. In applying for this take into account the expenses tied to living in a city.  I want your focus to be this assistantship & your studio time.. 

Starting Point- Please plan on starting your practice at the cone six firing temperature using an electric kiln.  You will be able to jump forward faster by putting tests in my firings and using the database of glazes that has been tested and documented. Once you are comfortable using our kilns and facilities you may ask to change gears and move in another direction. I have also developed a glaze resource your make take advantage of...

Studio projects are never ending. The hours you spend working for me will include anything from mopping to weeding the garden, from rolling slabs to entering emails on our listserve, from talking with customers at events to recycling clay, from helping paint the walls to building carts, from tidying the studio to running errands to the clay supply stores, from working on the website to loading kilns... Many of the jobs require physical fitness and a strong back. We will all be loading kilns, hauling boxes and doing ladder work. Please let us know if you have any hindrances to working.

Application Requirements-

Application Offered Online Only -
Due May 1st with a Start date in August/ September.  
Late applications are not considered

Please carefully meet ALL the requirements listed below.

Notification - By June 1st

Application Fee: $20

Website - On your personal website include, a minimum of 10 images with captions (of recent, completely finished work)
Resume- indicating professional development

Writings One Page Total: Be Concise Please
Offered through the link below...
Artist Statement, Bio, Goals and Intent Statement, References, Contact Information.

If you would like to see current and past studio assistants work, check out this link.

Fresh work from the electric kiln

Fresh work from the electric kiln

You Will Receive:

The list included below depends heavily on your personal commitment to seeking after each of these skills or experiences.  The more time you spend in the studio, the more you will gain from this experience.

The more time you spend in the studio, the more information we are able to convey.

I will have a formal reviews. At these reviews you will be expected to have finished work and to show serious movement forward with your ideas. These will be a structured chance to ask questions, receive our input, seek resources, and check in on any concerns that are present. The first review will be a chance for you to give feedback on how the studio is fitting your needs, what you want to continue pursuing and other concerns.  At the first review we will also give feedback about how you are fitting into the studio.  I reserve the right to end the assistantship if I feel that it is not a good fit- in other words, if you are not working on your own work or I find you difficult to work with.

Regular feedback /critique/ instruction will be scheduled at your request. I want to meet with you.  I want to facilitate your experience. It is exciting for me to watch your ideas unfold. Any instruction is not meant to teach you how to make my work, but rather to give a broad platform of techniques and information from which you will develop your own work.  The topics I cover will be set by your interests. It is your personal motivation that will set the tone for your experience here and lead to your success.

Studio Space:
You will receive a space to work in and leave set up as your work area. During the holiday show or if I host a workshop, you may have to consolidate your space for a day or two. This work space will be available to you seven days a week.

Web / Social Media Presence:
Be part of our monthly newsletter and postings online
Write articles for the website blog
Make playlists for the studio Spotify Account
Help with and be promoted on the studio IG/ FB
Your website will be linked on my website
I will show your work in my slide talks when referencing the studio


Professional Experience:
Learning how to format promotional materials- cards, fliers etc
Maintaining email list/ formatting emails w/ MailChimp Platform
Setting up/ Advertising a home show/ studio sale (December)
Teaching/ workshop/ lecture presenting. 
(I will try and provide the chance for you to be present at one or some of the classes I teach. This will be most likely should there be a local event, but these are irregular events so I cannot be  specific about this. It is likely however)
Packing and Shipping work to Galleries
Approaching/ Maintaining gallery relationships
Broad exposure to the ceramic community in Seattle
Feedback for written artist statements and resume
Assistance with finding sales opportunities

Housing Options:

Finding a Place to Live in Seattle:
Seattle is not a cheap place to live.  Rent is high and in high demand.  I have made an arrangement to have housing for two studio assistants with a friend who lives about one mile from the studio. This room for rent is tied to the assistant position here at the studio.  Regularly a studio apartment in Seattle would run around $1000 a month.  The rooms are renting for around $400 plus utilities.  Details on this arrangement will be sent to you after your application is received. Learn more about the area!