State of the Studio Summer 2019

What a YEAR: 2019

Another year has flown by. We are about the celebrate 7 years since purchasing the house and property that houses Rat City Studios!!! With each gathering of new assistants there is a change in energy and identifying with the space in new ways. Eliane is finishing up her second year and off to new adventures. Hayley and Anika are staying for a second. We will be welcoming Krista starting in July!

These three young women, who have been assistants here the last year, have added immeasurably to the studio and to my world! Their vibrant personalities, dedication to their work, and willingness to care for the studio have been felt by everyone who come through the space. I am grateful for the way they push themselves to grow and give back to these studio at the same time. I am so lucky to have them here at Rat City Studios!

Read their short statements and visit their websites to see what they are up to and where they are off to!

Rat City Studios
Rat City Studios
Rat City Studios
Rat City Studios

Eliane%2BMedina

I have been at Rat City Studios now for two years and time has gone by so quickly. My work has very much improved and changed since I first moved to Seattle in June of 2017. I have my own space in the studio to make, which is perfect for me. I have been mostly making my figurative pottery and playing with new functional forms. I also sold my pottery wheel to gain some extra room for experimenting with building large scale, and because I will soon be moving away to Sweden in August.

My assistantship with Deb will be coming to a bittersweet end at the end of July, and I simply don’t know where the time has gone. I’ve learned so much, not only about developing my work, but about teaching, building a business, creating a successful life as an artist, and more. I was recently fortunate enough to assist Deb in a workshop at Penland School of Craft in North Carolina, where I learned about making tableware using molds, and met so many artist friends along the way. It was a great time of reflection for me and I can hardly believe I get to live this life surrounded by supportive, wonderful people and artists.

I’m working on making as many pots as possible before my big move, and on making work that makes me happy, instead of just what other people want to see. There is always more to learn, but I’m so excited to take these last two years of experience into the next chapter of my life.


Hayley Reed
Hayley Reed


Website: Hayleybellareed.com
https://www.hayleybellareed.com/

I recently began slip casting with my first 3D printed mold. I have learned so much from working with my 3D printer, casting the mold parts in silicone, and then in plaster. Every step of the process I am learning and tweaking my process. Working with these new molds I am already thinking about what I need to change to make my next set of molds better. It has been very exciting to see this process that I have worked on for so long, finally yielding results. The last few weeks I have been taking the singular cup form that comes out of each mold and cutting them apart and rearranging them to make vases. I am currently working on a new bowl design and I can’t wait to get working with that in clay.


Anika Major
Anika+Major
Anika Major

Anika Major
https://www.anikamajor.com/

I’ve been in Seattle and working at RCS for nearly a year now! Looking back at this year feels a little bit like a blur of so many new experiences, friends, and knowledge. I’ve gained a lot of independence being here; I’ve started teaching, given presentations about my work, built up a better understanding of what inspires me, and just let myself play more in the studio. My process is a lot more fluid, and I’m planning out forms far differently than before. I’ve started thinking more about my surfaces, and I’m constantly hunting for texture tools! Working around the studio on projects, equipment maintenance, and classroom improvements has also been very fun, and learning how to manage a studio has been a pleasure to be a part of. It’s made me think about how I might do that one day, and it seems a little less intimidating! I’m going into my second year with a messy studio full of ideas, and looking forward for what a new year will bring.


Krista+Cortese.jpg
Krista+Cortese
Krista+Cortese
Krista+Cortese

Krista Cortese
https://www.kristacorteseceramics.com/

Here’s my jumping in plan for the first month:
Make a 7 piece dinner set (for 10), work out a signature mug (20), explore slab building and slip transferring images. Focus on color through different applications of mason stains and glazes. Learn how to fire a kiln and contribute to a creative team. So excited to start in July, words cannot express! 

Deborah Schwartzkopf

Rat City Studios is the workspace of Deborah Schwartzkopf, Seattle based studio potter and instructor. Her mission is to engage and build community through clay – one person, one neighborhood, and one experience at a time. In service to this pursuit, she offers studio assistant positions for emerging artists, connects people through social events, instructs classes and workshops, and maintains a lively career in the ceramic arts!