Mardis Nenno

Mardis Nenno
Mardis Nenno
Mardis Nenno
Mardis Nenno

Artist's Website

Artist Statement

My functional pottery reflects my interest in utilitarian form and my desire to make pots that are pleasurable to use and to look at.  I imagine them being a part of people’s table and kitchen counters and being passed around at gatherings of family and friends. Each piece is unique and made by me using wheel and hand building techniques.  The surface decoration is based in the folk art tradition of stylized forms found in nature and I’m influenced by Northern Chinese Cizhou pottery and by the bright vibrant glaze colors of early Persian ceramics.  I layer slips, stencils, sgraffito and slip trailing to create layers of information beneath the transparent glazes.

I have been working in clay, building sculpture, making pots and teaching for forty years.  In all of my work I am looking for the stories that ordinary objects hold. I’m seeking resonance in that human connection, exploring the language of utility and form to find the eloquence of mute objects.

Biography

My path as a ceramic artist began at Alfred University, NY School of Ceramic Art and Engineering. I received a BFA from Montana State University and an MFA from Washington State University.  I was a studio potter in Belt, Montana for a decade, then moved to Spokane WA and began teaching clay classes. In 2006 I was a resident artist at the Archie Bray Foundation for nine months.  I’ve also done a short residency at the Experimental Pottery Workshop in Jingdezhen, China. I continued to teach at Spokane Falls Community College until I retired in 2016. Now I’m back in my studio, making things.

Mardis Nenno

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!