Polish Your Professional Practices.

The Basic Exchange: An Overview 

This is a work-trade agreement. Assist Deb Schwartzkopf in exchange for studio space & guidance in a variety of topics involving 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 receive support from this vibrant community.  Over time, take in the cycles and challenges of making a living as a working artist.

I am looking for a one to two year commitment from applicants. 
Those committing for two years will have preference for acceptance. 

This might seem like a long time, but the months will fly and the depth of learning will be high.

What I Am Looking For:

 Rat City Studios

Rat City Studios

I want to work with individuals who are committed to their career in the ceramic arts.  I'm looking for personal motivation and eagerness to learn.  I need to be able to count on your to follow through and and to always be thinking of what would serve the community at the studio. 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 are 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 an assistant I ask that you respect the space and add as much as you can to our exchange. This includes striving forward with your own work, finishing the tasks given to you  thoroughly  (however small), meeting deadlines, and contributing your enthusiasm to studio life.  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.

Ideal Candidate Qualities:

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 2 days a week working towards your own goals and 1.5 days a week on assistant responsibilities to the studio. This makes having a day-job difficult. I expect you to be at the studio all the time.

Commitment- With this assistantship I am looking for a two-year commitment. We work one full day a week as a group on studio needs.  And a second day of the week alternates between individuals, group work, and independent projects .  The studio and your commitment here should be a top priority.  In applying for this position, 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 my 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... The max temp the kilns may be fired to is Cone 6. You may use white to buff clay in the community studio area.  Stoneware, red or dark clay will need to stay in your personal space if that is your preference for your work.

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 my 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, from spreading mulch in the garden to helping check the honey bees, from glaze testing to teaching classes in my absence... Many of the jobs require physical fitness, healthy wrists, and a strong back. We will all be loading kilns, hauling boxes and doing ladder work. Please let me know if you have any hindrances to working physically.

Online Application:
Due May 1st
Start date in Aug./ Sept.  
Notification By June 1st

Please carefully meet ALL the requirements listed below. Late applications are not considered

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: 
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


Willing & able to use your phone-

  • Facebook &  Instagram Apps
  • Asana List Making App
  • Dropbox App
  • Google Drive App

Have your personal laptop present on work days

  • We will be all be working on computers- You will need your own for group projects for the studio and yourself
  • It would be helpful if you are familiar with Mailchimp, Squarespace, Photoshop, iMovie, and others. If you are not this will be part of your instruction while you are here.

You will be working for upto 15 hours a week with me in exchange for a studio space and guidance with your career/ artwork. For the most part, You will not be helping me make my work, but rather all the tasks required in making pottery for a living. You will also be asked to help with tasks relating to my home and landscape upkeep.  We will work as a group one day a week and individually on another day of the week.  We have a group meeting often on Tuesdays where requests are outlined, projects problem solved, and everyone makes sure they are on the same page.  This is also a time to ask questions and set up meetings with me.

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.
I am structuring the program.  View this Yearly Projects Plan (This is subject to Change, but a good start to what we will accomplish).

I will have 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 my 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 I 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. My instruction is not to teach you how to make my work.  The topics we cover will be set by your interests and work ethic. 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 from 8am-11:30pm. There is a teaching studio in part of the building that you may spread out it when there are no classes in session.  You may only use this space if you are using a light colored/ white clay and you clean up thoroughly after each use.

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 at workshops

Professional Experience:
Mapping career options/ breaking down tasks
Sending/ maintaining email list on the MailChimp Platform
Setting up/ Advertising a home show/ studio sale (December)
Teaching/ workshop/ lecture presenting. 
Packing and Shipping work to Galleries
Approaching/ maintaining gallery relationships
Broad exposure to the ceramic community in Seattle
Feedback for written artist statements, bio, resume, & website
Promotion of your work
Managing deadlines

You may use reclaim from the weekly classes
You may put tests and work into my kilns or class kilns when there is space, Otherwise all materials are available at cost.

Housing Options:

Finding a Place to Live in Seattle:
Seattle is not a cheap place to live.  Rent is high and in high demand.  Regularly a studio apartment in Seattle would run around $1000 a month or more.  Finding a room in a shared home will be your best option.  Another note...  Traffic here is tough.  Please find a space south of the city to avoid rush hour traffic.  The closer you are to White Center/ West Seattle/ Burien the better your regular travel to the studio will be.  I would be happy to talk more about these areas with you! 
Learn more about the area!