Arrowmont Connections: Deb SCHWARTZKOPF offers online ceramics workshops and publishes book

Arrowmont is a special community full of creative people – a family who know that coming together and making art is important. We talk a lot about the Arrowmont Experience – connecting through craft and community. That connection exists beyond physical proximity. It is in shared memories and new ideas. It lives in the friendships we make with each other. It grows when we learn and support one another.

Whether on campus or off, we are connected as members of the Arrowmont family. Over the next few weeks, we are going to share stories from our community of instructors, residents, and students in a new series, Arrowmont Connections.


Deb SchwartzkopfDeb Schwartzkopf is a previous Utilitarian Clay Symposium presenter and instructor at Arrowmont. She was born and raised in Seattle, Washington and earned a BA at the University of Alaska in 2002. She worked for studio potters in the Anchorage area, followed by a year of independent study at San Diego State University. She completed an MFA at Penn State in 2005. She has taught at Ohio University, Massachusetts College of Art and Design, University of Washington, and University of Georgia’s study abroad program in Cortona, Italy. Deb has worked nationally and internationally at the Archie Bray Foundation (MT), Mudflat Studios (MA), The Clay Studio (PA), Pottery Northwest (WA), Watershed (ME), Sanbao in Jingdezhen, China, and the Residency for Ceramics-Berlin, Germany. Since 2002, Deb has taught over 80 workshops and exhibited work locally and abroad. She lives and operates a communal pottery studio in Seattle, WA where she instructs community clay classes and workshops.

To continue working during the pandemic, Deb has launched a series of online ceramics workshops through her website, https://ratcitystudios.com/online-workshops. She demonstrates diverse techniques – ‘Better Bowls,’ ‘Plates!,’ and tomorrow (Monday, May 18), ‘Scoops and Spoons,’ live through Zoom. She writes, “Most people just listen and sketch ideas during the workshop… so I send a recording the day after the live event [for participants] to work along at their own pace.” Participants also receive Deb’s monthly newsletter.

Deb’s upcoming workshop, “Scoops and Spoons,” is schedule Monday, May 18 at 1:00 pm PST. The workshop is two-hours with Q&A. Click here to register for the workshop.

Deb writes, “Scoop up a spot in this workshop… Spoon they’ll all be gone! 🌈 These tiny bits of joy, can fit anywhere in your kiln! And you might even be able to form them at home without the infrastructure of a ceramics studio. In fact, I used to take a small Tupperware with me on the airplane rides when teaching workshops, and work on them at 35,000 ft! We will be making spoons in all sorts of ways… Pinching, using bisque molds, and more. Come see multiple techniques in this demonstration workshop.This project is also in my new book- Creative Pottery- hitting bookshelves June 2nd!!!” 

On June 2, 2020, Deb will publish her book, Creative Pottery: Innovative Techniques & Experimental Designs in Thrown and Handbuilt Ceramics. The book begins with a quick review of where you are in your own journey as a potter. If you need to brush up on the basics, help setting goals, or pointers on how to translate your inspiration into your work, you’ve come to the right place. The rest of the book is a self-guided journey in which you can choose the techniques and projects that interest you:

  • Go Beyond the Basics and learn how create a bottomless cylinder. Then explore seams and alterations for projects like a vase, sauce boats, dessert boats, and a citrus juicer.

  • Master Bisque Molds to open a new world of possibilities. Make spoons, platters, and
    asymmetrical shapes like an out-of-round serving dish with molded feet and a thrown rim.

  • Compose with Multiple Shapes to make two-part forms like a butter dish or oil pourer. Make a pitcher out of two simple forms or explore further by making handles and spouts for a teapot.

With compelling galleries, artist features, and guided questions for growth throughout, this is a book for potters everywhere that want to go beyond the basics, learn new skills, and unlock their creativity.

Reading Creative Pottery, I was continually amazed at Deb’s straightforward approach to making complex forms. Her comprehensive understanding of altering ceramic forms made me feel like I could take risks in the studio and stretch my own boundaries and understanding. This book is a must-have for potters who are trying to put together all the pieces of a creative life.”  — Ben Carter, Mastering the Potter’s Wheel

Pre-order Deb’s book at https://ratcitystudios.com/shop/creative-pottery-innovative-techniques-and-experimental-designs-in-thrown-and-handbuilt-ceramics.


Deb Schwartzkopf is part of Arrowmont Connections. Visit her profile at https://www.arrowmont.org/instructor/deb-schwartzkopf-connections/

Deb’s website: ratcitystudios.com

Deb’s online workshops: https://ratcitystudios.com/online-workshops

Deb’s ‘Rat City Studio: Community Impact” video: https://vimeo.com/397553664

Facebook: @deborah.schwartzkopf

Instagram: @debspottery

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