Deborah Schwartzkopf Workshop-August 10-12, 2018 at sfclayworks

Over the weekend of August 10-12, 2018, sfclayworks was excited to have Seattle ceramics artist Deborah Schwartzkopf in our studio. On Friday evening, the workshop weekend began with a gallery opening of Deb’s beautiful ceramics in sfclayworks “Front Office Gallery”. The exhibit of Deb’s ceramics gave studio members, especially those unfamiliar with her ceramics, an opportunity to see her amazing work.

In conjunction with the gallery exhibit, Deb gave a very interesting slide lecture-presentation that we offered free to the public.  At sfclayworks, we feel it is important to make the evening event open to everyone; it was nice to see some folks who are not sfclayworks members in the audience. During the slide lecture, Deb shared with us information about her life in Seattle; her studio “Rat City Studios” (which by the way has nothing to do with rats!), her love of gardening and bee keeping, and her passion for community engagement. It was interesting to learn more about Deb, and informative to see slide images that helped opened our eyes to some of the things that have inspired her work.  The pre-workshop opening and slide lecture always enriches the understanding of the visiting artist and the work that they make.

On Saturday and Sunday, we were able to see exactly how Deb puts her work together.  Deb’s work incorporates both wheel work and handbuilding. Deb was very organized and it was amazing to see how much she managed to put together over the two day workshop. As we witnessed, Deb’s working methods are all about timing; knowing when its the right time to do a particular task. As all of us who work with clay know, if you touch clay too early it might flop over; touch it too late, and the clay will not bend and curve the way you want. With her years of experience, Deb made her working methods look easy. There were a couple of occasions during the workshop when she shared very simple ways of working that a number of workshop attendees proclaimed were “Duh!” moments; why had they never thought of working that way? We were especially struck by Deb’s attention to detail, and hope that all workshop attendees will take this observation back into their studios and follow suit. We can’t wait to see how the opportunity to see new ways of working will influence those who attended. 

In a nutshell, Deb left us all impressed, inspired, and energized. We loved having Deb in the studio, and we hope she loved it too!



Flower Vase Construction  



Cup assembly


Goofy group shot….


Deborah Schwartzkopf’s

Instagram: @debspottery

All photos courtesy of fabulous studio member Takashi Fukuda