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Cathryn Rakich,
Sacramento, CA

Artist Statement:
What I love about clay is how I get lost in the work—the outside world disappears. Sculpting is so complicated and exacting. I have to be an artist and an engineer. My mind meditates as I focus on the mechanics of the material. Glazing is crazy hard!

Studio Description:
My husband turned our den into a home studio. He built a high table with a smooth top, shelves for glazes, rolling metal units for storage and several lazy susans.

What type of clay do you use?
White clay with grog.

What temperature do you fire to?
Bisque fire is cone 06. Glaze fire is cone 6.

What is your primary forming method?
Slab building and pinch pot.

What one word would you use to describe your work?

What is your favorite thing about your studio?
My mother’s artwork on the walls to inspire me – and my Pandora radio.

What is the one thing in your studio you can’t live without?
Paper towels.

What are your top three studio wishes?
Bigger working table, more shelving and a kiln.

What’s on your current reading list?
Ceramics Monthly.

How do you save money on materials and supplies?
Rehydrate dry clay.

How do you recharge creatively?
Take our three dogs for a walk along the American River Parkway, which is three blocks from our home. Also, gardening.

Do you have any DIY tips for studio efficiency?
Good lighting! Set up a portable light on a stand that you can move around. Put a lazy susan on a stand so you don’t strain your neck looking down.

What challenges have you given yourself to overcome?
Prevent cracking during the bisque fire!

What did you first piece look like?
A small brown mutt — a rescue dog with big black eyes.

What ceramic superpower would you have and why?
To know how the glaze is going to turn out after firing – because it’s crazy how glaze goes on one color and comes out something completely different.

Who is your ceramic art mentor and why?
Marsha Schindler – because she was my first teacher.

What is your studio playlist?
Van Morrison radio on Pandora

Why do you create art?
If my ceramics make people smile—and appreciate the beauty, grace and intelligence of animals—wild and domestic, then my work as an artist is done.

What is your best studio tip?
Make your studio a great place to hang out—with music, a big window, pet beds at your feet for your furry family members—so you WANT to create!

If you could change one property of clay, what would it be?
Less heavy!

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