Deb Schwartzkopf was born in Seattle, Washington. She recieved her BA focused in ceramics at the University of Alaska where she also worked for several professional studio potters. Schwartzkopf moved on to an independent study at San Diego State University and then onto earn her MFA from Penn State in 2005. Since this she has gone through many residency programs and had multiple teaching positions before settling back home in Seattle. Schwartzkopf and her partner and fellow ceramic artist George Rodriguez have become extremely active in their local community and even started an assistantship program out of their personal home studio. They call themselves Ceramistas Seattle.
Schwartzkopf explains, “I want my pots to live in the kitchen where economy and celebration infuse life with purposeful beauty.”
It is evident from Schwartzkopf’s complex forms and extreme attention to detail that she has created a physical representation of past experiences from both in and out of the studio. This is why her abstract forms appear non-representational while stirring faint memory. Schwartzkopf draws inspiration from her surroundings and memories. Often starting with a bird in reference to form or hue, she then allows signals from around us to help dictate surface and direction of her pots.
Schwartzkopf references her surface decoration, “With intentional placement, these visual messages imply function, trigger associations, and call for exploration.”
Do Schwartzkopf’s pieces stir up any memories for you? Tell us in the comments!