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Ceramic Studio Brings Art to the Everett Waterfront

Small businesses are so much about what we love in our community. The hustling solopreneur with a dream, the craftsperson scaling a small loan into a legacy business, the cultural creators working from a pop-up shop. These are our favorite people.

Get hands-on at the Salish Sea Ceramic Studio in downtown Everett, mere blocks from the waterfront. Floor-to-ceiling windows let seaside light into the studio. Rent a wheel, take a class to hone your skills, and get your handiwork fired in the kiln. Book a custom pottery-making session at the Salish Ceramic Studio for the perfect romantic date. 

To appreciate art is an edifying thing. To stick your hands in wet clay and experience it firsthand as an outlet for your creativity… that’s taking it to a whole other level.

We recently caught up with Salish Sea Ceramics Studio owner Rachel Recker to chat with her about why she loves doing biz in Everett, WA.

SNC: How did you start a business in Everett? What attracted you to your current spot in downtown? How has the city responded to your business?

RR: I think of Everett as the superhero in Salish Sea Ceramic Studio’s story. I moved to Everett after living in the PNW for twelve years and I have fallen in love with this town which seems to have had a Rachel-sized hole for me to fit into.  It has been a big surprise Everett is the place that had everything for my vision. Lots of my friends were moving here from Seattle and I figured I would eventually end up moving to Everett as well. I casually thought Everett would be a great place for a pottery studio, I just didn't realize how soon it would all happen! 

"I have persistently made it a goal in my life to create and have other friends who were creative." -Rachel Recker 

Thanks to my pottery mentor Curtis Yu in Seattle, I learned about the biz side of things so when I moved here in fall 2020 I already had the bud of a dream. Walking around with my dog, Trulove I saw a sign on 23rd and Colby that said "Rent Me." and I think about that as an Alice in Wonderland moment of jumping down the rabbit hole. With encouragement from my friends I started a Go Fund Me and asked everyone I knew for start-up capital to make the studio happen. I think my family and friends were excited, and a little relieved I was finally making the leap to follow my heart and art.  Everett is a great town for word of mouth and I talked to a lot of people which is how I found the current location at 1111 Hewitt Ave. 

I could not have started Salish Seas by myself and I really do feel like I have been given this studio as a special privilege. In fact, looking back I am so surprised and humbled by how much has been given to me, and in turn the city of Everett in the form of this studio. The city of Everett has been very supportive and excited for the potential of the studio by helping me get the word out and awarding the studio a grant to help it grow in the direction of take-home clay kits and increasing overall volume so we can reach a greater audience.  

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SNC: What's behind the name Salish Sea Ceramic Studio? Are you particularly inspired by the saltwater of the PNW? 

RR: Yes! I love the ocean, and so many people around here do too! We can see the Salish Sea and the Port of Everett at the studio. It is such a dreamy location. I could not have asked for a better area. What luck one can even walk to Pigeon Creek from the studio! For years I have been putting ocean motifs such as mermaids and manatees on my pottery to talk about vulnerable species that live in the in-between spaces. I chose the name Salish Sea Ceramic Studio to highlight the fact we are all living next to an ocean and therefore guardians of it. 

Recently, the Salish Sea has been designated a Hope Spot as a place that is important to keep clean and wild because so many living things do rely on it. Nonprofit groups like Long Live the Kings and Forterra are doing good work to preserve river habitat and study ways that we can keep our fish populations healthy. 

SNC: What can visitors expect from a visit to the studio? What classes do you recommend? Any upcoming events?

RR: Visitors can expect to have fun at the studio and meet your Everett neighbors! I like to tell people it feels like traveling when you hang out in the studio. Lots of natural light from floor to ceiling windows make it a great spot to spend some time in. We are always scheduling different classes in an attempt to apeal to a larger audience, so follow us on Facebook and Instagram, or sign up for our email list to stay updated. 

As the studio grows we are able to offer a larger variety with more regularity. We recently have expanded to have class every Saturday morning for those who want to try out clay with low commitment. If you really want to get into it and make a bunch of things I recommend the six-week wheel throwing series starting in mid-March as clay requires a lot of practice and attention.  We also have fun, themed one-off classes which are low commitment. 

Also, we like using our space for art markets, and want to host some this spring so if you sell art hit us up! 

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SNC: Tell us a bit about your life story and what led you to ceramics and pottery.

RR: It has been a life journey to get to where I was ready to take on the responsibility of opening and running a business. I have always known I wanted to be an "artist" but I didn't understand what that would mean for me or even what my options could be. I wasn't interested in sitting at a computer and I even had a hard time working in a production studio on someone else's project!  I get bored easily, but I also enjoy working tirelessly towards a goal when it is on my terms.  I am originally from NYC so it has always been curious I didn't stay there and pursue art in the art mecca. 

After graduating art school at Maryland Institute College of Art in Printmaking I was called out to the PNW by multiple people close to me.  There have been times in my life when I have been stubborn and did things my way, but there have also been times when I have taken guidance from wiser, older females around me. I realized my quality of life would be better out here in the PNW and I was inspired by the beauty of the great outdoors. 

I have persistently made it a goal in my life to create and have other friends who were creative. 

Salish Sea Ceramic Studio

1111 Hewitt Ave, Everett, WA 98201


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