About The Artist
About The Potter
My name is Rach SebellShavit I am a queer artist who designs unique custom pottery using stoneware clay that challenges conformity and embraces texture and color. I am fascinated by the beauty and possibility of handcrafted pottery. This craft has been a part of the human experience for thousands of years, and still, potters are constantly reinventing new ways to engage with the medium. When I create new work, I think about the people who will ultimately use my pottery: how will they hold it in their hands, look at it with their eyes, or touch it to their lips?
My love of pottery began at 7 years old at summer camp. I was so captivated by clay that I used the money from her bat mitzvah and babysitting when I was 13 to buy her first potter's wheel. Her love of pottery continued through high-school into college and in 2004, I graduated from Rhode Island School of Design with a BFA in Ceramics. It was at RISD where my love of pottery transformed beyond the potter’s wheel into a love of many ceramic techniques including slab, slip cast, and potter’s wheel.
My inspiration comes from her childhood, dishes my mother and grandmother used in their kitchens. I think about the hundreds of moments spent with those dishes – enjoying a cup of coffee and laughter on a weekend, eating a last bite of cake after a birthday celebration. The patterns of these dishes and the feeling of their smooth glaze in my hands are fused into these wonderful memories. I like to think about the lives my own pottery will enter. Where will these vessels live? How will they celebrate joys and comfort loss in their new homes?
I make pottery out of stoneware clay. It has a strong body with a hint of gritty texture that comes out as subtle iron flecks when it is fired. I loves to play with a balance of simple and vibrant colors in my work using oxide washes and mid-range fired glazes. Clay has captured my love for almost 4 decades because it offers constant possibility – slabs, potters wheels, slip cast. With clay the options to create are innumerable.
My hope for my pottery is that it is woven into the day to day lives of the people who possess it – dinners with family, quiet afternoon cups of tea, a late-night bowl of ice cream. A big part of why I use stoneware is because it is durable, unlike fine china, and able to handle to the daily routine of dishwashers, microwaves, and other modern conveniences. My proudest moments as a potter are when I receive a letter or hears from someone who is enjoying her pottery in their everyday life, knowing not only that my work has entered their life, but their life has added new meaning to my work.
In 2016, My partner and I moved to Arlington, where I opened SebellShavit Studio, a small ceramic dinnerware company that I operate out of our home. By day I work as a leadership development coach and at night and on weekends I am in the studio making pottery. I feel incredibly fortunate to be able to balance my time between the things I love most - support others to overcome obstacles, making pottery, being outside, and spending time with my family.