Rachel Recker works on a bowl at one of her pottery wheels in her new studio space at Salish Sea Ceramics in Everett. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Rachel Recker works on a bowl at one of her pottery wheels in her new studio space at Salish Sea Ceramics in Everett. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

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A new pottery studio opens in downtown Everett

Salish Sea Ceramic Studio on Hewitt Avenue offers classes, clay, inspiration and plenty of light.

EVERETT — Every square inch needed scrubbing. The space had been empty for years. But sunlight and blue sky streamed through floor-to-ceiling windows.

Rachel Recker, in search of a studio, couldn’t believe the abundance of natural light.

“When I saw the windows I was blown away,” said Recker.

Recker is the artist and founder of Salish Sea Ceramic Studio, a new Everett pottery studio that opened this month at 1111 Hewitt Ave.

With help from friends who cleaned and painted as if at a barn raising, Recker turned a former welding supply store on the corner of West Marine View Drive and Hewitt into a bright, inviting studio.

“They were a huge part of the process,” she said of those who pitched in. “This place has so much energy now.”

The 1,000-square-foot ceramic studio features five pottery wheels, work spaces, tools and an electric kiln for firing and glazing.

Recker offers pottery classes and studio memberships.

Classes for children, mother-daughter duos and Valentine’s Day workshops are planned, she said. Just let her know what kind of class you have in mind.

Membership plans can include up to 25 pounds of clay — enough to throw 25 small bowls or 25 mugs — enough “to get your toes wet,” she said.

Masks are required. Only five people are allowed in at a time to maintain a safe environment, Recker said. “The space is so big there’s room to spread out.”

Trulov, a Tibetan spaniel, the size and shape of a Pres-to-log, keeps her company at the potter’s wheel. She’s the shop dog — “named after my great-grandmother,” Recker volunteered.

Recker describes her artistic style as “controlled chaos. I love letting things happen that I don’t control. I like using a lot of imagery and bright colors and pop art and ocean and Salish Sea references, orcas and salmon eggs,” she said.

Recker taught pottery classes at community centers in the Ballard, Magnolia and Montlake neighborhoods of Seattle and worked as a physical therapist assistant.

When her job situation recently changed and her hours were cut, Recker turned to her first love, art.

“I have been doing art my whole life, ” Recker said. “I have always drawn or crafted.”

Friends urged her make the leap. Find a studio, set up shop. She’d certainly dreamed of it.

Recker began scouting for locations. And then she found this place with two walls of windows. “It felt very sudden … so quick!” she said.

“There’s been many times throughout this process where I felt like I had to pump the brakes a little bit and slow everything down,” she said. “My friends like to remind that this isn’t a sudden thing for me. I’ve just been learning and gaining all the skills necessary to do this.”

The studio’s recent grand opening drew a score of visitors eager to sign up for classes, she said.

“I’m really excited about the community we’re going to build, sharing our ideas and experiences,” Recker said.

It was meant to be.

Recker had her eye on a different Everett location, but the price was too dear and the landlord wouldn’t budge.

“It made me keep looking. This is actually a better place,” she said. “I’ve never made art in a place with this much natural light.”

For information on classes and memberships go to salishseaceramicstudio.com.

Janice Podsada; jpodsada@heraldnet.com; 425-339-3097; Twitter: JanicePods

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