Skip to content

Deborah Pittman



E Street Gallery
1115 E Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
2024 Open Studio: Weekend One

About Deborah Pittman

After being a classical clarinetist for over twenty years, I discovered the joy of playing in the mud. I was a full-time musician, playing solo repertoire, chamber music and concertos with orchestras/bands all over the world. Imagine my surprise when I became addicted to mud.

My study of ceramics was a natural, lateral move from my knowledge and experience gained as a musician. Both take decades to master and I am still on that path.

I’d been taught to play clarinet like the masters; there’s only one way, individuals need not apply! To succeed in the classical arena required altering my personality!

I think of ceramics as alchemy; it’s earth, science, engineering, physics and heart. There are techniques you must learn to get the walls of a pot to rise, to get the pot to properly dry and to fire it without cracking. Once you learn the basics, the sky’s the limit. 

With the clay there’s no shame! No notes too flat / sharp, no squeaks, no wrong notes! And best of all no audience member disappointed that I did not play it exactly the way they heard it on their favorite recording. 

With clay, you can’t defy physics, but you can break the rules, in fact, you must break the rules to develop an individual voice.

The components to be considered in the creation or expression or the visual and performing arts: line, order, design, balance, form, symmetry/asymmetry, tone, balance, harmony are often on my mind when creating a piece of pottery

I rarely use glaze in my work, I like to see/feel/show the clay skin. With the piercing of my forms, I am constantly pushing to remove more and more clay, while not risking the stability of the structure. I create sculptural pieces, self- portraits and cremation urns. I strive to break the rules and defy gravity.

While the clarinet’s enchanting voice and has taken me to some wonderful places, creating ceramic vessels gives me a different rhythm, opportunities and a new language to tell my story.

Scroll To Top