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Cathryn Rakich



Sacramento, CA 95864

About Cathryn Rakich

Watch Cathryn's Conversations With Artists Video Here

I was born in Sacramento and raised with my older brother in Fair Oaks by supportive and loving parents, who greatly influenced who I am today. My father was an attorney who advocated for the underdog. My mother was an amazing and gifted artist who primarily worked with acrylics and watercolor. But she also experimented with clay, creating many beautiful freeform pots.

My mother enrolled me in art classes at a very young age. But I didn’t take art seriously until I took a few college courses. After graduating from Sac State, art fell to the wayside as I pursued a career in writing, editing and communications. Fast forward 35 years, when I retired with free time on my hands.

In 2019, I came across a notice for a complimentary class at Clay Art Studio814 in East Sacramento by instructor Marsha Schindler. I signed up. Then never looked back. I loved working with the clay, the feel in my hands, the ability to create something out of basically nothing. I signed up for Martha’s next set of five classes over five weeks. My first creation was a little clay dog, which was accepted into the 2019 “Animal House” show at the Sacramento Fine Arts Center in Carmichael.

At the beginning of 2020, I enrolled in a couple more classes at two other studios, but then COVID-19 hit and closed everything down. So, with my husband’s help and blessing, we turned our den into my ceramics studio.

I knew I wanted to focus on animal subjects, so I started with the wildlife we find on the American River Parkway, which is two blocks from our home in Wilhaggin. My creations so far have included herons, egrets, jackrabbits, beavers and pond turtles.

Mostly what I love about working in clay is how I get lost in the work — the outside world disappears. Sculpting is so complicated and exacting. I have to be an artist and an engineer. My mind meditates as I focus on the mechanics of the clay. And don’t even get me started on the complexity of glazing. It goes on one color but comes out something completely different after firing!

If my ceramics make people smile — and appreciate the beauty, grace and intelligence of animals — then my work as an artist is complete.

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