I first encountered clay at age 6, sculpting animals in the basement of a hobbyist / ceramics teacher in Queens, New York. In 1964, while employed as a research microbiologist in New York City, I began attending evening classes at Greenwich House Pottery. After marrying in 1965 and while raising two children, I continued working part-time with clay for the next 14 years. In addition to creating my own work, I attended many ceramic classes and workshops, and studied weaving and basketry as well. I also became the founding director of a non-profit municipal gallery, The Gallery at Hastings on Hudson.

After relocating to the west coast, first the San Francisco Bay area and eventually settling in the Portola Valley, Jan Schachter immediately made plans to build a studio at home.

I enjoy making pots for everyday use; each is a subtle variation of a form – usually thrown in a series. I am a perfectionist (as much as the process allows) and am constantly in search of the perfect surface and ideal form while striving to create pots that have life and vitality. I have a casserole included in the permanent collection of the Renwick Gallery, National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC.

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