Monday, February 22, 2010

Jessie Cotkin: 1944-2010

ACGA member Jessie Cotkin passed away on Saturday, February 6, 2010. She struggled
with overwhelming health issues for the past 10 years including advanced
rheumatoid arthritis and cardiac complications. Jessie died at home in her

A member of ACGA since the early eighties, Jessie was proud of her
membership, and of the fine quality of craft that we represent. She served
on the Board of Directors for several years, and coordinated the jury for
about six years. Also during the eighties, she participated in the American
Craft Council shows, and became a member of the ACCI Coop Gallery in
Berkeley, of which she was still a current, exhibiting member. Jessie was a
member of the Berkeley Potters Guild for 25 years.

Jessie's work in clay was of functional porcelain. She worked with lusters
on the high-fired surface, and also did precise carving and inlay on some
pieces. She enjoyed producing dinnerware sets from special orders and used
subtly-colored Chun glazes to rim the glossy black backgrounds of plates,
bowls, and cups.

Jessie was born in the Bronx, New York on July 24, 1944. Her family moved to
Southern California in 1957. After becoming a second grade elementary school
teacher for several years, she discovered a passion for clay. She left the
security of a tenured, pensioned teaching position to make her way as a
potter. Her technical and historical knowledge of ceramics was impeccable.

Her indomitable spirit carried her through many difficult times.

Jessie is survived by her sister, Kalya, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and her
brother, Spencer, in Minnesota.

--Margaret Grisz-Dow

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