The Salty Dog Pottery Studio formed in 1975 with a handful of pottery students who realized that while they couldn’t afford all of the equipment and space needed for commercial pottery by themselves, they could afford it together.
So they found an old bakery in industrial Ballard and set up shop. $200 a month rent in 1975 has ballooned to nearly $9,000 a month, due in part to new neighbors like the Ballard Blocks and Mars Hill Church. Fortunately, there are 18 artists sharing the space, which keeps costs reasonable.
In the 38 years the Salty Dog has been operational it’s seen 75 artists come through, some staying for decades while others pass through more quickly. The current crop of artists aren’t just working with clay, the group having expanded to include painters, muralists and other varieties of visual artist.