Cook on Clay, launched in 2010 as a response to a growing customer base demanding more and newly designed flameware products. Cook on Clay pottery is 100% designed and handmade in America. Resisting the siren song of foreign manufacturing, Cook on Clay has invested in building a sustainable woman-owned business.
Founders Robbie Lobell and Maryon Attwood are experienced clay artists who have focused on flameproof cookware for 20 years. Working from their studios and manufacturing annex on Whidbey Island in northwest Washington, they have built a company around the idea that there is no better way to prepare and present food than in handmade pottery.
We believe cooking and serving food in handmade pottery forges connections -- with the farms that grow it, the earth that nourishes it, and the people who share it.
The Cook on Clay mission and vision celebrates the importance of slow food, local food, international food, and the communities these foster. Continuing a long tradition of American craftsmanship, Cook on Clay melds beauty and utility in every piece to honor the deeply gratifying, universal act of cooking.
At Cook on Clay, we strive to become a model for entrepreneurial U.S. artisan manufacturing -- inspiring designers and artists to look towards domestic production and small U.S. manufacturers to think creatively about their business models. Ultimately, we believe local values-based businesses offers greater long-term rewards than can ever be achieved in chasing higher short-term profits by sending manufacturing out of our neighborhoods.
Artisan manufacturers will have a social impact on future artists and craftspeople. The general public will have increased access to well-designed products made locally. Artisans are becoming manufacturers as new technologies allow fine design and excellent quality to be produced in quantity. This blend of craftsperson, businessperson, and manufacturer holds the future for ceramic production.
Education is a core value of Cook on Clay. Beyond educating people about good food, cooking, and ceramic cookware, Cook on Clay is committed to educating the next generation of young women looking to studio arts as a career choice in sustainable business practices and the advantages of expanding their choices of tools to include manufacturing through our Zakin Apprenticeship Program.
Robbie Lobell and Maryon Attwood, co-founders and co-owners of Cook on Clay, are proud of our woman-owned artisan manufacturing endeavor and how that dovetails with sustainable communities and collaborative values-based businesses. We are passionate about handmade objects in everyday life, believing that design for utility, rugged elegance, and beauty brings meaning to each day. We are dedicated to educating and mentoring younger women in studio arts, artisan-based manufacturing, and sustainable small business practices. We care deeply about local and sustainable food systems, the return of families and neighbors to the table, and a renewed and burgeoning tabletop culture. We love knowing our pots are well used in kitchens and on tables across America.
Robbie Lobell, the principal designer and maker at Cook on Clay, is also responsible for quality and technical control of Cook on Clay products. She works in her studio developing new cookware forms for the home cook and collaborating with professional chefs on pots for the culinary arts.
Robbie, primarily self-taught, met Mikhail Zakin in 1992 who quickly became her much loved teacher. She completed two years intensive study with Mikhail Zakin in 1994 and a six-week residency with Karen Karnes in 2001 where she was given the flameware clay body recipe. The mentorship of Mikhail Zakin and Karen Karnes has had a profound impact on Robbie's life and career.
Robbie Lobell’s work is exhibited in group and solo shows, and sold in galleries and gourmet food shops nationwide. Her pots reside in kitchens, on tables, and in cupboards across the nation. Lobell’s work has been featured in Ceramics Monthly magazines, the Lark Books publication 500 Vases, the Krause Publications, The Art of Contemporary American Pottery, the Chronicle Books publication, Ceramics Bible, and The Studio Potter magazine. She is a member of NCECA, The Artist Trust, The Studio Potter, The American Ceramic Society, Potter's Council, and Washington Potter’s Association. Lobell was on the faculty at the Worcester Center for Crafts in Massachusetts for 10 years and serves on the Studio Potter Board of Directors. Robbie teaches classes and workshops in her studio on Whidbey Island, around the country, and beyond. See resumé.
Maryon Attwood brings over 30 years of experience as a non-profit executive to the business of Cook on Clay, combining her values and passions into this one venture. Maryon has managed community arts and cultural organizations with all of their unique complexities. She has created and established major state and regional environmental preservation, farmer training, and arts education programs across the country. Cook on Clay is her first private venture as she continues to develop business and products that serve a community vision.
Maryon’s formal art training includes a classical fine arts education and a B.A. from Monmouth College. She studied at the Art Institute in Chicago, Illinois and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C.
Maryon Attwood’s interest in clay began when she was the Executive Director of the Worcester Center for Craft in the mid-1990’s. Her interest in producing oven-to-table and grill-to-table platters comes from her concern for healthy foods prepared safely without the use of Teflon, aluminum pans, or aluminum foil.
Maryon is an agricultural and community activist working on sustainable communities and food system issues that encourage healthy environments and farmland preservation.
Cook on Clay is committed to creating pottery that is beneficial to both the environment and the people who use it. Our flameproof clay cookware is 100% environmentally safe and non-toxic.
Cook on Clay flameware pots are healthy for you and the earth.
Cook on Clay flameware pots are microwave and dishwasher-safe and extremely easy to clean. Baked-on foods can be removed by simple scrubbing with soap and water — you will be amazed by how easily foods release from our pots’ surfaces. Don’t be afraid to run your Cook on Clay pots through the dishwasher — it is a great way to remove residual oils.
The surfaces of Cook on Clay pots will change through use and over time. This is a natural part of the maturation process, creating a rich patina and history of use.
As published in American Craft Magazine
As published in Ceramics Monthly (Dec. 2008)
As published in Studio Potter Journal (Spring 2015)
As published in Studio Potter Journal (January 2009)
As published in Edible Seattle (November/December 2011)
Cook on Clay pots are handmade on Whidbey Island, WA.