Donate to the Zakin Aprenticeship Program

The Zakin Apprenticeship Program honors the spirit and practice of inquiry and learning, of daily and wholly living a creative life, working and living within a community of makers. Our goal is to give women the time to develop their work, and then the means to embark upon a life in the studio arts with the tools in studio practice, pottery design, business, and artisan manufacturing.

Whidbey Island Arts Council is the sponsor for our educational programs. Your support is 100% tax deductible. And – your contribution goes directly to support a young woman in focusing her time and attention on achieving ‘the tools of the trade’ while developing skill, an eye for excellence, and her visual voice. 






The Back Story

Your gift dwells within the magic of the relationship between the teacher and the student --- where a fierce faith and belief is required for what is yet unmade.

The passing of Robbie’s beloved teacher, Mikhail Zakin (1920 - 2012) inspired the naming of Cook on Clay's apprenticeship program bringing the passions of craft, education, and artisan entrepreneurship together. We focus on essential skill building while mentoring, teaching, and nurturing relationships based in clay.

Mikhail Zakin was the quintessential teacher. She led me to my own aesthetic voice through working together in clay, traveling to foreign lands, weekly trips into NYC, lively conversation around the dinner table, and deep friendship. It is an honor to name this educational program after my beloved teacher.   – Robbie Lobell

Mikhail’s commitment to art education and life-long learning led her to found The Art School at Old Church in her New Jersey neighborhood in 1974. Her non-profit arts center continues to offer dozens of craft and art classes for adults and children. The Art School is known nationwide for it’s Annual Pottery Show & Sale.

Born in Brooklyn in 1920, Mikhail taught ceramics at Greenwich House Pottery, the Brooklyn Museum Art School, and Sarah Lawrence College. Zakin’s association with Sarah Lawrence College and The Old Church Art School, and her deep interest in weaving the historical and cultural contexts of ceramics along with her love of teaching led her to England, Italy, Scotland, Japan, China, Holland, Morocco, Turkey, and South Korea where she engaged fellow travelers with her enthusiasm for and profound understanding of cultural history.