Appalachia Ohio’s Creative Economy: ACEnet is always learning from our region’s entrepreneurs. Recently Leslie Schaller, ACEnet’s Director of Programs, had an interesting conversation with Susan Abramovitz of Rock Riffle Run Pottery near Shade, Ohio. Susie has lived and worked in Athens County since 1978, when she opened her studio. Originally from the Youngstown area, she graduated from the Cleveland Institute of Art with a degree in ceramics. Following graduation, Abramovitz lived on Deer Isle, Maine making pottery for a year and then headed up the Ceramics Department at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland for two years.

As one of the premier artisans of our region, Susie Abramovitz has been hand-throwing beautiful stoneware and terracotta ceramics, creating pieces both unique and functional. A recent video by the Metaphysical Café provides a wonderful overview of Susie’s career and work:

Over the years she has worked with a team to pass on her passion and talents. To deepen your appreciation of her work, you can visit her website at or check out a recent Ohio Magazine article featuring the Rock Riffle Run Pottery’s Berry Colander

Susie shares: “Creating hand-thrown pottery is never the same, working with materials such as clay, as it meets fires, renews in me a sense of appreciation for what is still positive in the world. One of the mugs I am contemplating making soon will just say thank you, because we all need to be thanked and acknowledged today more than ever.”

For years now, Rock Riffle Run Pottery has been one of the stops on the November Art+Farm+Wine Tour. But things have changed. COVID impacts have hit the “creatives” in our community hard. Festivals cancelled–events and shows postponed until next year. But creatives keep busy, producing and innovating. And as their customers we need to pivot in our buying habits to support them. As fall approaches and we start to think about the upcoming holidays, we are encouraging both individuals and businesses to come up with new ways to invest in the local creative economy.

So here’s an idea. Since 1981, Rock Riffle Run Pottery has offered an opportunity for event planners, educational institutions, municipalities, agencies, and companies large or small to develop a stoneware mug with their logo. Dishwasher and microwave safe, these long lasting mugs are the perfect, commemorative gift.

Now is the time to reach out to Susie, planning ahead for production and kiln runs are essential over the next month. It takes about 2 months from the customers prepared artwork to the final logo mug ready to be shipped. For mid-December delivery the order should be in place before September is over.

For details on cost and design services for stoneware promotional mugs please call 740-517-8523.

Susie also has a showroom in her studio and can continue to welcome visitors, but they need to call first and make an appointment prior to coming out.



Community Update by ACEnet Director of Programs, Leslie Schaller