Mikhail Zakin, Pioneering Ceramic Artist

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She was raised and home-schooled by a great uncle who made violins and was a devout follower of Thoreau. She changed her name twice before marrying. For a time, she lived in Greenwich village with an Italian sculptor 2o years her senior. She became one of the first two women in America to build and fire a salt kiln, and she invented a highly versatile and durable clay called MZ. Such was the unconventional, trailblazing life of former Sarah Lawrence College visual arts teacher Mikhail Zakin, who died September 9, 2012, at the age of 92.

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