Equal Clay is the functional, activist, small-batch ceramics of San Francisco-based artist Kate Rotondo. My pieces invite you to expect, discuss, and advocate for better conditions at work.

Watching the pottery wheel spin—and having my hands immersed in clay and away from screens—interrupts my rumination over the systems and people I couldn't change.

I spent twenty years of my career as software developer (litl, Schematic), teacher (Mills College, General Assembly, RISD|CE), technical author (Apple, Udacity, yWorks, Adobe AIR in Action), and speaker (at conferences in 11 countries). But I left the tech industry in March 2020 after blowing the whistle on pay discrimination. I took actions at both the federal and state levels, but in the end the processes failed to catalyze my experience to help others. Instead, they opened the door to retaliation, and I now have an even longer road ahead to heal from the multiple layers of institutional betrayal.

I've been asked if I regret finding out I was underpaid and fighting for justice. No. I'm glad I escaped the toxicity of a workplace that expected me to accept less. I sleep well at night having stood up for myself and my coworkers. But the existing accountability mechanisms aren't sufficient, and are easily gamed using tech companies' vast resources. My hope now lies in collective organizing: workers banding together to demand change in numbers that their employers can't suppress. 

Kate holding a white porcelain mug with the words "pay her more" painted and carved into it.

Thank you for supporting my activism and recovery through your purchase of my work. You can also join me in raising awareness by sharing posts from the blog. For a steady stream of photos and videos of my maker process, follow equalclay on Instagram. To be notified in advance of shop updates and kept in the loop about new blog posts, sign up for my email list below.