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Instructors

San Francisco Instuctors
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Jamie found clay in 2014 and hasn’t been able to get out of the mud since! She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in ceramics from Missouri State University. Her work was previously exhibited internationally at the MenLo Gallery in Jingdezhen, China. Working mostly in clay, she draws inspiration from her family and her beloved chicken family members. Jamie takes nostalgic memories and makes them permanent in clay. Past students have described Jamie as very friendly instructor and "she offered options and alternatives to help figure out their own style."

Instagram: @westermeyerpottery

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Jonah's clay experience started in high school and quickly grew to be his primary passion. While studying film at UC Santa Cruz, he was one of the managers of the Merrill Pottery Cooperative for three consecutive years. Despite never formally studying ceramics, he honed in his craft of wheel throwing by learning from the community of ceramic artists around him. After graduating in 2019, he taught classes in Los Angeles for a year before relocating to the bay area in the fall. Both his teaching and practice are constantly evolving, as he feels there is much to learn before settling on a style.

 

Instagram: @cicada.ceramics 

Jess Garzaro

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Jess Garzaro first found their passion for clay as a young child and has been fascinated by the tactile and hands-on experience that clay provides since. Through exploration of different mediums, her fascination with the three-dimensional has persisted throughout her artistic journey. Possessing a Bachelor’s Degree in Art History and Studio Art from San Francisco State University, Jess has developed her artistic practice by combining their playful and practical sides, putting fun in their functional works. Excited to teach others the art and fun of ceramics, Jess utilizes the mindfulness and patience the medium requires to show how meditative clay can be.

Rigo Bucio

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Rigo is from Mexico and grew up moving all over the US, they have been hand building for 9 years. They earned their Associates Art History degree from East Los Angeles College and fell in love with ceramics after excelling in their first hand building class. In 2018 they graduated from UC Berkeley with a Bachelor's in Art History. During their schooling they practiced and refined their skills in hand building while fully immersed in art. To them ceramics was and still is a healing practice, a way to connect with the earth, themselves and others. Their work tends to focus on identity, sexuality, and movement. 

Chiara Reagan

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San Francisco native Chiara, has always loved dirt. She spent a good amount of time playing in mud puddles, inside and outside of the classroom, before attending the San Francisco Art Institute. There she continued to get her hands dirty, broadening her horizons to various other materials, and was awarded her BFA in sculpture. Now coming back to her muddy roots, she predominantly teaches wheel throwing classes, using her 10+ years of experience to walk her students through the technical aspects of making. She strives to cultivate a fun yet still thoughtful and instructive classroom where students can challenge themselves to find their creative voice through clay — or simply find a space for peace in a constantly moving world.

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Margaret is originally from Tennessee and started working with clay in high school. She grew up loving gardening and working with nature and people. She studied Psychology, Ceramics, and Art Therapy at Warren Wilson College in Asheville, NC, and worked as a studio assistant at La Meridiana International Ceramics School in Tuscany during her Junior year of college. After graduating in 2020, she spent two years teaching pottery and farming to 7th through 12th graders at a boarding school in Tennessee. Margaret fell in love with California when she apprenticed with a slip casting artist in Sonoma, and decided to make the move out West. She loves learning all kinds of ways to work with clay, but mostly enjoys making functional work on the wheel.

 

Instagram: @mwilsonpottery 

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Mayetta was born and raised in the Bay Area. She has been creating whimsical ceramic pieces for over 15 years. She has taught wheel throwing and handbuilding for the past few years in Philadelphia at The Clay Studio, Black Hound Clay Studio, and Fleisher Art Memorial. Additionally, she has assisted in ceramics workshops at craft schools such as Penland and Arrowmont. Mayetta's playful work seeks to serve the inner child in everyone. 

Instagram: @djyetta

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Chris was born in Connecticut and moved to San Francisco in 2015 to work as a restaurant chef. After walking by the Clayroom window display, Chris decided to take an Intro to Clay Class, and the rest is history! He was immediately hooked onto the idea of Pottery not necessarily as an art form, but as a Craft. His work centers around the pottery wheel, with a focus on functional pieces to be used in the kitchen and home. Chris is passionate about sharing his knowledge and excitement for clay with new students and gets satisfaction from helping them find methods and techniques that work best for them. When not teaching new students, you can find Chris practicing his teapots!

Instagram: @cmdpottery

Originally from Maryland, Ryan has worked in the world of professional ceramics for over a decade, both in production and education. He has recently taught at Clay By the Bay and The Clay Underground, and has helped to found Clayroom.

Past students have described his teaching style as "very thorough, very patient and extremely nice. The class is very relaxed and there is no pressure to come out with a masterpiece."

Ryan holds a B.F.A. in Ceramics and Printmaking from Frostburg State University.

Instagram: @ryanmccullen

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Jake has been teaching furniture building at the Clayroom since January 2022, and has been Head of Woodworking since July of the same year. He graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in 2015 with a degree in Computer Science and Architecture focusing on fine woodworking. He escaped his software job in Boston in 2021. Please help keep him out of big tech's hands and sign up for a class today.

 

Instagram: @jk.of.all.trades

Email: jake@clayroomsf.com

Barbara Vanderbeck is a San Francisco based artist who remembers being smitten with clay from a very early age. Barbara received her MA in Ceramics from Northern Arizona University and has extensive experience teaching all levels in various institutions. Passionate about the creative process, she delights in sharing her knowledge and enthusiasm with others.

Neil Gershgorn

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Neil's teaching style blends excitement, energy, and mindfulness to help students understand the foundational principles of ceramics and woodworking. His passion is to conquer the initial hurdles and fears and help students feel successful in the studio. Personal attention, catered techniques to help the individual succeed, and having fun with clay is his signature style. 

Annika Guadiana

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Annika has always loved the arts from a young age. She was born and raised in Fresno, CA. Annika first found her passion for all things clay at the City College of San Francisco. When filling a general education requirement she decided to take Intro to Ceramics and after her first pinch pot she knew she found her passion. Seven years later it never would have crossed her mind that she would be managing a small studio to then running that studio herself. Annika has an extreme passion for teaching and sharing her love for ceramics and the community that comes along with it. Annika’s style is forever changing depending on what is inspiring her at that time. She thoroughly enjoys wheel throwing and adding handbuilt elements to her pieces. At this moment in time, she is diving into the colorful world of Nerikomi. Annika is extremely excited for her new journey at Clayroom and as Annika always says "Live, Laugh, Love."

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Miki is a functional small batch ceramic artist and best known for her ceramic tea ware. She moved from Chicago 10 years ago and has been teaching and showing her work through various exhibitions and galleries throughout the Bay Area and China. Her teaching style incorporates not only wheel skills but best practices to posture and studio practices. 

 

“Let’s make some beautiful pots!”

Instagram: @mikisr_ceramics

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Susan Gold began hand building with clay in her mother's studio at the age of three. For the last 25 years she has been working on the wheel exclusively, creating both functional and decorative pieces. Since 2006 she has taught pottery classes to children and adults at Sharon Art Studio and beginning in 2018 at Clayroom. Her interest has taken her to pottery centers in Japan, China, North Carolina, New Mexico and Montana, exposing her to a wide range of techniques and styles which she incorporates into her teaching and her own work. She exhibits her at San Francisco Women Artists Gallery and Dogpatch Potters.

 

Instagram: @susangoldceramics 

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Paul finds his way into woodworking through his academic research in timber construction. He is passionate about the interaction between material constraints, structural design and the art of making in furniture design. Paul did phd at MIT and is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Carbon Removal Lab at Berkeley Forests (UCB).

Instagram: @paulmayencourt

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Jason is a UX Designer by day, but passion for making things led him to woodworking and furniture design. He draws inspiration from Scandinavian and Japanese furniture design and woodworking techniques and enjoy wood turning to relax when furniture projects get too complicated.

Instagram: @jasoncatiis

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Katie Kilanowski is a professional woodworker from New York. Katie discovered her love for woodworking while earning her BFA in Fine Arts. She continued her studies through workshops at the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship (ME), the Center for Art in Wood (PA), and numerous apprenticeships at SUNY Purchase (NY). Before leaving New York, she gained experience as an architectural millworker at Zepsa Studios where she was introduced to fine cabinetry. She currently works as a furniture maker at GO Build Studio in San Francisco

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Justin is a San Francisco-based designer and furniture maker. He grew up in West Virginia, helping build fences, structures, and homes on the family farm. These formative acts of making blossomed into an obsession with fine furniture woodworking under the mentorship of Elijah Leed in 2012. Justin's work focuses on unexpected forms grounded in a modern Nordic vernacular. In addition to teaching at Clayroom, Justin serves on the core committee of The Chairmaker's Toolbox—an organization seeking to remove systemic barriers to education and community for underrepresented craftspeople. He currently works in tech as a design lead and manager and spends his nights and weekends making useful things at Hunt Projects in Bayview or his little home studio in The Castro.

 

Instagram: @onendstudio

Email: hi@onend.studio 

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Michael began his pottery journey in Buenos Aires, Argentina at a studio called Fango Taller de Alfareria in 2008. He enjoys handbuilding and wheel throwing in addition to using colored clay. He has experience with raku firing, clay making, glaze making, and plaster mold making. Recently he has been building clay fountains. He is the proud father of Cooper the dog!

Instagram: @michaelscottsilver

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Paige Warmington is a San Francisco based artist who received their BA from Stanford University in 2022. While their background is in interdisciplinary art, they developed a love for sculpture and working three-dimensionally. As they create, Paige's art becomes a comforting presence, embracing ambiguity with hope. They treat the act of creating as a means to calm down the noise of life. Moving to the city has caused them to scale down their work (literally), but joining the Clayroom community has allowed them to mix ceramic sculptures with wood in their recent work. Paige is excited to teach both woodworking classes focusing on functional and non-functional projects that still encapsulate their playful art style. 

Matthew Elias

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Hailing from Santa Maria California, Matthew moved to Oakland in 2013 to pursue an MFA in Creative Writing at Mill’s College. After graduating, Matthew never used his degree and instead spent the next 9 years startup hopping till finally burning out and returning to something more meaningful – woodworking. Joining Clayroom SF in the fall of 2022, he has spent the last year learning as much as possible to better his craft. At the moment he is diving deeper into the art of finishing though he will be the first to admit that there does seem to be an endless amount to learn. Above all, he enjoys seeing people learn, create, and be inspired.

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Stephanie hails from New Jersey and received a BA in architecture from University of San Francisco. Stephanie has a great passion for both ceramics and woodworking and loves teaching and working in both mediums. Stephanie creates mystical candelabras and functional sculptures. She’s also been soaking up knowledge of glaze chemistry and glaze making during her time at Clayroom. She enjoys answering those tough glazing and sculpture building questions from her students and helping them get to their creative goals.

Instagram: @stephaniemorin

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Zoe grew up in Chicago and began their relationship with clay at the age of three. They began to closely study ceramics ten years ago, beginning with wheel throwing and eventually transitioning into a more sculptural practice. Zoe received their Bachelor’s degree in Fine Art from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2019 with a focus in Ceramics. Under the close instruction of ceramicist Gerit Grimm, Zoe developed a love for figurative sculpture and organic forms. Their work is playful and surreal, and often involves manipulating the material in uncanny and unexpected ways. Zoe has taught both adults and children for many years and their approach to teaching encourages divergent thinking, embracing mistakes, learning by doing, and celebrating one’s inner child.

Instagram: @zoeejackson

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Andrea first took a ceramics class at age 10 and has been at the wheel ever since. During 2020, she was able to throw full-time and started her brand, slow daze ceramics, which has custom ceramic smokeware at its core. She loves the variety of requests she gets for custom pieces and has evolved both her throwing practice and glazing techniques to create unique and personal designs. These days she happily fills her evenings at Clayroom in San Francisco where she works on personal projects, slow daze pieces, and also teaches Next Steps Wheel and Tableware classes. 

Instagram: @slowdaze.ceramics

San Mateo Instuctors
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Kelsey grew up in Michigan and has been working with clay since high school. She received her BFA from the University of Michigan in ceramics and sculpture and has worked with various materials such as clay, metal, wood, marble, and plaster. She has found a passion for mold making and slip casting and encourages her students to experiment with unique non-ceramic forms and slip design techniques. She strives to push the envelope with her class offerings and incorporate projects that combine various skills and materials.

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Alissa received her BA in Studio Art and Art History from Florida State University. She has apprenticed for artists Sue Tirrell and Julie Guyot, and received fellowships to attend workshops at both Anderson Ranch Arts Center and Penland School of Craft. Originally from southwest Florida, her work has shown both locally and nationally. Alissa completed two terms as a Ceramic Artist in Residence at the Mendocino Art Center in August 2018. She then spent a year teaching and making artwork as a long-term Resident Artist at the Taos Clay Studio in New Mexico. ​After spending five years in New Mexico, Alissa moved to San Francisco, California in 2023.

Instagram: @mittlceramics

Etsy: MittlCeramics

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With an MFA in 3D animation, Bennie transitioned to the world of clay in 2017, bringing a fresh perspective to her ceramic creations. As a passionate artist, Bennie has a deep appreciation for Japanese aesthetics, which includes a focus on simple shapes, unique colors, and textures. Her creative journey led Bennie to craft functional ceramics, specializing in dinnerware and kitchenware, where she continuously explore the endless possibilities of glazes on the simple forms in my work.

Instagram: @be.bennie

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Isabella grew up in Ann Arbor Michigan. She fell in love with clay in 2016 and has been obsessed ever since then. Isabella has a BA concentrating in ceramic sculpture from Alfred University and is currently living and making art in Foster City CA.

Instagram: @isabellacomai

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Ilke is originally from Turkey and has a background in Materials Science. She got hooked on working with clay ever since she took my first class in 2014. Ilke enjoys exploring different techniques to make new pieces, and one of her personal favorites has been marbling different colors of clay. She creates both minimalistic/modern style pots, as well as colorful, cheerful ones.

 

Instagram: @ilkestudio

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For Loraine, working with clay is a form of meditation - a place where she can be still inside and let whatever comes forth pour into the piece she is making. The idea of building a vessel or object whether it comes from form, function, or both is what challenges her. Loraine says clay has taught her patience and the ability to let go of the outcome. Having the opportunity to teach others and relay her passion has been a joy and she looks forward to continuing her journey as an instructor in San Mateo!

Instagram: @lokopots

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David’s life in clay began with an introductory wheel throwing class right before the pandemic. Fast-forward a couple years without clay…after returning home to the Bay Area in 2022 and witnessing firsthand the profoundly positive effects a regular clay practice was having on his wife’s mental health, he restarted a practice of his own and has been captivated ever since. David loves sharing his passion for clay, introducing others to the craft, and is always looking to learn something new about clay and/or fire!

Karen Laing

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Karen’s journey to pottery may have begun in the tech and nonprofit worlds, but her love affair with clay is anything but virtual. Her years of experience in data analysis and project management allow her to bring a meticulous eye and a passion for innovation to her classes. She loves the technical aspects of ceramics, but encourages her students to unleash their creative spirit. 

Instagram:  @klaing_44

Amy Hoang

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Amy is a lifelong learner and explorer. She started her career as an educator, partnering with families and young children to co-create a play-based curriculum. During the pandemic,  Amy picked up ceramics as a hobby. After nearly 10 years in the field of education, Amy took the plunge to go back to school for a degree in Fine Arts.  Amy is currently teaching ceramics throughout the Bay Area while working on finishing her degree. Teaching and experiencing the wonder of clay alongside others is something that brings Amy lots of joy. Outside of getting muddy, she enjoys rock climbing, practicing her latte art, and crochet! 

Michelle Chae

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Michelle is a Korean-American ceramicist with roots in both the bay area and Los Angeles. Her initial foray into ceramics was in 2017 at a local community center, but it wasn't until 2020 when a little thing called Covid allowed her to really explore and delve deeper into the world of pottery. Little passion projects here and there quickly became a full blown studio obsession, which led to her working with restaurants in the bay area and LA for custom pieces of tableware. When she's not covered in clay, she's most likely playing the guitar, watching comedy shows, surfing or obsessing over any cat. You'll probably hear her around the studio saying nonsense like "let me be your Patrick Swayze".

Instagram: @the.alchaemist

Antoinette Ledford

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Antoinette has been joyously journeying through the world of ceramics for 6 years as a student and member in various studios/community colleges in the Bay Area and Chicago. She works full time as a hospital-based occupational therapist, so clay is squished into all of the free time that she can find. Her ceramic art focuses on playing with shape, surface design, and glaze effects while emphasizing function. Her favorite part of pottery is that there will always be something new to learn and explore, and she’s looking forward to introducing others to this incredible medium! 

Instagram: @mud_musings

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