"Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them

like an artist..." 

-Pablo Picasso 


Shianté Lewis 

Human Resources Coordinator - (she/her)


Shianté  was born and raised right here in San Francisco, California. Shianté  attended San Francisco State where she studied child and adolescent development. Since she was sixteen years old Shianté  has always had a passion for working with youth. She started out working as a program aid for the Boys and Girls Club. From there Shianté  went on to work as a P.E. teacher at Commodore Sloat before transitioning into a site coordinator for a non-profit called Play Works. After three years with Play Works, Shianté  took a role at the YMCA of San Francisco where she worked as the site coordinator at Harvey Milk for two years before becoming a director of community programs. After working very hard at that role for two years Shianté  had the opportunity to be the Senior Director of Community Programs where she created and developed programs for over 1000+ kids a year. Shianté  has done amazing work to benefit the youth of San Francisco which makes her a perfect match for our team. Shianté  is energetic, responsible, thoughtful, and confident. In her free time Shianté  enjoys hiking, spending time with family and friends, and trying new things. Shianté  also enjoys to go to the pottery studio to make amazing hand build pieces. A fun fact about Shainte is that she can complete a rubics cube in under 3 minutes! 




Crimson Cashman

Assistant Manager / Instructor - (she/her)


Crimson grew up in Huntington Beach, California where she discovered her appreciation for art through her high school’s classes. She then pursued her education at San Francisco State University, studying Fine Art and Holistic Health, developing a love for the overlap of the two which led to the exploration of teaching art. Painting and ceramics are Crimson’s favorite mediums to work in. Surface techniques and brushwork have become her most cherished aspect of ceramics


Todd Pletcher

Facilities Manager / Instructor - (he/him)



Todd Pletcher was born and raised in Goshen, IN. He majored in Ceramics at Goshen College while simultaneously working at Dick Lehman Pottery. In 2010 Todd began teaching at the University of St. Francis and working as a studio potter.  After a few years of teaching Todd transitioned into becoming a full-time studio artist in 2012.  Todd has exhibited nationally in places such as Shaller Gallery, Companion Gallery, Charlie Cummings Gallery, etc.  He was honored as one of Ceramics Monthly’s Emerging Artists of 2015.






Conrad Ng

Production Technician & Teacher - (he/him)



Conrad is currently in the role of Lead Production Technician at Clay By The Bay. While in college, he studied clay and obtained his BA in Studio Art from Humboldt State University. After the recession in 2009, he lost his job up north and returned home to San Francisco. Soon after returning to the city, he discovered Clay By The Bay and volunteered in exchange for studio time. After working in security and not finding much joy in it, he joined the CBTB team full time as a Production Assistant. Recently, Conrad has taken to teaching CBTB Courses and enjoys it immensely.
He is grateful for this opportunity because he gets to help create ad provide a safe haven that nurtures creativity, allowing students and members to grow professionally, artistically and spiritually


Katie Marks

Visiting Artist / Social Media Director



Katie Marks is a ceramic artist located in Portland, OR. Born in San Francisco, she grew up in Seattle, WA. As west coast as you can get! From the age of 3 she has had a passion for clay, and began wheel throwing in 2007. Katie studied under her mentor, ceramic artist Matthew Patton, for 4 years (2012-2016) as his dedicated apprentice and studio assistant. In 2013, Katie started Silver Lining Ceramics out of her studio apartment in Seattle’s Belltown area.


Inspired by the otherworldly-yet-purposeful beauty of nature and the cosmos, Katie’s work plays with color and texture to create joyous forms that are also functional sculptures.  





Ricky Kwong

Ceramics Instructor - (he/him)



Ricky Kwong is a multi-disciplinary artist who has worked in graphic design, fashion design, and art direction. He graduated from UCLA with a degree in Design & Media Arts, and after a long career in front of a computer screen, he decided to take an indefinite break to work with a more tactile medium. Although he grew up drawing and painting, Ricky had never worked with clay before, so he took an intro class at Clay by the Bay for fun. Six years later he’s still at it and created a line of products under the name “Bowl Cut Ceramics” that can be found in stores locally in San Francisco and at boutiques in different states. The name "Bowl Cut" was derived from his childhood hairstyle - a bit funny looking, yet charming - much like his earliest pottery pieces.






Scott Jennings 

Instructor - (he/him)



Scott Jennings is a Bay Area artist who has been working with clay for over 20 years. He has many years of teaching experience at the community college level as well as at private and public studios. Scott has worked as a ceramic lab technician and was the Dinnerware Production Manager at Heath ceramics.  



Kenny Mannion

Studio Support - (they/them)



Kenny Mannion moved from LA to San Francisco to pursue a Civil Engineering degree in 2014. Kenny enjoys supporting people in their creative endeavors. At Clay by the Bay, Kenny provides assistance to people and helps keep the studio clean. They love being a part of the artistic community at Clay by the Bay. 


Kenny has a passion for all arts and crafts, such as sculpting, cosplay, and live theater. They can be seen in choir shows all over the Bay area. 


Nini Hoang

Ceramics Instructor - (she/her)


Nini was born and raised in DFW. At age 11, she started a small scale-business selling ceramic figurines made of Sculpey clay for 50 cents apiece. At age 12, she fired her first cone 6 piece, a hand-built banana phone inspired by Raffi’s 1994 hit, Bananaphone.


Nini graduated from Hendrix College in 2016, earning her BA in Health Science and Visual Arts with a concentration in ceramics. During her time at Hendrix, she managed the ceramics studio. 


Nini primarily makes functional pieces that are inspired by her friends and family. Her love language is gifting pottery. 







Alex Beck

Instructor / Studio Assistant - (he/him)



Alex Beck moved to the Bay Area from Indiana, where he got started in ceramics and wheel throwing in high school. Once in San Francisco, Alex got back into ceramics taking classes at Ruby’s Clay Studio & Clay by the Bay & eventually became a member at CBTB. Most of Alex’s work starts on the wheel and then gets some type of alteration, texture, or surface design. 



Isaiah Phillips

Ceramics Instructor - (he/him)


 Isaiah is an artist of many styles - his musical talents guide his art into a repetitive and rhythmic fashion.  His love for music, skateboarding and disc golf guide him, but he has chosen to pursue artistic practice with the goal of earning an MFA emphasizing in ceramics. 


He graduated from San Francisco State University with a BA in Studio Art, Spring 2021. He served in the Navy Reserves, and worked in a gas station for years to make that happen. He continues his art practice and glaze research for the studio every day.





Nikki Lau

Ceramics Instructor - (she/her)



 Nikki Lau was born and raised in San Francisco, CA. She was a 2010-2011 Alumni of AmeriCorps/Public Allies, resulting in her work shifting to themes of social justice and identity politics. She received her MFA with a concentration in ceramics at Pennsylvania State University in State College, PA in 2016. Penn State awarded her the Bunton Waller Assistantship. She received her BA in Interdisciplinary Visual Arts at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA in 2008.


After graduating from Penn State, Nikki moved to Philadelphia, PA. She joined the all woman’s art collective This Many Boyfriends Club. She’s exhibited her work across the US. She has collaborated and worked with several non-profits in Philly including Spiral Q, The Clay Studio, Sankofa Farms, The Horticulture Center, PAWS, and Fleisher Art Memorial. She loves cooking for her friends and recently finished up a one-year artist residency at The Clay Art Center in Port Chester, New York and a Ceramics Artist-in-Residence at Armory Art Center in West Palm Beach, Florida.




Ian Bassett 

Instructor & Staff/Member Mentor - (he/him)



Ian Basset is visual artist and potter living in the East Bay. He was born in Seoul, Korea and grew up in Connecticut on the Long Island Sound. He received his BFA in Ceramics from the New Hampshire Institute of Art, a Post Baccalaureate in ceramics from Hood College and his MFA in ceramics from Rochester Institute of Technology’s School for American Crafts. He has worked at taught at Diablo Valley College, was the Studio Technician at Art Academy University and the Ceramics Studio Manager at Ox Bow School of Art and Artist Residencies and.  He has pursued a career in education and the arts and currently is an Adjunct Professor at Los Medanos College and teaches at Clay By the Bay.





Dani Van Liefde

Ceramics Instructor - (she/her)


Dani was born and raised in San Clemente, CA. She developed an appreciation for craftmanship at a young age, growing up in a family where painting, sewing, woodworking, stone sculpture and photography were common activities. Dani quickly fell in love with pottery in high school, and has spent the last 12 years developing her craft and style. Living in various parts of the country and world, Dani has absorbed throwing and hand building techniques from many talented ceramicists, and loves teaching others the joys and complexities of clay while creating a fun and inclusive space. Dani enjoys throwing functional pieces that warm up a home, and is always exploring new surface designs and textures.


In her other time, Dani works in public health research studying access to reproductive health services for young people across the state, and she loves hiking with her dog, Mazzi!




Instructor - (she/her)



Shelley started throwing pots in high school and then continued her ceramic education at the University of California Santa Cruz. Taking workshops with many great ceramic Masters continued to inspire her pottery. She always loved being a part of a ceramic community.

Having the opportunity to teach at Clay by the Bay gave her great joy, watching her students develop their skills while falling in love with Clay.