"Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them
like an artist..."
Owner & President - (she/they)
Iris' extensive work experience in business development, sales and marketing, and finance strategy for small business entrepreneurs has provided her with the ability to develop Clay by the Bay into the largest Ceramic Arts Education Facility on the West Coast. Iris believes strongly in the power of healing through clay and hoped her and her team could offer such a space. She saw that art programs were being under-prioritized and dreamed of bringing access to art programs for all. Starting small she listened to what the community wanted and needed and adjusted as necessary. Clay By The Bay strives to be the place where you put down your daily to-do’s and create.
Owner & Vice President - (he/they)
After graduating from Eckerd College in 2013, Conor moved back to where he grew up in Salem, MA where he began working as a Paraprofessional in a local elementary school and teaching youth ceramics classes at The Clay School in Lynn, MA. Conor moved to San Francisco in July 2014 and started a series of odd jobs as a Carpenter’s Apprentice, Bee Keeper, and Studio Assistant at The Sharon Arts Studio through the SF Parks and Rec Department. In August of 2015, Conor became a Studio Assistant at Clay By The Bay Pottery Studios.
Conor led the way as Clay By The Bay grew from a pottery studio that offered 6 classes a week and housed 25 members to becoming a full-time Ceramic School, reaching over 1200 students every 6 weeks and housing over 300 members.
Conor’s work is mostly hand built, soft slab forms that mimic the functional, but are often quite impractical when put to use. His lack of concern for the function of a piece provides room for the whimsical and gestural shapes that emerge as he interacts with the clay. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling, hiking, scuba diving, comedy, TV & Films, and pop-culture.
Owner & Team Building Coordinator - (she/her)
Born and raised in San Francisco, Eleanor enjoys many art mediums: sketching, weaving, spinning, quilting, embroidery, and painting among them. Inspired by the many talented artists of CBTB, she is exploring ways to express what she sees.
Eleanor enjoys supporting the creative community at Clay By The Bay. She has traveled through much of Europe and loves vividly-colored Italian and Portuguese Pottery and Tiles. Having taken many art classes in school, and a with classics degree from UCLA, she tries to decorate with an Italian aesthetic and script using underglazes. She is quite proud of the sundial she created for her garden which has the correct sun angles calculated for our latitude.
Educational Director & Advanced Instructor - (she/they)
Didem Mert was born and raised in Cincinnati, OH. She received her BFA (ceramics) from Northern Kentucky University in 2014 and her MFA (ceramics) from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania in 2017. Mert has exhibited nationally in places such as The Clay Studio, Companion Gallery, Charlie Cummings Gallery, AKAR, The Erie Art Museum, and over forty other venues. Her work was published in Ceramics Monthly’s 2014 Undergraduate Showcase. She was awarded a first prize grant through the Three Arts Foundation in 2014. She was featured on the cover of Pottery Making Illustrated’s January/February 2016 issue. Mert was included on C File’s list of 15 Potters to Watch in 2016. She was also featured on Architectural Digest’s 10 Ceramic Artists Giving Pottery A Modern Update. Mert led a residency at Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts during the summer of 2017. She was honored as one of Ceramics Monthly’s Emerging Artists of 2018. Mert was a summer resident at the Archie Bray Foundation in 2018.
Facilities Development Director & Advanced Instructor
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.
Operations Manager & Advanced Instructor - (she/her)
Lindsay Langsdale was born in Texas and spent much of her childhood and adult years traveling and moving across the country with her military family. Lindsay first began taking clay classes at City College, then found Clay By The Bay, began taking classes, then joined our Membership program. She totally wowed the staff here and was hired to assist and teach classes in 2016. Lindsay has been working in clay for six years. Lindsay’s whimsical and highly textured work is inspired by her childhood spending time with her grandmother in central Pennsylvania learning how to crochet and garden.
Lead Production Technician - (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 6-Week Courses and Team Building Events and enjoys it immensely.
He is grateful for this opportunity because he gets to help create and provide a safe haven that nurtures creativity, allowing our students and members grow professionally, artistically, and spiritually.
He is still working on building a pottery portfolio and is not much inclined for social media. Conrad believes that clay is magic and has the power to heal.
Instructor & Staff/Member Mentor - (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.
Instructor & Staff/Member Mentor - (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 has continued to inspire her pottery. She has always loved being a part of a ceramic community.
Having the opportunity to teach at Clay by the Bay has given her great joy, watching her students develop their skills while falling in love with Clay.
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.
Assistant Production Technician & Instructor - (she/her)
Julia began doing ceramics about 4 years ago while attending Santa Barbara City College, where she received a degree in Literature. She is currently in her final year at San Francisco State University studying Fine Arts with a concentration in ceramics. Her current work is mainly thrown and altered forms through which she revolves around the themes of nurture and connectivity. Her other passion lies in the exploration of different materials that can be used in ceramics, which was influenced by the materials work she does at Clay By The Bay. She has recently begun teaching 6-Week Classes and Team Events, she hopes to encourage students to develop a life long passion for ceramics, just as she has.
Studio Assistant - (they/them)
Tanya Mannion moved from LA to San Francisco to pursue a Civil Engineering degree in 2014. Tanya enjoys supporting people in their creative endeavors. At Clay by the Bay, Tanya provides assistance to people and helps keep the studio clean. They love being a part of the artistic community at Clay by the Bay.
Tanya 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.
Studio Assistant - (she/her)
Grace is a recent graduate from San Francisco state university and has been working with clay for the past 5 years. She focuses mostly on utilitarian forms, thrown and hand built, experimenting with negative and positive space both in form and in how they are glazed. The simplicity and functionality of her pieces encourage everyday use.
Director of Sales and Marketing - (she/her)
Christine is a bay area native with over a decade of experience creating video, design, written, and marketing content for a wide variety of industries including videogames, health food e-commerce, and now pottery. She discovered ceramics at Clay By The Bay in mid 2018 by suggestion of a friend and ended up falling for the craft, spending every weekend and spare moment to immerse herself in mastering the craft. She specializes in wafer-thin wheelthrown porcelain ware, carved and painted intricately with outdoor scenery and rock-climbing themes.
In late 2019, Christine left her career as a digital marketer to pursue ceramics full-time. She's now joined our crew at CBTB and merged passions, creating to her heart's content and building upon a business she's fallen in love with.