About Our Team
Sarah Steininger Leroux (Owner, Creative Director) (she/her): Saltstone Ceramics was founded by Sarah in a converted garage in 2015. Sarah has a bachelor’s of arts degree in ceramics and sculpture from Goshen College in Goshen, Indiana, and a masters of fine arts degree in organizational leadership from Seattle University in Seattle, Washington. Sarah has a varied background in art and nonprofit work – working in two production ceramic studios, as an art center teacher, starting a small clothing design company, collaborating on a small arts fundraising organization, and working as a manager and director at several Seattle-area nonprofits for over fifteen years.
Steve Leroux (Co-owner, Operations) (he/him): Steve has a background in furniture design, software engineering, and entrepreneurship. Steve can occasionally be seen working in the gallery, but mostly you’ll find him behind the scenes, managing the website and running our annual Mug Madness tournament.
Coco Spadoni (Instructor, Programming Coordinator) (they/them): Coco is constantly dreaming of shapes and how to teach clay in ways that are friendly and approachable. Their current style gives equal love to hand-building and the wheel. Most days you will find them in gray coveralls guiding the clay on the wheel. They work at Saltstone Ceramics as lead educator, teaching private lessons and workshops. Outside of work they consume teen drama shows, find any excuse to eat take out, and nourish their creative spirit.
Ashley Campbell (Instructor, Gallery Coordinator) (she/her): Ashley is a very small batch ceramic artist and the human behind The Beige Motel. She focuses mostly on hand-built wares — inspired by abstract shapes, colorful motifs and architecture. She works as the gallery representative at Saltstone Ceramics and occasionally teaches! When she is not eating & breathing ceramics, you can find her hanging with her two cats, pony & meatball, cooking vegetarian feasts and watching bad reality tv.
Grace Martinez (Instructor, Gallery, Marketing Associate) (she/her): Grace is a ceramicist based in Seattle, Washington. She is the creator of GEM Ceramics, a small batch studio specializing in soft and curvy vessels. In addition to teaching classes from time to time, Grace works at Saltstone as the graphic designer and marketing assistant. Grace spends most of her time making messes, laughing at her own jokes, and playing board games with her roommates.
Holly Roccaforte (Studio Technician) (she/her): H olly is a ceramic artist from Arizona who has been working with clay for the last 10 years. She graduated with her BFA in ceramics from Northern Arizona University in 2018 and moved to Seattle shortly after. Inspired by nature and imagination, her functional pottery is altered and sculpted into whimsical otherworldly objects.
Jessica Cheng (Instructor) (she/her): Jessica grew up in rural Arkansas and studied Mechanical Engineering in southern California before pursuing her career in the arts. She first worked with clay in 2014 and has completed work study and residencies at the Penland School of Craft, Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts, and the Archie Bray Foundation. She currently lives in Seattle with her partner and her cat.
Anika Major (Instructor) (she/her): Anika is a Texas-born artist living in Seattle, WA. She received her BFA in 2018 from the University of North Texas in Ceramics and Painting and has been working with clay for the last 7 years. She currently teaches at Saltstone Ceramics, Moshier Community Arts Center, and is the studio manager at Rat City Studios. Her functional forms are thrown, handbuilt, and altered out of round to imitate the lumpiness of the human body. The painterly, watercolor-like surfaces draw upon her roots in oil painting, and she explores themes of domestic comfort, femininity, and eroticism within the narrative figures in her pottery.
Siera Matsuo (Instructor) (she/her): A fourth-generation Japanese-Filipina from Hawai'i, Siera moved to Seattle after college to work in the biotech industry. While her degree is in microbiology, she always had a penchant for art. In 2018 she went on a solo backpacking trip to Japan. During her travels, she became enamored with the beautiful ceramic vessels that permeate every aspect of Japanese culture. After returning to Seattle she took the plunge and left the lab for the studio. Her work is an exploration and celebration of her multi-cultural heritage.
Lily Gray (Instructor) (she/her/they/them): Lily grew up in Eastern Washington, in a mixed culture family, whose backyard was sagebrush and a nuclear research facility. As first generation Hong Kong Chinese American, her work is an exploration of multiculturalism, diaspora, and fluidity of identity. She has over 8 years of professional teaching experience in ceramics and glass, privately and in studios, as well as managing a glass studio. This spring, she received her BA in Studio Art from Western Washington University. As a practicing artist, she has exhibited in group shows across the states at Applied Contemporary, locally, and student exhibitions.