Merritt Ceramics, like its local namesake, Lake Merritt, is a place for gathering. Established as a studio reflecting the diversity of the Oakland experience, MC provides energy and welcome to all who participate. Instructors encourage everyone to sculpt their own unique artistic abilities. Techniques are demonstrated and, importantly, the centering work with clay blends the hours spent into associations and friendships. Merritt Ceramics strives to enhance the culture of art in Oakland's neighborhoods through collaboration with guest artists, community events, and ceramic education.

Meet the Team


Anna Krengel

Anna's passion for art education and ceramic arts led to her vision for Merritt Ceramics - to create an inclusive, accessible art space that is community centered. She finds joy in working collaboratively, and was inspired to start MC after working in the Oakland arts community for a few years. Anna owns AYK Ceramics and has worked as an art educator for the past 6 years. When she is not in the studio, she loves surfing, finding the best Korean BBQ in the Bay Area, and snuggling with her one-eyed cat. She dreams of one day being able to offer free clay classes, and believes art education should be, above all, affordable and accessible. 

Check out her artwork at




Stephen Ruby

Steve has been creating in clay for over a decade! Beginning his journey at City College, Steve studied the medium and worked for many years as a studio assistant, gaining dexterity for a seemingly simple art form. His interests brought him to study other advanced techniques like glaze and mold making, surface decoration, and hand building further increased his versatile understanding of clay. Steve recently returned to the Bay Area and lives and works in Oakland, CA where he is carving out a space for himself in the ceramics world. Finding a balance between teaching, creating, and running Merritt Ceramics allows him to pursue his dream of making a living immersed in this art form, and he is stoked to be a part of the MC team with Anna and Katie to create a creative outlet for the community. 





Katie Swan

Katie has always loved getting muddy, and gets a real kick out of being able to do it for a her job now. Working with clay allows her to feel at peace and grounded, as moving and shaping the medium enables her to slow down and process the world. She loves teaching and finds joy in helping others find their form of expression. At Merritt Ceramics, she feels the most free to be herself. Outside of the studio, you can find her working at Brushstrokes Studio in Berkeley, hiking, practicing yoga, or exploring all the good eats of Oakland. She begins her MFA program at Mills College this fall.

Check out her artwork at

We offer a wide variety of classes. A one-time drop in class is a great way to get your hands dirty, or sign up for a customized 6-week course.

Our space is about bringing folks together. We’ve hosted private parties, baby showers, company team bonding, and even a birthday party for a pug named Poodle.

Meet the team and drop us a line. We want to hear from you!