Artist Biographies
The Painted Pot has many talented artists who teach and are involved with the studio. This page showcase some of their work and tell a little bit about them.
Lisa Mendoza
In 1998, I gave up a successful career in televison as a video editor and created The Painted Pot. My goals to explore, create my pottery, create a healthier lifestyle and see more sun, lead me to open two studios in Carroll Gardens and Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. I discovered my passion for clay in college and participated in several shows on campus. Graduating in 1987 with a B.A. in Communictaions from Hofstra University, I continued with my clay eduation at various schools in NYC while working in television. At the Painted Pot, I manage the studio along with instructor, Drew Montgomery, and together we provide a clean, student friendly, as well as a professional working pottery studio encouraging creativity. With my daughters by my side, I am fortunate to be doing what I love.
Drew Montgomery (view website)
Born in 1957, Drew was raised in Brooklyn and took pottery classes as a teenager at Greenwich House Pottery. In 1975 after graduating Brooklyn Friends School, he attended SUNY New Paltz majoring in mathematics and field biology. It was not until 1993 that he returned Greenwich House Pottery and working with clay. In the 19 years between, he worked for the Forestry Dept of Vermont, cooked in several restaurants, was a carpenter/foreman for a general contractor in NYC, a landscaper on Long Island, a manager at Paragon Sporting Goods in the camping department and a telecommunications/ computer consultant. Upon taking a class in 1993, he was totally absorbed by clay again and became a studio assistant for 5 yrs. Computers, slowly gave way to clay, replacing it completely by 1999. Drew teaches and produces pottery as a full time profession.
Biata Roytburd (view website)
Biata Roytburd has been living and producing ceramics in Brooklyn for five years. Because of her formal training in illustration and sculpture Biata's work inhabits a great combination of wheel thrown objects, form, figure, and concept. Biata has taught Ceramic Illustration at Manhattanville College, assisted workshops at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, and participated in sculpture workshops at the Salzburg International Summer Academy of Fine Arts. Today she continues to teach and produce her work in Brooklyn. Biata's Etsy Profile
Shannon Irvin
Shannon Irvin was born and raised in South Carolina where she attended Clemson University and received a BFA in Ceramics in 2012. She began her teaching career in Maine, where she taught children’s ceramics before moving to Manhattan. Shannon’s work is largely sculptural. She uses both thrown and hand built forms to create interactive interpretations of the built environment and the urban landscape around her. Much of her inspiration comes from childhood memories, cultural trends, and architecture. Today, she is living her dream of teaching and making work in NYC.
Julie Knight
Julie Knight is a graduate of the Ringling College of Art and Design, where she majored in printmaking. She has been living and working in the art world of Manhattan for the past 15 years. For the last decade, Julie has been focusing exclusively on clay at the Greenwich House Pottery in New York City. Knight was awarded the Anna Soik Award for Ceramics in 1999 and was the recipient of the 2009 Mary Blakeley Fellowship at the Haystack School of Crafts in Deer Isle Maine. The focus of Julie's pottery is on the overall form, (specifically the relationship between the foot and the rim), and unique surface decoration. Julie's goal as a potter is to create work that is both functional and beautifully tactile.
Avra Messé
Avra Messé is currently working as a studio artist. She received her M.F.A. from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University and her B.F.A. from the Kansas City Art Institute. She has taught at various institutions throughout her career, including Princeton, SUNY New Paltz and the 92nd Street Y. Her ceramic sculptures involve mold-making, cast parts, articulated movement and multiple firings. Avra has exhibited her work across the country including the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh, The Clay Studio in Philadelphia and The Jane Hartsook Gallery in New York City. She currently resides in Brooklyn.
Melissa Stanley
Melissa Stanley was born and raised in England and spent many years traveling before settling down in New York. In 1997 she began working and studying ceramics at Earthworks Pottery studio on the Upper East Side. During her years at Earthworks she explored many different firing techniques and surface decorations including, wood firing, raku and majolica. She currently makes and exhibits her work at Greenwich House Pottery in the west village where she has been a member since 2007. She has a BA in Ceramics from Empire State College NY. Blog:

Jaleh Fazel
Working with clay for decades has made me believe in "Dreams." Since it was my dream to become a potter at the age of ten when I saw a potter throwing on the wheel for the first time. To reach that dream it took many years of studying, attending workshops and symposiums, traveling and researching firing techniques and different types of kilns as well as visiting many ceramic studios- which still continues - in order to be able to share what I have learned through the years.

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