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About Us > Our Staff

Our Staff

  Michael Shigeru Sbicca, Studio Technician, Studio Manager, Xiem Instructor
A Pasadena native with a background in Business and Hospitality, Michael’s passion for all things Tiki led him to begin exploring ceramics by joining a class at Xiem in 2011. Michael has received all his ceramic training at Xiem. He began assisting then Studio Tech Jose Salinas in June 2015 and took over as Studio Manager and Lab Tech when Jose left Xiem in February of 2016. He currently manages the glaze firing of our 3 gas kilns and mixes all our studio glazes. In his own practice, Michael uses stoneware and porcelain, and incorporates a variety of techniques to decorate his work, which ranges from Tikis to tea bowls. Michael is also part of our instruction team and his work can be found on-line and at sales throughout California.
Instagram @junglemodernceramics, @shigerusbiccaceramics
  Lourdes Jimenez, Studio Technician, Xiem Instructor
Lourdes Jiménez joined Xiem in 2016. She received her BA and MA from California State University, Northridge and her MFA from Florida State University in 2015. Her ceramic work revolves around the notions of spreading and growing, of movement and wandering; it is the accumulation of narratives that experiences leave behind through the nostalgia of everyday objects and changing environments. It has been shown nationally - in California, Florida and Georgia. Lourdes currently manages all our bisque and lustre firing and joined our instructional team in 2016.
Instagram @lourdesceramics
  Nancy Knudson Koon, Front Desk
Longtime Xiem Studio Member and Excel Wizard, Nancy joined our staff in 2014. While managing the Front Desk two days a week, Nancy works full tilt as Ceramic Consultant, Firing-Inch Tracker, Stock Taker and Product Tester. Catch her legendary laugh when you visit Xiem Gallery and Store on Tuesdays and Thursdays. “I spent my working years being a bookkeeper, in and out of the entertainment industry. I really wanted to be a potter. I love clay. I've even tried to give it up, three times, but I can''s what makes me whole! I've been back at it for good since 1994.”
  Suzette Munnik, Director
Suzette received her education in ceramics and course design in Johannesburg, South Africa (ND Ceramic Art &Design - 1970, NHD Ceramic Art & Design - 1981, NHD Tertiary Didactics- 1983) where she taught Studio Ceramics and Ceramic History at the graduate and undergraduate level, holding various academic positions between 1977 and 2003, including heading the Ceramics Department at the Technikon Witwatersrand (now the University of Johannesburg). While maintaining her own studio practice, she developed innovative ceramic history courses and study tours (to China, Africa and the United Kingdom) providing a much-needed international perspective for South African potters. Suzette has exhibited in South Africa and the United Kingdom. Her ceramic works are found in both public and private collections. Suzette joined Xiem in August 2004 as Education Director and was adjunct professor of Ceramics at Xiem for Occidental College (2004 -2011). She manages the membership program and is responsible for all our education programs. In 2014 her role expanded to encompass directing all aspects of the center, including Xiem Gallery and Retail Store.
Instagram @xiem_clay_center
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