It’s a new endeavour, but we are growing and learning


Choose: Adult Pottery Classes | Children’s Pottery Classes | Workshops


Comments | We welcome comments on our pottery studio and classes through our contact form

Bios of our Instructors | Ruth Anne | Judy | Penni | Marilyn


Adult Pottery Classes

Introductory To Pottery

Experience the magic of clay using the pottery wheel and learn basic hand-building techniques. This course is designed for beginners and those wishing to continue learning the mechanics and centering of clay. You will learn how to prepare your clay for the wheel, centering, throwing, hand-building and pinch pots. When completed you will have learned the basic techniques, tools and process of pottery making.

Please bring an apron, towel, margarine container with lid.

You will need a tool kit. They are available to purchase on the registration page.

September 15 to October 20, 2022 | 6 weeks
Thursdays 6 to 9 pm | $225
Instructor Judy Gerber

This Class is Full – If you register you will be put on a waiting list.


We have changed this class to INTRODUCTORY– 6 weeks – one space left

Experience the magic of clay using the pottery wheel and learn basic hand-building techniques. This course is designed for beginners and those wishing to continue learning the mechanics and centering of clay. You will learn how to prepare your clay for the wheel, centering, throwing, hand-building and pinch pots. When completed you will have learned the basic techniques, tools and process of pottery making.

Please bring an apron, towel, margarine container with lid

You will need a tool kit. They are available to purchase on the registration page.

September 13 to October 18, 2022 | 6 weeks
Tuesdays 6 to 9 pm | $225
Instructor Judy Gerber

Register HERE: This Class is Full – If you register you will be put on a waiting list.


Hand-Building & Wheel Combo

Clay is a medium that presents certain challenges. Once you become familiar with the basics you can build that knowledge into a rewarding experience. No matter how skills you become with clay there is always a time to return to the basics to renew the creative spirit. Experiment with the foundations of slabs, coils and pinch pots leading to a better understanding of working on the potter’s wheel.

Please bring an apron, towel, margarine container with lid

You will need a tool kit. They are available to purchase on the registration page.

LEVEL 1 – September 8 to October 27, 2022 | 8 weeks
Thursdays 9 am to noon | $300
Instructor Marilyn Barbe

Register HERE: Choose D. This Class is Full – If you register you will be put on a waiting list.

LEVEL 2 – September 8 to October 27, 2022 | 8 weeks
Thursdays 1 to 4 pm | $300
Instructor Marilyn Barbe

Prerequisite for Level 2: Introductory Pottery or Level 1 Combo

Register HERE: This class has been cancelled


Wheel 2 – 8 weeks

This class continues to build on your wheel throwing skills and techniques (throwing bowl and cylinder forms, analyzing, finishing and glazing) and expand wheel methods and surface decoration for the continuing student. The course will include wedging, centering clay, throwing a variety of bowl and cylinder forms such as cups and vases, finishing and glazing. This class provides substantial individual attention to students and enables students to evolve at their own level and improve their skills in clay.

Please bring an apron, towel, margarine container with lid

You will need a tool kit. They are available to purchase on the registration page.

September 14 to November 2, 2022 | 8 weeks
Wednesdays 2 to 4:30 pm | $275
Instructor Penni Stoddart

Prerequisite for Wheel 2: Introductory Pottery, Wheel 1, Open Wheel or Level 1 Combo

Register HERE: 1 Seat available


Children’s Pottery Classes

We are excited to have kids return to the pottery studio.
For children ages 6 to 12

Children will have fun learning the basic hand-building skills and exploring sculpting and surface decoration. A great mix of functional and sculptural work where they really experience the whole process of designing and creating. We will also get on the wheel and learn basic throwing techniques at least 3 or 4 times during the 8 week course.

Children will be able to decorate and glaze their pieces so that they have finished functional art to take home.

Once registered you will be emailed a required form specific to the Grand Bend Art Centre having children on the premise. This form must be filled out and returned before the classes start.

September 14 to November 2, 2022 | 8 weeks
Wednesdays 5:30 to 7:30 pm | $190
Instructor Penni Stoddart

Register HERE: This Class is Full, pending payments – If you register you will be put on a waiting list.


Workshops

No workshops scheduled at this time

 



Some Pots Made by Intermediate Wheel Students – First Session


Instructor Bios

Ruth Anne Merner

I am so fortunate to have grown up in a family where the arts and travel were very much encouraged. My continuing love of travel started very young, and exposure to the world certainly is an inspiration for interest in art and architecture–which are still my passions today.

Following high school at South Huron I earned an Honours degree in Fine Art at the University of Toronto and then went on to a career in teaching art in London, Ontario which continued for 32 years. During those years I made sure that students had many opportunities to see great works of art and architecture from Montreal to Chicago and even Italy. Many of my students have gone on to be professional artists, designers and architects, and it is a special thrill when they get in touch. Early in my art career I worked as a weaver and fibre sculptor and had work exhibited at the LRAG, in Stratford, and in Yorkville in Toronto. Since I retired I can’t find enough time to do all the artistic things that I want to do which includes teaching workshops to all ages in a wide variety of media and techniques. I love to teach and enjoy the creative atmosphere of sharing new ideas; everyone has creativity which is such a joy to encourage and to share the excitement of the new artist.

In addition to fibre and glass and jewelry, working 3 dimensionally with clay has always been a fascination but has now grown to a full time preoccupation. Its creative possibilities are endless. You could explore the multitude of techniques for creating, firing, and glazing forever.  When I discovered the wonderful clay studio at the Mesa Arts Studio in 2013 another door was opened to an amazing and energetic world of learning and sharing.  Artists from all over the continent migrate to the ‘MAC’ (Mesa Arts Center) regularly to take advantage of this great facility and in so doing this remarkable art community has grown. This creative sharing atmosphere is an inspiration and enduring friendships are inevitable.  

Even though working together is not possible at this challenging time, we are still sharing, and I am taking the opportunity to continue exploring clay possibilities in as many ways as I can.  Therefore you will see my experiments with different clay bodies, various techniques for building and for firing as well as experiments for finished surfaces. I enjoy creating functional things that are unique, but it is even more satisfying to create sculptural pieces that have a message of their own.

Judy Gerber

My love of pottery began 20+ years ago with classes at Baden Creek Pottery. Making, creating and immersing myself in clay became a sense of meditation and a pause from my demanding schedule of raising our family. It was not long before I knew my future goal would include having a studio of my own.

Sunnyridge Studio became a reality when we found our new home along the shores of Lake Huron. It provides the perfect backdrop and inspiration for creating and exploring with clay.

My hiatus while awaiting and recovering from my liver transplant found me with idle time for sketching, searching and planning all the possibilities of clay for my renewed return to the studio.

My education and passion for pottery progressed through many private pottery classes, evening classes and workshops. I had the pleasure of learning from talented passionate potters who I am proud to call friends. I continued learning during Covid with online learning and zoom classes exploring surface decorating, wax resist techniques, glaze recipes and an independent study working on form. I am currently working with ^10 clay and developing glazes for gas firings.

It has been an honour to assist the Grand Bend Art Centre in building and developing a pottery program and studio. I am most proud of creating The Spring Tulip project in 2021. It connected our community through the tough times of Covid. Volunteer residents, both young and old, participated in hand building and painting 1500 tulips in celebration of Paint Ontario’s 25th Anniversary.

I most enjoy experimenting with form and creating functional wares that weave their way through my daily life connecting and grounding me whether it be a favourite mug to start the day, an oatmeal bowl to nourish me, a vase filled with flowers adorning my table or serving bowls to share a meal with family and friends.

Penni Stoddart

My first encounter with clay and pottery was at Zion Heights Junior High school in Toronto when I was in grade 7 (I’m old so this is going back to the late 1970’s!). I took an after school class that was mostly hand building but we also got to have a go on a stand up potter’s wheel. Nothing fancy, no finishing to the pot or trimming but we did get to throw and then glaze. I still have one of my first pots that I made that year way back when.

I have been actively working in clay since 1995 after taking a beginners pottery class with the London Potters Guild (LPG) and then becoming an active member of the LPG. In the summer of 2001, I set up a 19th century pottery at Fanshawe Pioneer Village in London Ontario and expanded the project each year until 2006.

What started as a hobby has quickly become a business and expanded to include historically researched handmade reproduction pottery, private lessons, teaching for the LPG and single day workshops, classes and parties offered to schools, senior centres, outside groups (like scouts or guides) and the general public.

In the summer of 2008 I returned to the hobby of living history after nearly a decade away from it. Specifically my children and I are re-enacting the War of 1812 although sometimes going to different period re-enactment events. After having a 19th century pottery at Fanshawe Village I have now incorporated my pottery into the hobby of living history and sell my pots at events as a merchant or sutler.

Marilyn Barbe

Marilyn, with her husband Gerry, own Ailsa Craig Village Pottery. Marilyn fell in love with the potters wheel in 1976 when she took her first pottery course at Fanshawe College in London. Her first studio was in the basement of their home. In 1996 she had enough of working in the small, dark space and decided to build a studio on the property. A decision that changed her life.In this age where technology rules the day, Marilyn finds great comfort in going back to the basics— creating with clay and sharing that joy with others.

Marilyn has studied working in clay at Beal Tech, the Haliburton School of Arts, The Odyssey Centre in North Carolina, has taken numerous workshops and attended many conferences. She loves going to NCECA the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts conferences   

ences which travel from city to city all across the USA. These conferences are a great way to “recharge the batteries” because there is just so much to see and do: workshops, galleries, video screenings, lectures and shopping, shopping, shopping!

Perhaps the highlight of Marilyn’s pottery life was taking a workshop with Warren McKenzie in 2000. That was during a trip to New Zealand when a friend took her to a pottery shop and the owner said there was going to be a workshop with this distinguished potter that weekend. Plans were changed and Marilyn was fortunate enough to take a workshop with the father of North American pottery, in New Zealand of all places!