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


Choose: Adult Pottery Classes | Workshops

Winter 2023 Pottery Classes – now open for registration

With a new year comes a new session of pottery classes. Our exciting winter lineup begins in February with a variety of 6 week classes, weekday workshops and weekend wheel workshops. GBAC Pottery program is proud to welcome local potter Barb Brahn to our lineup of instructors. Barb joins us from Goderich and we are thrilled to have her share her passion and knowledge of pottery with us. 

Spring classes are on deck returning in April/May along with instructors Penni Stoddart, Marilyn Barbe and Ruth Anne Merner. Classes will include something for everyone. Our 8 week classes include kids, wheel only and combination hand build and wheel. 

And that’s not all! 

Ruth Anne Merner will once again be offering special weekend workshops. 

Totem techniques – freestanding or hanging for garden or indoors . 

Subtle and Sassy Surfaces – a variety of techniques to create interest with colour and texture 

Watch for these dates and times on The Grand Bend Art Centre website and Facebook page. 


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

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


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.

February 9 to March 16, 2023 | 6 weeks – CHANGE IN START DATE
Thursdays 6 to 9 pm | $225 This class is FULL. New registrations will go on a waitlist
Instructor Judy Gerber

Register HERE: Choose A


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.

February 9 to March 16, 2023 | 6 weeks
Thursdays 9 am to 12 noon | $225 – This class is FULL
. New registrations will go on a waitlist
Instructor Barb Brahn

Register HERE: Choose B


Wheel

Prerequisite Introductory Pottery

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 cases, 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 your own tool kit. They are available to purchase on the registration page.

February 7 to March 14, 2023 | 6 weeks
Tuesdays 2 pm to 5 pm | $225 – 2 seats still available
Instructor Judy Gerber

Register HERE: Choose C


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.

February 8 to March 19, 2023 | 6 weeks
Wednesday 6 to 9 pm | $225 – This class is FULL
Instructor Judy Gerber

Register HERE: Choose D


Children’s Classes

No Classes 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! 

Barb Rahn – Brahn Pottery Studio

Born with an artistic soul , Barb tends to find beauty in almost anything. It’s no surprise that pottery became her favourite creative outlet. Shaping clay into something beautiful and enduring keeps her busy in her home studio in rural Goderich, Ontario. The majority of her work is functional kitchen ware however she makes time to feed her soul exploring new ideas, experimenting with form and functional, learning through trial and error.