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

Welcome to the information and online registration for Pottery Classes for our May/June and March/April Sessions.

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

Bios of our Instructors Ruth Anne | Judy

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Please read our Cancellation and Refund Policy before registering

Read our refund and cancellation policy

Adult Pottery Classes

Colour is Key

Explore and experiment with many predictable colour techniques for both greenware and bisque fired stages of clay work. Use stains, coloured slips, resists, stencils, your own underglaze transfer designs and oh yes – glazes.

Everyone will create hand-built pieces according to their skills and choices. Ruth Anne will demonstrate some new hand-building techniques suitable to both beginners and more advanced potters. Ruth Anne spends the winter at an exciting clay studio in Arizona where new techniques are constantly happening, and she is eager to share them giving even the experienced more choices.

Everyone has creativity, so emphasis is always placed on bringing out your own ideas while learning the techniques from the instructor. Your work will be ‘One of a Kind’.

Saturday April 13th, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. & Monday April 22nd, 5:30 to 9 p.m. | $150
Fee includes clay to finish the project, finishing, glazing and firing. Tools for the projects will be available.
Max 8 participants
Instructor: Ruth Anne Merner

Register HERE: Choose F:

Pottery on the Wheel – All Levels

We will focus on throwing tall even cylinders, throwing a variety of shapes and trimming our pots for a nice finish in this Open Wheel class.

Bring your ideas and any skill set you would like to improve.

From beginner to second level or even the more experienced potter, this is an opportunity to get on the wheel.

Please bring an apron, towel, margarine container with lid.
Tool kit (available to purchase on registration page)

$250 | 6 weeks | 2:00 to 5:00
Wednesdays – May 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 & June 5, 2024
Fee includes clay to finish the project, finishing, glazing and firing.
Max 6 participants
Instructor: Judy Gerber

Register HERE: Choose H

Introductory Pottery Classes

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 mechanics and centering 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.
Tool kit (available to purchase on registration page)

$275 | 6 weeks | 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Wednesdays – May 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 & June 5, 2024
Fee includes clay to finish the project, finishing, glazing and firing.
Max 6 participants
Instructor: Judy Gerber

Register HERE: Choose G This class is full. If you register, you will be put on a wait list.

Read our refund and cancellation policy

We Have a Lot Going on at the Grand Bend Art Centre

Some Pots Made by Intermediate Wheel Students – First Session

Cancellation and Refund Policy: All cancellation requests must come by email to

We will refund the full amount of registration if a cancellation request is received by email to: at least one week prior to the class start date.

If cancellation is received to the week before the start date (but not on the start date), we will refund 50% of the payment received.

• If cancellation is ON or AFTER the start date of the class, we will NOT refund any amount.

Your seat is not held after the week before class start if payment has not been received.

The Grand Bend Art Centre retains the right to cancel classes up to the start date for the class. This is usually due to not filling the seats for the class or last minute cancellations. Class will be cancelled if we cannot fill a minimum of 5 of 6 seats. We appreciate notification if you have registered for a class but decide you are not going to take it. Thank you for your understanding.

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!