Clay Classes, Workshops, & Community Studio




Learn a range of skills from wheel throwing to hand building in classes that cater to all levels. If you’ve always wanted to get your hands dirty but never taken the leap, if you’ve been wanting to dust off skills you developed in high school or college classes, or if you just want to make your own coffee mug... this is your chance! 

All classes take place at our community studio space connected to FLM Ceramics. 1320 Commerce St. Suite R, Petaluma, CA. Classes take place once a week for 6 or 8 weeks and require 4 students to run, most have a 10 student capacity. Click the SIGN UP button at the end of each description to sign up and pay.
If you are interested in private lessons, team building or pottery events for a small group in our community studio email




Saturdays from 10:00am - 1:00pm
Dates: Eight weeks beginning Sept. 14, ending Nov. 2.
Ages: 17+up
Instructor: Claire Thibodeau
Fee: $280
Welcome to the world of clay!!! Each week you will learn and build on techniques for working with clay that incorporate the fundamentals of studio practices. Pinching, slab and coil building, wheel throwing, and more will be just a few of the construction techniques we will cover. Every class will begin with a hand-building or wheel throwing demonstration or surface embellishment technique sure to bring voice to your work. Students will learn the surface decoration using sgraffito, mishima, carving, and a host of other approaches. This class is hands on and great for students who want to try a little bit of everything! Come prepared to get dirty and make work. All 8 week classes come with 8 hours of free studio time outside of class so you can practice what you are learning. More details about all of the logistics in the description at check out!


wheel throwing

Mondays from 9:30am - 12:30pm
Dates: Eight weeks beginning September 16, ending November 4.
Ages: 17+up
Instructor: Turiya Gross
Fee: $280
Expand on the basic skills necessary to make wheel-thrown pottery. In this class students learn step by step how to throw successfully from start to finish. Each class will begin with a demonstration on the wheel highlighting proper body mechanics, throwing techniques, and overcoming common obstacles. As students practice, they will receive one-on-one guidance and correction at the wheel. We will discuss methods for trimming, throwing, basic surface techniques, and glazing! This class is hands on and perfect for anyone who has little to no past experience in pottery or someone looking to get back into clay after some time away. 8 week classes come with 8 hours of free studio time outside of class so you can practice what you are learning. Come prepared to get dirty and make work! More details about all of the logistics in the description at check out!


Forrest Lesch-Middelton
Forrest owns and operates FLM Ceramics and Tile, making handmade pottery and tile in Petaluma, CA. He has a B.F.A. from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University and an M.F.A. in ceramics from Utah State University. He has taught at Sonoma State University, Diablo Valley College, and Santa Rosa Junior College. He also lectures and teaches workshops at universities and art centers across the country.
In 2014 Forrest was named the Ceramic Artist of the Year by Ceramics Monthly, and in 2017 he was a McKnight Fellow at the Northern Clay Center in Minneapolis, MN.
In 2018 Forrest founded Petaluma Pottery!

Turiya Gross
Turiya Gross was educated and trained under the apprenticeship of Annie Schliffer at the Rochester Folk Art Guild in NY from 2002-2004 with a three year stint in Fashion school in NYC at Parsons The New School of Design and returned to The Rochester Folk Art Guild from 2010-2017 where she worked under the Guild’s community studio where she became fluid with wheel work and learned how to fire gas and wood kilns.
Her work is identified by the blue and white brushwork decoration that comes from a long line of Folk Art decoration made at the Guild, passed on to her by a Turkish man who taught her different Traditional folk patterns.
Most recently, she attended Sonoma Community Center in CA where she taught workshops and was the short term artist resident for fall of 2018 making, over 100 pots for the center’s yearly fundraiser. In 2018, she also assisted a three week residency in Oaxaca, Mexico doing a personal investigation on different clay communities.

Shannon Edwards
Shannon Edwards graduated from Sonoma State University with her BFA emphasis in ceramics. She currently works as a teacher, mentor, and Art Studio Coordinator in Sonoma County.


Claire Thibodeau
Claire Thibodeau received her BFA from Alfred University with a concentration in Ceramics in 2015. Her work has been exhibited at The Society for Contemporary Craft, Clay Penn, Taos Clay Studio, and Objective Clay. In 2018, she completed a residency at the Sonoma Community Center. She currently lives and has a studio in Petaluma, CA. She teaches at Petaluma Pottery and the Sonoma Community Center.

Emily Grant
Emily Grant is a ceramicist originally from Sacramento, CA, where her love for clay began in high school. In 2006 she attended ceramics classes at Cabrillo College, in Santa Cruz, CA, where she began creating functional wheel thrown forms. After graduating from Humboldt State University with a BA in Ceramics and Printmaking, Emily began teaching kids classes at Portland Pottery, in Portland, ME, where she fell in love with teaching clay! In her spare time, Emily is an apprentice at Forrest Lesch-Middelton Ceramics. She also enjoys throwing pots, playing music, and going on hikes in the redwoods.

Françoise LeClerc
Françoise LeClerc is a sculptor and potter working with ceramics and found objects. Her functional pottery is characterized by hearty, utilitarian forms and simple white glaze which suggest a link to a pragmatic agrarian past. The ware often incorporates 19th-century etchings of domestic animals, acknowledging their contributions to our agricultural heritage.
LeClerc’s sculptural work often depicts horses, and evokes themes of emergence and transformation, sensitivity and trust. The reclaimed tool boxes and rusty bins (into which she mounts her sculptures) provide a tangible and metaphoric connection to the past. Together, they suggest a searching; a desire to reconstitute and understand experiences and histories that were not adequately explained. She lives in San Francisco and Sonoma County, California. |