OUR STUDIO

Good Dirt LA is an intimate and social pottery studio in the Del Rey neighborhood of Los Angeles. In addition to mixed levels classes for adults and kids, we offer workshops with ceramic artists, one-time introductory classes, private lessons, and more! Our studio philosophy centers on building a welcoming creative community where each person is inspired and empowered to explore and learn. At Good Dirt LA, we will remind you to stay in the moment, get in touch with your inner child, and focus on the overall creative experience rather than the end results. You may even find the whole process to be quite therapeutic as you create your personal work of art!
If you’re looking for a special gift, check out our shop showcasing unique ceramic pieces made by our instructors, members, and local LA ceramic artists. We also offer Gift Cards, which you can purchase online in any amount.
LINA ALVAREZ, Owner & Instructor
Lina was drawn to art at an early age. Before moving to Los Angeles in 2006, she graduated from the University of Georgia, where she taught art to children at Lyndon House Arts Center and earned her BA in Studio Art with a concentration in Ceramics. Originally from Medellin, Colombia, her art is a hybrid of cultures and embodies many qualities—some pieces may be precise and simple, while others are loose and organically shaped. She currently focuses on chic and functional utilitarian pottery, which is available inside Good Dirt LA’s artist shop and on Etsy. Lina believes in cultivating creativity and encourages her students to leave their expectations behind. “The creating and making processes are truly therapeutic and enjoyable for me,” she says. “But nothing brings me more joy than knowing that others actually use my work as part of their daily routines. It’s that tea they have before bedtime, or the coffee that helps them start the day. It’s like I’m passing along a little bit of my love to them, since I feel that each of my pieces were created with the most loving of intentions.”

DONNA HASSELBERGER, Instructor
Donna truly loves to throw down clay. Her journey into this medium started 11 years ago at Pasadena City College, which led to her first teaching position at the nearby Armory Center for the Arts and continuing her education with ceramics and glass blowing classes at Santa Monica College. Since then, Donna has been teaching at different studios throughout Los Angeles. Enjoying the experience of working with clay and concentrating on body mechanics at the wheel are very important focuses in her classes. “Clay is very forgiving,” she says. “And unlike most mediums, it allows you to add and subtract material. The creativity that a ceramic studio can inspire is the reason I love teaching.”


CAROL ARONOWSKY, Instructor
Carol comes to Good Dirt LA with decades of valuable experience—both hands-on and academic—that she hopes to share with her students. A speech pathologist by trade, Carol simultaneously studied art, ceramics and painting throughout her undergraduate and graduate years at Ithaca College and New York University, respectively. She balanced her passion for pottery and her speech therapy practice for over 35 years, and is now extremely happy to be a full-time clay artist and teacher, instructing throughout Los Angeles.
“There is so much to be involved with and excited about when it comes to clay—the process, studying its history and using it,” she says. “I hope my students will grow to love the medium and enjoy the problem solving necessary to make an original work of art, function or both.”


CAROLINE YOHANAN, Instructor
Caroline was raised with a great sense of respect for art, education and community. She has 20 years of experience working with children, including crisis nurseries, tutoring, coaching and teaching. Her background may involve a variety of creative endeavors—singing, music production, photo editing and wardrobe styling—but nothing makes her feel more connected than when she is teaching ceramics. Caroline likes to remind her students that every pottery lesson can be applied to life. And the processes that go into this art form reveal so much about a person’s personality, interests and artistic vision. “It forces us to give up control, yet stay focused,” she says. “To center, shape, trim and glaze a single piece takes time, thought and dedication. Pottery is invariably a journey of self-reflection and growth.”

CATHERINE RHODES, Instructor
Catherine is a graduate of Stanford University and loves words, language and working with her hands. Ever since she took her first ceramics class 22 years ago, she has been making pots and learning about the beauty behind the pottery-making process. She revels in the limitless possibilities of creation–from handbuilding to the wheel to all the intersections in between–with particular attention to textures and details. Catherine also believes in leaving little to no waste, so she strives to use every bit of clay. In doing so, her pieces tend to take on a different shape or texture than originally intended­–a welcome surprise. Outside of pottery, she enjoys traveling as much as possible with her husband and fellow artist Steve Buccellato, their son and two dogs. “My personal motto is: What you give away, you keep forever,” she says. “It’s all about sharing ideas and learning from each other.”

SETH GANTMAN, Instructor
Producer by day, potter by night, Seth recently returned to his passion at the wheel. His love for wheel throwing in particular started in high school in Indiana, where he spent the majority of his time in the school’s ceramics studio and founded a local chapter of the National Art Honor Society. He graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2008, where he received formal training in motion graphics and minored in ceramics. He’s now a commercial producer at a leading Los Angeles production company.

Seth took a long hiatus from pottery after moving to the City of Angeles, until he discovered Good Dirt LA and felt the urge to return to his roots. His reunion with the wheel has been a therapeutic and rewarding experience – one that can only be matched by outdoor escapades and the inspiration he draws from the wilderness. In addition to teaching at Good Dirt LA, Seth is an avid hiker, backpacker and a Wilderness First Responder. You can easily spot his work by looking for the signature bear stamp on his pieces.


AUDREY ROHDE, Instructor
Audrey’s pottery story actually begins right here at Good Dirt LA, where she took her first class over a year ago. What got her hooked? “The serene and creative energy coupled with the form and function pottery provides,” she says. Outside the studio, Audrey is a singer-songwriter, painter, actress, and true lover of the arts. She also practices Transcendental Meditation®, which she feels enhances her ceramics work. “I’m drawn to the idea that everything in pottery starts the same… as a ball of clay,” she says. “And then it’s transformed into something unique and amazing.”

JESSE GOLDEN, Instructor
Hailing from a suburb outside of Boston, Jesse developed an affinity for ceramics during high school, where he participated in the Empty Bowls initiative—a grassroots movement dedicated to help end hunger and promote positive, lasting change. He then studied numerous styles of wheel throwing, both as an undergrad at the University of Maryland College Park and during his adventures in Italy and Japan. Moving to Los Angeles has fueled Jesse’s passion for the art form and has even inspired him to build his very own backyard pottery studio. “It’s my sanctuary,” he says. “I steal away to work on my wheel at any time—day or night.” When he’s not elbow deep in clay, Jesse paints and moonlights as marketing representative. “My students can expect a fun, inviting environment where we throw caution to the wind and spin our wheels of creativity.”

JULIA SALDAÑA, Instructor
Julia has had concurrent practices in fine art and pottery her entire life, starting when she first sat at a potter’s wheel as a child at a community art center in her hometown near Boston. After finishing a degree in ceramic sculpture at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, she came back to making functional work and set up shop in Los Angeles, where she began sharing her passion through teaching. “I am partially drawn to clay because of it’s unselfishness,” she says. “It’s impossible to get anywhere with clay without trial, error, and listening to those around you, and in the end you have an object you often part ways with. I find great joy in being forced to check my ego at the door.”

ARIANE SHAHBAZI, Instructor

Ariane moved to Los Angeles from her hometown of Fairfax, Virginia. After years stuck on the highway of corporate boredom, she found the off ramp last year, happily immersing herself in the world of clay. Clay allows Ariane to lose herself. The same way a good beat makes her pop, lock, and drop, clay makes her heart stop (and then start again). Clay is her lifeline, connecting her to earthly wisdom and the artful souls of her students and peers. She loves to learn from and connect with people, to be inspired by the community of which she is part, to feel their energy, and channel it into the clay—a humbling art that challenges her each time she touches it. She loves the gifts that come from the kiln, as they are a mirror, which helps her see beauty and forgiveness in herself, and inspires her to share it with others.


MALU, “the manager”
This extremely friendly lab mix adores kids! She hails from Athens, Georgia—a charming Southern hometown, known for its lively art and music scene. In fact, the bands REM and the B52s are also from here, so it’s no surprise that this pup has grown an appreciation for culture and boasts a keen eye for talent. Her favorite pastime is hanging at the studio and watching students of all ages create amazing art. She also loves to perform tricks at the end of each class in exchange for a tasty treat—she knows quite a few! “Woof!” says Malu, who would like you to know that she does bark from time to time when another dog passes by the window. She looks forward to future rubs and observing you work your magic at the wheel.