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.”

NICK SMITH, Manager & Instructor
Nick, a Los Angeles native, originally from Redondo Beach. Has been working in ceramics for just over a decade. Starting his early interests in ceramics in high school, has worked his way through a gauntlet of academic rigor. Studying at Santa Monica College, University of Southern California, and Loyola Marymount University to develop and cultivate his skill-set working in clay. A recent graduate from Loyola with an Economics B.A. is looking to help others learn to love the ceramics world, as he did throughout his academic career. Coming from an analytical background mixed with the arts allows for a unique perspective into both hand-building and wheel-throwing techniques. A recent addition to the Good Dirt La family, is looking forward to working with new and old students alike!

JESSICA ARCHIBEQUE, Instructor
Jessica moved to Los Angeles from New Mexico to study Toy Design at Otis College of Art and Design. She previously earned a BFA in Ceramics and Sculpture from the University of New Mexico. Sculpture was her first love, but she discovered a love for pottery her senior year of college, after taking her first class throwing on the potter’s wheel. Jessica learned to throw in Porcelain using a unique Japanese technique called the Arita Porcelain Method. Since then she has continued practicing her craft combining her functional and sculptural skills in her work. She loves to connect and lose herself in her work and to teach and share the love of art with others. She has a passion for working with children and people of all ages and skill levels.

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.”


TATUM BAILEY, Instructor
Tatum’s love for ceramics began in January 2016 at Santa Monica College, where she took her first ceramics class. Since then, she has been working on a bachelor’s degree in fine arts with a concentration in ceramics and design at California State University Northridge. While she is still in school, Tatum loves that she could further expand her skills and knowledge here at Good Dirt LA with all who come through the door. On her off days, Tatum loves to travel and hike through the great outdoors. This is where she takes her inspiration for her own line of pottery titled Tib Ceramics. With her students, she hopes to inspire and share the same love and enthusiasm for clay as she continues to have everyday!

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.


JOSHUA BAILEY, Instructor
Bailey learned the basics of wheel throwing on an old kick wheel at his high school in a rural town in Southern Ohio. He was quickly making wares as large as the small old kiln could accommodate. Shortly after finishing high school, he helped a friend open a pottery studio and then took a sabbatical from ceramics to pursue music and traveled the globe performing and working in hospitality. Most recently he has started producing his own line of functional pottery for restaurants, farmers markets, and online sales under the name Marina del Clay. Bailey loves to share his knowledge of ceramic arts with students and to learn from the experience of teaching members and students at Good Dirt LA!

JOSIAH JOHNSON, Instructor
Josiah does not enjoy writing about himself in third person, but he does like his job teaching pottery classes at Good Dirt LA. He loves asking questions and getting to know people. He has been throwing pottery for seven years, and plans on continuing to do so until he is an old man. Often, he finds himself daydreaming about the future, and is excited about gardening and treehouses. A stranger in a coffee shop would describe Mr. Johnson as a tall man with brown hair and green eyes. They would also see, as a result of his apparel and backpack situation, a man oddly prepared for a camping trip.

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.


SVETLANA DUREL, Instructor
Svetlana grew up in Saint Petersburg, Russia. From an early age she studied many types of art making, but was especially drawn to painting. After moving to L.A. with her family at the age of 14, Svetlana continued to make art and received BFA in painting from Otis College of Art and Design. Her journey as a potter began a few years ago, when she decided to pursue one of her longtime dreams and learned to throw on the wheel. Right away she set up a workshop in her art studio, and began practicing every day, quickly picking up the craft. She was especially fascinated with learning how to glaze and fire pieces, and began creating her own glazing style. “I’m interested in translating the principles of design and art that I learned in the past into pottery, especially painting. I really enjoy making functional objects with a painterly approach”. Today Svetlana runs her self titled production pottery studio, as well as teaching adults and children at Good Dirt LA, and teaching young children at Ecole Claire Fontaine.

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.