About Us

Women owned, Forma was started by Jen Noetzli and Michelle Horovitz, both SW Mpls residents, with the intention of creating a community centered around the joy of learning from and playing with clay.

Forma Clay Owners

Jen + Teacher + Creative + Professional Potter

Jen Noetzli (she/her) has been teaching pottery since 2008 in the Twin Cities, and runs a successful acupuncture practice less than one mile from Forma. Jen has longed for her own studio, where she can continue learning, teaching and building community. Her enthusiastic and kind teaching style has ignited a pottery passion in so many people over the years.

Michelle + Hobby Potter + Social Entrepreneur

Michelle Horovitz (she/her) is a social entrepreneur and recovering public defender. She reconnected with her lost love of ceramics after a 20+ year hiatus, and has been taking Jen’s classes for many years. A lazy, hobbyist potter, Michelle was excited to join Jen in bringing this dream to reality in a beautiful space close to home.


Ralph + Professional Potter + Teacher + Consultant

Ralph Nuara (he/him) is a professional potter, originally from Brooklyn, NY; has been potting for 20+ yrs, and teaching for 15. After working as a home furnishings designer & buyer, he travelled across the US studying ceramics in Rhode Island, New York, Massachusetts, Maine and Illinois, then settled in Mpls. Ralph has continually explored the relationships between function, form and surface to keep his work fresh and practice in the studio challenging.

Suzanna + Web Developer + Potter + Teacher

Suzanna Schlesinger Altman (she/her) is a lifelong maker. She began seriously studying pottery in high school in Minnesota, continuing through college in southern California. Her professional ceramics path took her to art fairs and shows around the country while also teaching ceramics in the Twin Cities. After a hiatus and a career change to focus on web development, a class at Forma has brought Suzanna enthusiastically back to clay.

Kelly + Artist + Earth Mother + Teacher

Kelly Newcomer (she/her) is from Minnesota ceramicist and visual artist who has exhibited in galleries and museums across the nation. She studied in Roswell, New Mexico with Aria Finch of the Pecos Valley Potters Guild. She creates hand-built figure sculpture and functional work such as pinched bowls and slab plates. Her work is very painterly and also features sgrafitto carving of cute characters and joyful messages. Kelly has taught ceramics to kids at Minneapolis Community Education.

Melisa + Artist + Teacher

Melisa Sturman (she/her) is a local painting and ceramic artist with over a decade of teaching experience in various community settings. She loves to cultivate curiosity alongside technical skills and encourages her students to find beauty in the everyday.

Nikki + Artist + Teacher

Nikki Norberg (she/her) is a Minneapolis-based ceramicist who has been working with clay for nearly a decade. Her journey began with a community pottery class that ignited her passion. All these years later, she has cultivated a strong pottery practice in her home studio; creating work ranging from hand-built sculpture to wheel-thrown lighting. Nikki strives to create a classroom environment that is both fun and educational, and encourages her students to come as they are, at any level, and know they are welcomed

Phil + Artist + General Contractor + Teacher

Phil Raskin (he/him) has been involved in playing in clay since high school. Raskin is currently the owner of Prairie Olive Ceramics in south Minneapolis. He works at his home studio where he makes pots, mosaics and relief sculpture mostly in porcelain. He worked as a production potter for many years and owned a handmade tile company here in town. Raskin is also a tile setter and installed many different styles and shapes over the years. Including commissions of his ceramic relief mosaics. Raskin’s hobbies are motorcycling, going for walks with his wife and traveling.

Mary + Artist + Teacher

Mary (she/her)comes to Forma from teaching at various Minneapolis Parks for the last few years. She is excited to join the Forma team; learn new techniques and meet new people. Her favorite thing to throw is mugs; as an avid coffee drinker she thinks you can never have enough. 

Mandy + Artist + Teacher & Consultant

Mandy Stringer has been working with clay for 20+ years and teaching ceramics at the high school level for 19, most recently at a fine arts charter school in Eden Prairie. You can usually find her selling her work at local farmers markets or art festivals. Mandy is a wheel thrower at heart, but loves a good slab or extruded form, and focuses her surface design around alternative firing techniques, digital transfers, resist techniques, silkscreening and underglaze transfers. Mandy is the genius behind Forma’s Gallery.

Rita + Artist + Teacher + Kiddo Party Coordinator

Rita (she/her) is a ceramicist based in Minneapolis specializing in hand-built forms, though equally enjoys working with clay on and off the wheel. Her love of curiosity and connecting through creativity drives a passion for teaching art classes across the Twin Cities. Here at Forma, she is our Children’s Party Coordinator and instructs a variety of classes from Kiddo Clay to Wheel 101 for adults.

Janelle + Artist + Teacher

Janelle (she/her) has been working with clay consistently for the last 8 years, but was first introduced to ceramics in middle school. Since 2017, she has taken classes at Northern Clay, was a member at Fired Up Studios, she has run a ceramics gallery, a studio, and taught private throwing lessons. Janelle is passionate about social justice and is a stranger of no one! When she’s not in the studio, she enjoys singing, cycling, and cuddling her dog, Blue.

Care to reach out?

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