You should consider taking a workshop with Elaine Pinkernell, because you are going to have a blast even if you have never worked with clay before. She will blow your mind when it comes to creative forms and surface decoration. Three of my favorite pieces are ones I built in slab forms in one of her workshops in Corralitos, California. Elaine Pinkernell is located nearby in Watsonville, California, but I believe she can often be found at Higher Fire over in the south SF Bay Area. There is a link to it on her website. As well as links so some other terrific ceramic artists.
Check it out!!