Skip to main content
was successfully added to your cart.


Slow Clay Centre is widely regarded as one of Australia’s leading ceramic education centres. Established in 2012 by ceramic artist and educator, Jane Sawyer following two decades of teaching ceramics in the tertiary and private sector, Slow Clay Centre has influenced many thousands of people who have joined for pottery classes, advanced training and specialist workshops.

Your journey with clay: At Slow Clay Centre you can start as a complete beginner or join us at any stage of your journey with clay. There is a place for everyone! As beginners you can attend weekly classes on the wheel and hand-building, glaze development and history of ceramics. As an advanced student you can join our Studio Practice Program for serious practitioners where we run seasonal intensive workshops with some of the best artist educators. We also have an annual internship and technical training program for a few select students to gain practical knowledge about running a studio. And we provide one-to-one mentoring with Jane Sawyer or any of our teachers. We are proud to have kick-started the careers of many professional clay-workers but are equally proud of creating a welcoming and supportive space for any interest level.

Our community: Our students often say they never want to leave and after establishing their careers they often return regularly to attend our unique higher-level workshops. The Slow Clay team (see below) includes a range of professional ceramic artists and passionate experienced teachers, many recognised as leaders in their field. Our founder, Jane Sawyer, is an award-winning ceramic artist and educator for over 40 years and member of the International Academy of Ceramics. Together they create a vibrant community of enthusiasts and offer a nurturing, supportive and deeply developmental pathway from total beginners to advanced professionals. We aim to give you the best experience learning ceramics!

Philosophy: We are passionate about effective, meaningful and individual education and put a lot of effort into our carefully structured curriculum which provides a sound framework for creative enquiry, design exploration and technical development. We believe creative thinking skills are just as important as technical skills and our program is designed to cover both. More than anything we recognise the healing power of clay as a material from and of the earth and the mindful space working with clay can provide through our sense of touch. Note: We do not offer “cookie-cutter” workshops ie: step-by-step product-based workshops such as “how to make a mug and paint a daisy on it”! We are interested in real education tailored to the individual.

Studio Access Times: whether you start as a beginner or join as an intermediate or advanced student, all weekly students will be eligible to attend our Studio Access Times which run daily during term times and holiday periods. These 3-hour sessions* provide the perfect opportunity to hone your skills, explore new directions or follow the spark of an idea!

Professional Development: Our Studio Practice Program and guest artist workshops are the icing on the cake and enable real professional level training and development! Intensive professional standard workshops for serious students who wish to develop a studio practice! We encourage you to subscribe to our newsletter to be the first to hear about specialist workshops.

Slow Clay wheel method (TM): Pottery techniques on the wheel go back centuries and were passed down through generation after generation as they developed to ensure the most economic use of physical movements and expressive competencies, often guided by the limitations and characteristics of local clay and glaze materials. Our Slow Clay ™ method of teaching the wheel to beginners is based on the Japanese production-throwing techniques that owner/director, Jane Sawyer , studied as an apprentice potter (first in Australia with Andrew Halford and in Japan with Shussai-Gama pottery). Over many years of teaching, and using her experience and qualifications in art education and a Masters in Fine Art, Jane has honed and refined this teaching method to become what is known as the “Slow Clay method”. The goal is to ensure ergonomic best-practice and provide a solid foundation for long-term personal expression and confidence with clay. All Slow Clay Centre teachers of the wheel are trained in this method to ensure consistency and continuity and Jane also offers teacher training to others who wish to use the Slow Clay ™ method. (Please enquire if you wish to be trained and approved to teach our method!)

But we cover much more than the potter’s wheel and no matter which area you enter we encourage a broad approach to cover all areas before you start to specialise.

Developmental pathway: We love to see our students develop and know it takes time, therefore we offer 4 terms of 8 weeks per year and students who re-enrol from one term to the next receive an attractive discount as incentive to develop. Students attend a lesson once per week and can add to it with extra studio time in any of our *Studio Access Times(SATs) held on weekday afternoons and Saturday mornings.  Students can dive deep into one area or move between the classes so they get a broad experience.

Workshops: We offer an extensive variety of workshops and events throughout the year including a summer and winter school for advanced students, private group classes, one-to-one mentoring, corporate, team building  and short workshops. We pride ourselves on offering a strong connection to professional artists through a rich variety of guest artist workshops, educational forums and panel discussions for the higher level student. We cater mostly for adults, but are also committed to our popular children’s after school and holiday classes so everyone can start young and learn the art of working with clay!

Where are we? We are based in a purpose-designed inner-city location in Collingwood, Melbourne, Australia.

Welcome to Slow Clay Centre where you can set your own pace, explore widely and develop deeply!

We invite you join our monthly  to keep up to date with enrolment options and to share our passion for and addiction to clay!

“The thing I love most about Slow Clay is the wonderful opportunity to work alongside practicing Ceramic artists who are so willing to share their own knowledge and experience with students. Slow Clay operates with excellent studio practice in terms of cleanliness, quality clays and timely and efficient firings. Thank you all!” (name supplied) 

* conditions apply

Our Studio

Our studio is a purpose-renovated warehouse located in the heart of Collingwood, close to the city centre and accessible by public transport. We have consciously designed the interior to be both a practical, comfortable work-space and a delight for the eyes, knowing that our visual world impacts on how we feel creatively. Our equipment includes a wheel throwing room with 12 x latest model Venco (Australian made!) electronic drive wheels, a hand building room with extruders and a slab-roller, a prep/clean-up room with wedging tables, glaze station and recycling station and a kiln room with electric kilns fired on 100% green energy. We also have a courtyard for outdoor activities and bike parking! Our beautiful space is small but perfect in every way and we are so happy to share it with you!

Subscribe to our Monthly newsletter to stay informed of when classes become available.