Slow Clay Centre turned 10 this year! We thank the thousands of people who have touched our centre and contributed to our development and success as one of Melbourne’s most respected education centres for ceramics.
Who are we? Our students range from beginners to aspiring ceramic artists; our teachers are committed, established ceramic artists; and our founder is Jane Sawyer, a professional exhibiting ceramic artist and educator for over 40 years and member of the International Academy of Ceramics. Together we are specialists in ceramic art and pottery education and offer a nurturing, supportive and developmental pathway from total beginners to advanced professionals.
What we do: Our carefully structured curriculum provides an educational framework for creative enquiry and exploration and encourages an individual approach whist catering for requisite knowledge and technical skill development.
Pottery wheel techniques go back centuries and were passed down through generations as they developed to ensure the most economic use of physical movements and expressive competencies. Our Slow Clay ™ method of teaching is based on the production throwing techniques that owner/director, Jane Sawyer , studied as an apprentice potter in Japan in the 1980s. Jane has added her experience as a qualified art teacher to this background and has enhanced and refined the techniques for beginners to ensure ergonomic best-practice and provide a solid foundation for personal expression and confidence with clay. This Slow Clay ™ method for teaching the wheel to beginners has been taught and refined by Jane over thirty years. All Slow Clay Centre teachers of the wheel are trained in our 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.
Weekly classes: We offer three different but fully complementary foundational courses where students attend weekly for an 8-week term. Terms are repeated 4 terms per year and students can dive deep into one area or move between the classes so they get a broad experience.
- Our unique Slow Clay(tm) method for teaching the pottery wheel (as described above)
- Our established Form & Surface course for teaching hand-building and sculptural work
- Our seductive Porcelain Small Objects course for experiencing the unique and delicate material of porcelain.
These three foundational courses are developmental in nature and continuing students are given priority to book for the following term. We love to see our students develop and know it takes time!
Workshops: We also 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!
We are based in a purpose-designed, intimate and welcoming inner-city location in Collingwood, Melbourne, Australia. The Slow Clay team (see below) includes a range of professional ceramic artists and experienced graduate teachers, many recognised leaders in their field. Together they create a vibrant community of enthusiasts.
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)