New Video: Andrew Halford

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Slow Clay Centre does live up to it’s moniker sometimes: we tried for two whole years to get a date with Andrew Halford to give a guest artist workshop! Finally the stars aligned on 21 May 2017 and we now have a little video to show for it.

Slow Clay Centre’s founder, Jane Sawyer, acknowledges Andrew’s influence is everywhere at Slow Clay Centre, from the techniques we teach to the way we honour materials and processes, history, creative thinking and the environment. Jane spent three formative years training with Andrew in the 1980’s at Kinka Pottery, on the northern outskirts of Sydney. It was a busy studio with a large output of studio pottery finding its way to many shops and Andrew’s exhibition pieces to galleries via a demanding exhibition schedule. Jane was introduced to Japanese techniques (which Andrew had learnt himself both in Australia as an apprentice of Shiga Shigeo’s and in Japan from Shimaoka Tatsuzo and Shimada Haruo) and these techniques form the basis of our Slow Clay Method that Jane has developed and we teach today. As a trainee, Jane learnt all aspects of the studio practice before heading to Japan herself – but that’s another story! Kinka Pottery also deserves a whole separate post to discuss and preserve it’s place in the history of Australian ceramics. It was a large shared studio, run by Andrew but with many potters setting up and staying for years at a time. Lex Dickson (1951-2008) was also there, working for Andrew, before heading to Japan himself. In this video you get a glimpse of the thinking behind Andrew Halford’s beautiful work. Enjoy! (apologies for the sound quality!)

Enrolment Update April 2018

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Enrolment update:
We want to take this opportunity to explain a little about our enrolment process. We run our weekly classes by the term, four terms per year and we open for new enrolments each term on a specific date – about half way through an exisiting term for the next one.  The dates will be publicised on our website a few weeks in advance so if you don’t see a date or the ability to enrol, please re-visit our web site again a few weeks later.

We do not keep waiting lists for our weekly courses because leading up to this date we give priority to current students who wish to continue with us from one term to another to re-enrol because, well, we are simply committed to education and the developmental pathway! So if you are too, then we are a great match! We know that this inevitably means that sometimes our classes are either full before we open to the public or have very few spots available for new students and we sincerely apologise if you are one of the eager punters who have been waiting for ages but are frustrated with missing out.

It is not our intention to make it difficult to enrol – we want to welcome everyone! – but we simply have more demand than we can cater for right now. However, we are lateral thinkers and we are constantly coming up with new alternatives!  In the meantime, the best we can suggest is to thoroughly check all our courses in case there’s another course with spots available that you can do. This is a great entry point to our studio  because once you are in you can transfer to a different course for the following term.

We hope this helps and we truly value your interest and desire to join our community and look forward to welcoming you one day soon!

In the meantime, please check this little video that one of our students made with our director, Jane Sawyer, and our teaching method for preparing your clay! You can practice on some dough at home!

COLLECTIVE x SLOW CLAY 2017: free workshops!

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Our Christmas gift to you are our daily free* workshops in conjunction with our annual COLLECTIVE  x  SLOW CLAY show! We have invited some like-minded colleagues to present some pretty amazing one-off workshops for you from Porcelain Mobiles to Knife sharpening! There are limited spots available for each workshop so please follow the links below to reserve your spot. All we ask is that you don’t book unless you are sure you can attend please!

*A small materials surcharge applies to some workshops.

Thursday 14 Dec, 3-4pm: Put A Handle On It with Alichia Van Rhijn from Hearth Collective. Learn how to make a small hand-built pot and see how Alichia sources foraged timber for her unique handles! ($10 materials fee) BOOK HERE

Friday 15 Dec, 3-4.30pm: Make a Christmas Wreath with Lu Walsh from Hello Blooms. Using a wire frame, learn to make a Christmas wreath by a trained florist! Take it home for immediate use and you can re-use the frame every year! ($35 materials fee) BOOK HERE

Saturday 16 Dec, 3-4pm: Sharp Talk On Knives with Aidan Mackinnon from Cut Throat Knives. Aidan will give a talk about knife-making and demonstrate how to sharpen your own kitchen knives for the best possible cut! BOOK HERE

Sunday 17 Dec, 3-4pm: Porcelain Mobiles with Grace Brown from Oh Hey Grace. Come along to make a delicate indoor mobile from high quality porcelain clay that will ring a soft tinkling note when you walk past! Collect your fired pieces before Christmas and string them up at home!  ($10 materials and firing fee) BOOK HERE




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Yes! Our annual Collective x Slow Clay is about to begin!  This time we have extended it for an extra day to make 5 days of exceptional Christmas shopping. This is a curated event by us showing over 30 of our amazing colleagues where you can be sure to find some incredible gifts. This year we are focusing on the idea of COLLECTING because all our artists would form the basis of a great ceramics collection for your family and friends – or maybe for you? From established artists such as Andrew Halford, Prue Venables, Susan Robey, Jane Sawyer and Greg Daly to newcomers destined for greatness such as Grace Brown and Madeleine Thornton-Smith, we have put together a great offering to take the pain away for you! Please come and visit us and have a glass of Mount Prior bubbles on us!

Daily workshops are also being offered with Hearth Collective, Cut Throat Knives, Grace Brown and Hello Blooms! Bookings essential here.

Wednesday 13- Sunday 17 December, 11 – 6 daily.

Slow Clay Centre, 13 Keele St, Collingwood, Melbourne






A Year of Awesome!

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At Slow Clay Centre we are super pleased to join some other amazing businesses who are donating to this wonderful cause: A Year of Awesome by Playground Ideas.

Our prize is a private class for a family to come together for some fun at Slow Clay Centre. There are heaps of wonderful prizes including a family trip to Vietnam! To be eligible you need to buy your $5 raffle tickets now! See link below!

Playground Ideas have a great aim: to make new playgrounds for kids in developing countries. Play is well-known and proven to increase capacity of kid’s brains and at Slow Clay Centre our teaching/learning relationship is underpinned by the power of PLAY and OPEN-ENDED DISCOVERY! This can only happen when individuals feel empowered and confident to take risks. We can learn this best as children when our job is to play! So, at Slow Clay Centre we totally support this cause and are totally happy to encourage you to purchase some tickets to help them!

Time is running out to get your tickets! The deadline is Wednesday 6 December 2017 See to purchase your $5 raffle tickets for some great prizes!



Two new vids up on our YouTube channel!

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We have guest artist workshops occasionally. Roughly every two months. We have had many, many workshops now and we try to produce a little video either before or during each workshop. We upload them to our YouTube and Vimeo channels for you to enjoy and we like to give them to our guest artists to use, if they wish, as a thank you. It is hard work. There are hours and hours of editing that go into the productions by our capable video producer, Sabrina Talarico (thanks Sabrina!).

The latest videos to go up are about Sandy Lockwood and Neil Hoffman’s workshops with us in 2016. They were incredible workshops. Those of you who know us know we actively refuse to use the term “master potter” given both the associations with elitism and the establishment, however, we are always keen to host artists whom we know make unique and distinctive work and have paved a way for their work over their lifetime. Sandy and Neil fit these criteria and more!

It is with great pleasure that we offer you these videos and hope you enjoy them as much as we enjoyed their workshops! If you do, then we hope to see you at our next guest artist workshop which is on 21-22 October 2017, with Mike Martino from Japan.


PODCAST now available: Making International Pathways

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This podcast was recorded at our forum “Making International Pathways” on 4 August, 2017 at Slow Clay Centre.

The speakers were Penny Byrne, Greg Daly and Dean Smith and MC Dr Kevin Murray. Slow Clay Centre director, Jane Sawyer, starts the evening by introducing Kevin Murray and concludes the recording with thanks to the speakers and to all for attending.

The format of the event was an introduction by Kevin Murray setting the stage for international engagement, followed by each speaker who showed slides and presented their pathway (sadly we cannot show you their presentations!). The panel was followed by a Q&A with the audience. Some questions to consider were: In these times of thinking locally, what is the value of thinking about international opportunities? Is gallery representation necessary to be seen internationally? What value is social media?

We hosted this event in conjunction with Garland Magazine, The World Crafts Council – Australia and the annual Craft Cubed Festival presented by Craft Victoria. It was a full house and we encourage you to keep an eye on our newsletter and web site for future forums!

Manningham Ceramic Award – artist’s floor talk

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Manningham Victorian Ceramic Art Award 2017
Artist Floor Talk…and Soup
Tuesday 29 August, 12.30pm – 1.30pm
Join artists from this year’s Ceramic Award over a cup of delicious soup to learn more about the knowledge, skill, learning and ideas behind every great ceramic piece.
Free event
RSVP essential for catering to: or phone 9840 9367.

Fiona Hiscock
Brian Keyte
Chris Pittard
David Ray
Jane Sawyer

Open For Term 4 Enrolments 24 August, 1pm

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Weekly Courses, Term 4, 2017, enrolment instructions: We will open for new enrolments for our weekly Slow Clay Wheel and Form & Surface (hand building) courses on 24 August at 1pm. Please refresh your browser then and go to the appropriate page.

Important: From our website you will be directed to another booking page (on our booking service website called We Teach Me) and you MUST click on the drop-down menu on the right side of the booking page to choose your course time (even if you’ve already clicked on the course on our website page!). So, please choose your course time carefully on the booking page because we do not give refunds if you make a mistake!


Good luck and we hope to see you in Term 4!

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