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Beginners Wheel Pottery Classes

Book ahead with the early-bird discount: limited tickets now open, remainder open 19 June for Term 3!


Hands + head + heart! They all come together with clay as your catalyst! We aim to give you the best experience learning ceramics starting in our Beginners level with our Slow Clay(tm) method. It’s a solid foundation of practical ergonomics, a warmth of heart and careful considered design development.  Our unique teaching method is based on the Japanese techniques that our founder, Jane Sawyer, learnt as a young apprentice. They help protect your body from injury whilst enabling you to uncover your “signature touch”. Over the decades of teaching Jane and her team have trained many, many potters using the Slow Clay(tm) method. These popular Beginner’s Wheel courses are where it all starts for the perfect foundation to begin your journey with clay and the potter’s wheel. And the icing on the cake? If you love it you can attend our daily *Studio Access Times (SATs) and progress through to Intermediate/Advanced classes! 

Note: if you have already learnt as a beginner at another school we encourage you to start with our beginner’s level for one term before you move into our Intermediate level. This will give you the chance to learn and adjust to our methods of sitting upright and using the breath. 

“One of the best legit ceramics schools. Beautiful space, excellent teachers who are artists in their own right, emphasis on the art with a strong foundation in safe practices, acknowledgement of history of pottery across cultures and honestly a sheer love for working with clay. Whether you want to try it out for the first time or you’re honing your pottery skills, Slow Clay really delivers.” Review received 29/11/22

2024 Term dates:

  • Term 1: 29 January – 25 March (bookings closed)
  • Term 2: 22 April – 10 June (bookings closed – term in progress)
  • Term 3: 29 July – 21 Sept (limited EarlyBird spots now open. Remainder of spots open 19 June  )
  • Term 4: 14 Oct – 13 Dec  (  ”  )

Please choose and book a time from the drop-down menu on the left. If a class falls on a public holiday there will be an extra class added to the term.

Class Times:

  • Wednesday 10am – 12noon (Erinn McAlpine)
  • Wednesday 6.30-8.30pm (Felicity Leung)
  • Friday 10am – 12noon (Alyssa Nuttall)
  • Saturday 1-3pm (Alyssa Nuttall)

Content: Our popular 8-week Beginner’s wheel course is your perfect foundation! From learning to prepare your clay, to throwing “off the hump”, trimming, slip decoration, and glazing, students will learn our unique Slow Clay method (TM) inspired by Japanese techniques that are ergonomically sound. Beginner’s start with a formal curriculum structure and gradually move to individual learning as their skills permit, all within a framework of open-ended enquiry, non-judgement and personal design curiosity. Students learn the full ceramic process and collect their fired pieces a few weeks after term finishes.

Please note: This is a Beginners level course. If you have completed two or more beginner’s courses with us (or equivalent elsewhere) you are encouraged to join one of our mixed level Intermediate-Advanced wheel courses.

FAQs: please read these FAQs and familiarise yourself with our studio guidelines before enrolling.

Booking Instructions: Bookings will become active for new enrolments on the advertised date at the top of this page. The booking buttons will then appear on the left of this page. Click on the drop down menu to choose your class time and follow the booking prompts with a credit card ready to pay the deposit by credit card.  If you can’t see any spots available it either means the course is not open for booking yet or is fully booked with continuing students. We pre-release some spots in future courses to ensure people can book ahead so keep an eye on our website. We also keep waiting lists so if a class is full or not yet open, please ask to go on the waiting list!

Alternatives: If these Beginner classes are fully booked we suggest you check out our Weekend Intensives that offer the same content ! Or you might like our Form & Surface courses that are also geared for beginners level. Tip: Once you are a student in our studio you get priority to continue the following term in any class of your choice!  Alternatively, our online hand building course Basics To Freedom can be done at home and is also a great introduction to the study of ceramics.

Tutors: We are so proud of our Beginner’s Wheel tutors who are experts in our Slow Clay method! Our in-house training program means they started as students, moved into technical assistants and then slowly into teaching as their skills improved over many years. They are our best examples of how our teaching methods really work!

Course fee:  $575: Early Bird (pre-release tickets only), $595 Continuing students (without a break in between), and Concession card holders, $625: New students.  50% deposit payable on booking. Balance due three weeks before start date.

Bonus: In our studio the course fee is fully inclusive of all materials, unlimited beautiful soft Midfire clay, glazes and access to all studio equipment and some tools. Optional firing of your pieces is $15/kg payable at the end of the term upon collection.

NEW: Cancellation insurance is available for 10% extra fee at the checkout to cover all refunds and we strongly advise you to purchase it in case you cannot attend at the last minute. Please read our T & Cs on the FAQ page first. We run a very small business with limited class sizes so we are not able to give refunds if something happens and you cannot attend. We do, however, offer one free *Studio Access Times(SATs) if you have to miss class due to Covid and one extra for any other reason. Please familiarise yourself with our FAQs and SATs. Ignorance is not an excuse!

*Studio Access Times (SATs):  SATs are for our weekly students to access our studio facilities for unsupervised extra making or practicing time. After the first few classes, when you are more confident and familiar with our studio, you can book a wheel and attend either as an optional one-hour extension of a morning class ($10) or a full three-hour ($30) time slot.  One missed class per term can be replaced by a free SAT. Plus a further one free SAT is available if you get Covid or are a close contact and have to miss a class. All materials are included when attending SATs.

Booking info:  Please refresh your browser before you book! We update our website regularly and your computer might have cached previous pages. After refreshing, you will be able to see the new classes and book online on the left side of this page, provided there are spots available. Please choose your course time carefully because we do not give refunds if you make a mistake!

Waitlists or cancellation lists? Yes! Please email us with your phone number and we will put you on it.

Terms & Conditions:

  • If classes are cancelled due to CoVid19 restrictions we can either refund you or roll over your booking to a new term.
  • If you cancel due to illness we cannot refund you or offer replacement classes, sorry.
  • Transfers: We do understand shit happens and life gets busy and we can occasionally transfer people at short notice if we have a replacement – or if you can find a replacement – so please do ask if we have someone on the waiting list. There is a $25 fee for all transfers.
  • If you pay by deposit online you will receive a reminder from our booking service, We Teach Me, to pay the balance three weeks before the course start date. If the balance is not paid we reserve the right to cancel your booking and offer your place to someone else, sorry! 🙁
  • Please choose your classes carefully. We recognise that shit happens and life throws us changes but please understand that due to our limited class sizes once you’ve booked and paid either the deposit or the full fee we will only refund what you have paid if the class is cancelled by us. If you are unable to attend we suggest you share the love and transfer your booking to a friend or let us know in plenty of time and, provided we can fill your place from our cancellation list, we will hold your payment in credit for a future course.

Telephone: 99437844


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