Skip to main content
was successfully added to your cart.

Beginners Wheel Pottery Classes

Term 4 bookings open Wednesday 6 September. Please remember to refresh your browser.  


We aim to give you the best experience learning ceramics and we have developed a unique teaching method based on the Japanese techniques that our founder, Jane Sawyer, learnt as a young apprentice. Over the decades of teaching she has trained many, many potters with these methods. Join our popular Beginner’s Wheel course (8 x weekly classes) for the perfect foundation to begin your journey with clay and the potter’s wheel. And if you love it you can stay for years! 

“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

2023 Term dates:

  • Term 1: 6 February – 3 April (Term finished)
  • Term 2: 1 May – 23 June (Term finished)
  • Term 3: 17 July – 8 September* (Bookings closed – term in progress)
  • Term 4: 2 October – 28 November* (bookings open 6 September – save the date!)

*no classes 4-7 Nov due to Melbourne Cup Weekend

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.


  • Wednesday/Friday 10am – 12noon
  • Wednesdays 6.30-8.30pm
  • Saturdays 1-3pm.

Content: Our Beginner’s wheel course provides a solid foundation for working on the potterʼs wheel. Students will learn our unique Slow Clay method (TM) inspired by Japanese techniques that are ergonomically sound. These methods were developed by Slow Clay founder, Jane Sawyer and based on methods she learnt as an apprentice in Japan. Using our Slow Clay method students come to know the ʻpower of slowʼ where movements are mindful and planned to be economical whilst having the most effect. Starting your pottery journey with these tried and true techniques will give you the best and safest possible foundation and provide longevity for you. 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: making, finishing, decorating and *glazing 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 you are eligible to join one of our Intermediate courses.

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

Bookings: 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 50% deposit. 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. If so, we are sorry you missed out but please come back next term!

Please note: If these Beginner classes are fully booked we suggest you check out our Weekend Intensives that offer the same content ! 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.

Instructors: Erinn McAlpine(Wednesday morning), Claire Ellis (Friday morning), Alyssa Nuttall (Wednesday evening, Saturday afternoon)

Course fee:  $595 New students, $575 Continuing students (without a break in between), and Concession holders. 50% deposit payable on booking. Balance due three weeks before start date.

The course fee is fully inclusive of all materials, unlimited house clay, glazes and access to all studio equipment and some tools. *Firing is $15/kg payable at the end of the term upon collection.

NEW: Cancellation insurance is now available at the checkout to cover all refunds and we strongly advise you to purchase it in case you cannot attend at the last minute because, well, shit happens – and we do not give refunds. We do, however, offer two free Studio Access Times if you have to miss classes due to Covid and one for any other reason. Please familiarise yourself with our FAQs.

Missed Classes and Studio Access Times (SATs):  SATs are for our enrolled students to access our studio facilities without a teacher for some extra quiet 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 up to a further two free SATs are available if you get Covid or are a close contact and miss classes. All materials are included and full use of studio facilities.

Booking info:  Please refresh your browser before you intend to 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! If you miss out on getting a place, we can keep you on a cancellation list for a particular class until the date they start. However, if you are not offered a spot, you will need to go through the enrolment process again the following term. Please understand we do not keep waiting lists, sorry! (Imagine trying to ring everyone and waiting for answers manually!) For cancellation lists, 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.
  • 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 up to 12 months for a future course.

*Covid update: Our studio follows all Covid-safe recommendations including extraction fans and air purifiers, flexible studio access times if you have to miss up to two classes due to Covid and new refund insurance can be purchased at the check out gateway.

Telephone: 99437844


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