Skip to main content
was successfully added to your cart.

Slow Clay Centre FAQ

Refunds in the time of Covid (Updated January 2021)

See Cancellations/transfers/refunds.

We do not offer refunds and advise you to take out the refund insurance at the checkout in case you have to cancel after making a booking.

If you cannot attend classes due to either contracting Covid or being a close contact we offer two free Studio Access Times (SATs) (see SATs) If we cancel a class or course due to Covid we will always try to reschedule or refund if you cannot attend the new date.  If you cannot attend the new date we ask you to tell us promptly so we can find a replacement student for you. We cannot refund you or provide a credit note after the course has started.

It is your responsibility to ensure we have your most updated email address and to check your Junk folder regularly for communications. If you don’t turn up and request a refund after the start date…..hmmm, well, let’s just say that’s a bit unreasonable….we hope you agree.


We communicate via email to our students and it is your responsibility to ensure we have your most updated email address and to check your emails, including your Junk folder, regularly. We send reminders, updates and new information and offers regularly to our students. During 2020 we had many students tell us they didn’t receive our updates. We always use the email address you have supplied us when enrolling. We cannot chase up people if they haven’t replied and we cannot take responsibility if you didn’t know about changes of dates/prices etc. See Refunds in the time of Covid.


See also: Refunds In The Time of CoVid 

Please do not ask us for a refund unless your class is cancelled by us! Treat your booking as a commitment to attend…like a concert ticket! We operate on very limited class sizes and if you cancel at the last minute and we cannot find a replacement for you then it means you are asking us to wear the cost for you.  We do have other options: we can try to find a replacement for you from our waiting list and if successful we will offer you a credit voucher (to use for any course in the next two years) or transfer you to another class or you can share the love and transfer it to a friend for no cost.  There is a $25 fee for cancellation/credit voucher/transfer fee which covers the booking fee we are required to pay.



I don’t receive your emails! What to do?

If you enrol with us or subscribe to our newsletter we communicate with all our students by email. We occasionally hear from students who have not received our emails. Please make sure to add info@slowclay to your contacts list. Its a good idea to check your junk folder regularly too!

Do you offer private classes?

Yes we do! If you have a group of friends or work colleagues who want to get together for some fun we can take up to 12 people on wheels and 8 people in hand building room. We generally offer them on Friday evenings or Saturday afternoons. Bookings required in advance via our office on 99437844.

Do I need to provide proof of Covid19 Vaccination?

In line with government regulations we do not need to ask for proof of vaccination any more. However we ask all students to wear an N95 mask when in our studio as we are working in close proximity and we know this helps to reduce the spread of Covid19.

Do you offer mentoring?

Our experienced teachers are available for one-on-one mentoring either via Zoom or in person. Whether you would like specialist training in advanced throwing techniques or design and development guidance to personalise your journey with clay we can help you! Make a time for a chat with our director, Jane Sawyer, and we will take it from there according to your needs.

Do you offer a consulting service for specialist advice?

If you are looking for advice on setting up your studio and/or choosing the right materials and buying appropriate equipment we can help. It’s best if you have done a few courses first and know a bit about ceramics and then we can target your needs as required. Please email to make a time for a quick phone chat to see if this is appropriate for you and we can then schedule either a Zoom  or in-person appointment.

What about the environment?

Ceramics is an activity that brings environmental degradation but it also contributes cultural capital and brings a richness to our lives like no other material. We therefore encourage reflection, critical discourse/analysis with your teacher and also the selection of only the very best of your pieces to fire in the kilns. Our emphasis is on learning and development which includes how to be responsible towards the environment. We know ceramics takes a long time to learn, particularly the wheel which requires many, many hours of practice, just like learning a musical instrument. For this reason we provide unlimited clay included in the class fee and we recycle all our waste. But this does not mean we fire everything a student makes. We will always encourage you to select the best for your stage of development.

Can I sell pieces I make at Slow Clay Centre?

We are an education facility not a production studio. Commercial production brings a number of issues for students that are not possible to address in our studio.  One is the amount of work that is reasonable, another is how our students must label their work to identify it, another is knowing the glazes that go into our kiln will work.

Please feel free to discuss your individual needs with us but please accept we are not a production studio. We do not take on students who are undertaking commercial projects and we discourage students from selling their work until they have discussed it with their teacher. We ask all students to accept this basic understanding.

Do you offer gift vouchers?

Yes, we can create an open gift voucher which is valid for 3 years from the date of purchase, or a specific date gift voucher. Our gift vouchers are a great present and can be used for any of our courses or for private lessons. Check our latest course prices for a guideline of what you can cover but generally prices range from $120 for a 2 hour taster class, $295 for a private class for two and up to $595 for a term of 8 classes. We also have a new comprehensive online hand building course available if someone cannot attend in person. If there is a shortfall between the amount purchased and the price of the desired course to be redeemed then the voucher recipient must pay the difference. Please note: Gift vouchers are not redeemable for cash but can be transferred to another recipient for no charge.

Do you offer a firing service?

We fire all our student’s work for them as part of their course, including our online course if requested,  and we can offer training to fire kilns on a one-on-one basis. We do not offer a commercial firing service for external students. For great commercial firing services for the public we recommend our buddies at Northcote Pottery Supplies and The Kiln Room.

Why come to Slow Clay Centre?
At SCC we specialise in ceramics education. Our teachers are ceramic artists, often represented by leading galleries, and are passionate about education and/or are qualified educationists. We offer a developmental pathway so whether you are just starting out or you have high ambitions, we are confident you will receive an outstanding experience. We work closely with TAFE, Universities and industry to help provide our students an extended personal pathway for the future including further study choices and mentoring.
What are our terms and conditions?

Please first check “Covid 19 update on refunds”. 


These apply to all Slow Clay Centre classes.

  1. Non-refundable deposit or full payment (depending on the course) must be made at time of booking.
  2. Please choose your classes carefully. 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. If you are ill or unable to attend after paying, you may transfer your booking to a friend for no charge or, provided we can fill your place, you can hold your payment for up to 12 months for a future course. If we cannot find a replacement your payment will be forfeited.
  3. When paying by deposit online the balance is due three weeks before the start date and you will be sent a reminder from our booking service “We Teach me” with a link to pay the balance. If the balance is not paid three weeks before the start date, or we have not heard from you to arrange an alternative, we reserve the right to cancel your booking, keep the deposit and offer your spot to another student.
  4. Please note that making ceramics on the wheel can be a physically demanding activity and it is usual to feel a little stiff initially. However, if you have any pre-existing or chronic injuries to your back, shoulders, neck, wrists or elbows you are strongly advised to seek a medical opinion before enrolling as some activities might exacerbate past injuries and we take no responsibility if this occurs.
  5. All work made during classes is to be used for personal, non-commercial purposes. This is negotiable for advanced students or for studio exhibitions but we ask students to accept that the emphasis of classes is strictly on education rather than on production.
  6. Course fees are fully inclusive of all materials available in our studio including unlimited clay.
  7. An extra firing fee is incurred after the course finishes for weekly Wheel and Form & Surface classes. Firing fees are not charged for Porcelain, Clay Club, and Taste The Clay classes.  Weekend Intensives incur an extra charge for an optional glaze class which includes a firing fee.
  8. Weekly Wheel and Form & Surface students pay for their firing fee when they come to collect their finished work post firing. The 2020 fee is $10/kg. Students are asked to weigh and pay for their work before they take it home.

Weekly classes:

These additional conditions apply to all Slow Clay Centre weekly Wheel and Form & Surface classes.

  1. Students are allocated a board or an area for storage and must contain their work to that space for wet work in progress.
  2. One missed lesson per term can be made up in any Studio Access Time (SATs) within the term you have booked.
  3. Studio Access Times (SATs) are available to all enrolled students during term times. We offer one hour class extension SATs($10) or two-hour SATs($20) after all Monday – Friday morning classes and three-hour SATs($30) on Saturdays 10am-1pm. Unlimited clay and full use of studio facilities.
  4. Loyalty offer: Continuing students (from one term to the next with no gap) receive two FREE SATs per term. These can be used in any weekday afternoon or Saturday morning SAT. Unused SATs cannot be held over to another term and therefore must be used within the term you are enrolled or forfeited.
  5. We reserve the right to cancel any SAT sessions without notice although we always try to post on our Facebook page 24 hours prior. We will also try to email or ring students who have booked a Saturday morning SAT however occasionally shit happens! Therefore please check www.facebook/slowclay to avoid disappointment.  

Regarding kids Clay Club:

These apply to all Slow Clay Centre kids Clay Club classes.

  1. It is your responsibility to clearly report in writing on the enrolment form, any illness or disability that may affect your child’s involvement in the Clay Club activities, including allergies and behaviour needs. Please understand our educational philosophy is progressive and designed to encourage self-determination and creative thinking. Please re-think if your child requires defined activities with prescribed outcomes or has social needs requiring one-to-one attention as our classes may not be suitable.
  2. Please sign your children into each class and sign again on pick up.
How long is a term at SCC and how often do I attend?
Our terms are generally 8 weeks long, unless otherwise specified, and students attend once per week during the term. Terms are repeated 4 times per year fitting within the Victorian State School terms and acknowledge public holidays. We offer generous loyalty rewards to continuing students who re-enrol each term as we love to see our students improve. We welcome students who book more than one class a week because they will see very quick development and we offer a 10% discount for multiple bookings (please email us first to book direct for multiple courses).
Does SCC offer discounts?
We offer various discounts: an Earlybird price for many classes, a Continuing Student price if you are already enrolled and continue to re-enrol in subsequent terms without a break in between, and a Concession price for FT students, unemployed and concession card holders. If you wish to enrol in more than one course per term we will also give you the Continuing Student price for the subsequent course. For example, if you enrol in a weekly class and then decide to enrol in a guest artist workshop, or any other class during the same term, you would receive the continuing student discount for the second class.
Can you book a term in advance?
You can book any of our Guest Artist Workshops, Weekend Intensives and Porcelain classes in advance. However, all our weekly classes give priority to enrolled students who would like to continue from one term to the next and we therefore only open for enrolment for these classes about a month before the start dates. If you sign up for our e-newsletter here you will receive first notice when we open for new enrolments or keep an eye on the top of the class page on our website for enrolment dates.
Do I need to pay in advance?
Yes, all classes require either a deposit or full payment to confirm your booking – depends on which class you enrol in.
What should I wear?
Comfortable clothes that you don’t mind getting a bit dirty!
What should I bring?

We ask students to bring a clean hand towel to each class (and wash it after each class!) and a notebook and pen is a great way to keep track of instructions!

Is GST included?


Can I pay with credit card?

Yes, all classes can be paid by credit card through our online booking system.

Do your classes separate students at different levels of skill?

We have a commitment to a developmental pathway and love to work with students to improve both their skills and appreciation of ceramics. Our Wheel classes are either Beginner or Intermediate/Advanced levels. Other classes are mixed levels with students learning together but the teacher often separates the levels within the class. The dividing line between levels is fairly relaxed and if you have some prior experience we encourage you to contact us to chat about your individual needs before you enrol.

“SATs” = Studio Access Times

*CoVid19: Please understand our Studio Access Times (SATs) policy is subject to change due to Covid19. If this is a deal-breaker for you please email us on to check before you enrol.

“SATs” stand for our Studio Access Times and these are available to our currently enrolled students to  use our studio for some quiet practice time. We generally offer three or four options per week during term time and for three hours of continuous time to use our studio and unlimited clay. Bookings are generally required and there is a $30 fee. (we offer some free SATs too: check Covid booking guidelines) You will receive instructions on how to book at the beginning of the term.

We are not a drop-in studio for anyone to access our space, sorry. SATs are only available if you are currently enrolled in either Wheel or Form & Surface courses. We do not offer them to Porcelain students or Weekend Intensive students, sorry.

Please note: SATs are a gift to our students and we reserve the right to change them anytime at our discretion. We might cancel at short notice or change what we offer for any reason and sometimes other events take priority.

If changes occur we always endeavour to publish them on our Facebook page and studio notice boards so please check there before attending a SAT.

What does the course fee cover?

Your fees cover full tuition for the term of your course and UNLIMITED clay. Yes! It is very unusual. We believe students need to practice in an atmosphere of non-preciousness so we encourage the free use of clay. The only extra cost is a firing fee which is applied on a user-pays system (by weight). We do not judge your work, believing the creative process is more important than anything, so it is our policy to fire anything that students wish to keep. But we do encourage you to reflect deeply and to have high standards for your work. We do not support commercial firing for on-selling. The firing fee in 2020 $10 per kilogram weight and payable when students collect their finished pieces. The firing fee is inclusive of bisque firing.

What if I am sick and miss a class?

If you miss a class for any reason you can make up ONE missed class per term in any Studio Access Time (“SAT”) of your choice. We also offer TWO FREE SATs if you contract Covid or have to isolate as a close contact and miss two classes. See “Studio Access Times” for more information.

Is there anyone who can’t do pottery or work with clay?

Generally, anyone can do the hand building classes but for the wheel classes we suggest that you get a doctor’s opinion if you have a bad back, neck, shoulders or wrists. We do not take any responsibility for any pre-existing illnesses or health issues that may be exacerbated by being in our studio, including respiratory illnesses such as asthma. Using the potter’s wheel is quite a physically demanding activity and requires a bit of strength but most physically fit people can master the wheel with practice and perseverance! It often requires about three terms to start feeling comfortable with it so be prepared to join us for a while if you can!

What is the minimum age for Slow Clay classes

Unless otherwise stated, all classes are for adults with a minimum age of 16. We occasionally have teen classes for 12-16 year olds and our Clay Club classes are for children aged 8-12. There is a bit of overlap and we do not take these ages very seriously so please chat with us if you are unsure. We are open to teens 12-16 yo to attend our adult classes if accompanied by an adult.

How can I enrol?

We open for new enrolments each term on a specified date that is published in our monthly e-newsletter and on each of our website booking pages. We have many continuing students and our remaining vacancies tend to book up as soon as we open so please be ready to book on the day we open. If you miss out but encourage you to think about enrolling in a different course with us if it has spots available. This means you will be considered a continuing student in the following term and priority to re-enrol before we open to the public.

We apologise we cannot take bookings before the published date unless you have a gift voucher. We do not keep waiting lists for future term – only cancellation lists for the current term.

After our classes open to new bookings the dates will appear on our website as open for booking if they still have spots available. You can then follow the prompts to book using a credit card or ring us on 99437844. You will need to pay a non-refundable 50% deposit to hold a place.

If no options appear on the website page to book then it means we are not yet open for new enrolments. Please check back in a few weeks for the new booking buttons to appear.

Why can’t I see any classes?

Please be aware that you may not see options for bookings on our web site if we have just started a term of classes. If you cannot see options for booking classes please make a note in your diary to return in a couple of weeks. Usually we re-open for bookings about half way each term. This enables us to offer our existing students time to hold and book their places for the forthcoming term before we open to the public for new bookings. The opening dates are usually about mid-November, mid-March, mid-May and mid-August each year. Please accept our apologies but we hope you can join us as soon as we re-open for new bookings.

Is Slow Clay Centre open to visitors?

We would be happy to show you our beautiful facilities but you need to make an appointment please (preferably by email). We are not a retail business and don’t keep normal office hours and we are often busy teaching so if you turn up without an appointment you might be disappointed – or you might strike it lucky!

Do you have an educational philosophy?

We are passionate about education, passionate about ceramics and passionate about community. Our classes are taught by experienced ceramics teachers who are also practising ceramic artists. Our philosophy is based on open-ended exploration grounded in a solid foundation of skill and a conceptual appreciation of art and ideas. From our little centre in Collingwood, Melbourne, we love building interest in ceramics and in what all ceramic artists are doing around the world and welcome you to join us!

How do I keep up with new classes and activities at SCC?

We are an active community of  ceramics enthusiasts and love thinking up new classes, activities and forums and welcome you to join our community. Please LIKE our Facebook page and FOLLOW us on Instagram and sign up to our monthly e-news here so you don’t miss out! We have a news section on our web site but our e-news is generally the best place to receive news. We will not give your information to any 3rd party.

Deposits and payments

Deposits are a commitment to attend and are non-refundable if you change your mind. The balance is due three weeks before the start date and it is your responsibility to attend to this payment promptly or you could forfeit your class. We run on very limited class sizes and ask that everyone is committed when they book.

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