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Slow Clay Centre FAQ

Credit Vouchers and Transfers

Credit vouchers can be used in any classes and courses and will incur a fee of $25. Credit vouchers are valid for 3 years.

Transfers to a different class/course will incur a fee of $25, unless you made a mistake with your online booking.

What is your Covid Policy?

Our studio proudly follows all government Covid safety guidelines including air purifiers and ventilation in each room.

In line with government regulations we do not ask for proof of vaccination any more however we ask all students to monitor carefully for symptoms and do not attend if you have Covid or are a close contact of someone positive. To help in this regard we offer two free 3-hour Studio Access Times (See: SATs) if you miss up to two of your weekly classes due to Covid. There is also a refund insurance available for purchase at the payment gateway (only available for online bookings) which covers cancellations due to illness.


See also: Refunds In The Time of CoVid and Private Classes 

Cancellations: Please treat your booking as a commitment to attend, just like a concert or theatre ticket. We operate on very limited class sizes and if you cancel then it means you are asking us to wear the cost for you. As a small business which values and protects the increasingly rare one-to-one learning environment we hope you understand. If you have to cancel, firstly, please give us as much warning as you can and we will try to find a replacement or you can share the love and gift it to a friend for no transfer fee. If we are successful finding a replacement for you we will create a credit voucher(see below).

Credit vouchers If we are not successful in finding a replacement for you we can try to fit you into a future course if we have a vacancy one day before the scheduled class. We will create a credit voucher for you to use, valid for two years (less $25 fee).  Credit vouchers are only valid for scheduled classes (ie: not private classes) and can only be redeemed if a vacancy exists the day before a class is scheduled to run.

Refunds: Please do not ask us for a refund if you cancel – it places us in a really difficult situation because we are nice people and we want to help but you are asking us to suffer the cost of your change of circumstance. If you want refund protection we ask you to purchase the refund insurance (10% of class fee) at the payment gateway to cover you in case you have to cancel*.

Please know if we cancel a course for any reason we will always provide a full refund within 7 days.

*terms and conditions exist. This is an external insurance managed by our booking platform We Teach Me and mostly covers you for illness.

Refunds in the time of Covid (Updated January 2021)

See also Cancellations/transfers/refunds.

Since the ravages of the Covid pandemic and so many cancellations due to illness, our booking agency (We Teach Me) now offers a refund insurance if you book online at the check out gateway. It costs an extra 10% of the booking ticket fee but we strongly encourage you to take it because unfortunately we cannot offer refunds if you have to cancel. The refund insurance is the best way to ensure you are covered for an unexpected cancellation for any reason.

We can also help in the following ways:

  • If you cannot attend your weekly class due to either contracting Covid or being a close contact we can offer two free Studio Access Times (SATs) within the same term (see Studio Access Times for more info)
  • If we cancel a class or course (due to a teacher with Covid, lockdowns or any other reason) we will always try to reschedule or refund in full if you cannot attend the new date.  However, if you cannot attend the new date we ask you to tell us promptly, or up to 14 days prior to the new date, so we can try to find a replacement student for you. We cannot refund you or provide a credit note if you tell us within three days or 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 trust you understand.

How long is a term at SCC and how often do I attend?
We run four terms of weekly classes per year and they are 8 weeks long unless otherwise specified. Students attend once per week during the term. If a class falls on a public holiday we will add another class onto the end of the term. Once you have completed a couple of terms in Beginner’s level you are encouraged to move into Intermediate/Advanced level and work on  individual projects. Together with teaching instruction, each term will build upon previous terms in this way although its not necessary to enrol consecutively. There’s no end to learning and we love to help students develop and encourage you to get on the pathway. We offer generous discounts to continuing students who re-enrol each term as we love to see our students improve.
Can I book a term in advance?
Not really but we are thinking about it! We like to give priority to continuing students to re-enrol in advance so right now new students must wait until we open to the public, sorry. The dates when we open to the public are published on each individual class website page for the year ahead so you can diarise them.  We suggest you jump online on the date we open so you don’t miss out! Also, 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.
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.


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. Group emails often end up in the Junk box (yeah, its REALLY annoying!)


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

Please make sure to add to your contacts list. Its a good idea to check your junk folder regularly too! 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 and they are usually found in Junk (yeah, it’s REALLY annoying!)

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!

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 that are not possible to address in our studio.  One is the amount of work that is reasonable to produce in a class; another is how our students must label their work to identify it; another is knowing the glazes that go into our kiln will work. For these reasons 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.

Why come to Slow Clay Centre?
At SCC we specialise in ceramics education. No watering down. Our teachers are ceramic artists, often represented by leading galleries, and are also passionate, experienced 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. And if you don’t believe us – just read our reviews from our happy students!
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 prices range from $125 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 will be asked to pay the difference. Please note: Gift vouchers are not redeemable for cash but can be transferred to another recipient for no charge.

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.

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-to-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.

Do you offer private classes, parties or fun with friends?

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 10 people in our hand building room. We generally offer them on Friday evenings or Saturday afternoons. Bookings are required in advance via our office on 99437844.

We know it’s hard to round up the sheep but please accept these basic terms & conditions:

  • $200 non-refundable deposit is required to secure your booking
  • Final attendee numbers must be confirmed 7 days prior to the event and the balance of payment made then by credit card
  • No refunds for any reason. This includes “no-shows” of individuals on the day or group cancellations by you within 7 days of the event
  • For cancellations up until 7 days prior to the event, we will either transfer your deposit to a new date or create a credit voucher, valid for any classes up to three years in the future ($15 fee) (not applicable to individuals within your group)
  • Should we cancel the event for any reason we will give a full refund within 7 days
  • Glazing and firing costs (for two pieces per attendee) are fully included in the fee
“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 the latest news before you enrol.

“SATs” stand for 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 to five options per week during term time and for three hours of continuous time to use our studio and unlimited clay. Bookings are 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.

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, design and development guidance, or to personalise your journey with clay, we can help you! Read this page and if keen, please make a time for a initial free session with our director, Jane Sawyer, and we will take it from there according to your needs.

What are our terms and conditions?

Please first check “Covid 19 update on refunds” and “Refunds/Transfers/Cancellations”   


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 (less $25 transfer fee) for up to 12 months for a future course. Occasionally we are able to offer alternative class is we have a vacancy. If we cannot find a replacement or do not have any vacancies 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) for free, within the term you have enrolled.
  3. Studio Access Times (SATs) are three hours of extra studio time available to all enrolled students during term times. We offer either a one hour class extension SATs($10) or the full three hours ($30) after weekday morning classes and three-hours ($30) on Saturday mornings. Unlimited clay and full use of studio facilities included.
  4. See “Covid cancellations” for further info
  5. We reserve the right to cancel any SAT sessions without notice. We will always attempt to SMS message students who have booked… however occasionally emergencies happen beyond our control!   

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.
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. What are Studio Access Times: these are specific times each week when our studio is open to enrolled students to use our facilities. See “Studio Access Times” for more information.

Do you offer a consulting service for specialist advice?

If you are a school or an individual looking for advice we can help! We love helping people with decisions about choosing materials, buying appropriate equipment and setting up a functional studio! It’s best if you have done a few courses first and/or 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. Fees: hourly rate including travel, subject to change.

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 about the environment?

Human history is recorded in ceramics through which it brings cultural capital and richness to our lives like no other material. However, it also contributes to environmental degradation through mining, firing, waste and cost of “clay miles”.

At SCC we ask our students to join our journey to become mindful of the environmental effects of our activities.

To this end we have a comprehensive recycling program for all waste, we buy 100% green power, we fire our kilns at Mid temp (lower than stoneware), we buy a local clay exclusively produced for us (reduced travel costs), we have a circular economy for products, and we encourage active selection of only the best pieces to offer to the kiln. We encourage students to engage in reflection, critical discourse and analysis with their teachers in order to keep only a small selection of their best pieces to offer to the kiln!

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 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.

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.
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. Please diarise the date and jump online to book! You are also welcome to email us to get on a waiting list for a specific class.

We apologise we cannot take bookings before the published date unless you have a gift voucher. We can’t keep waiting lists for future terms, 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 and the balance is due three weeks before the start date.

If no options appear on the website page to book then it means we are not yet open for new enrolments. Please check the booking dates and come back when the new booking buttons 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!

Deposits and payments

Deposits are a commitment to attend and are non-refundable if you change your mind or your circumstances change for any reason. The balance is due three weeks before the start date. We run on very limited class sizes and ask that everyone is committed when they book. If you are worried you may need to cancel we strongly advise you purchase the refund insurance at the payment gateway when you enrol and ensure you read the terms and conditions carefully.

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