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A man teaching a woman pottery.
Photograph: Gustavo Fring

The best pottery classes in Melbourne

Potter around and play with clay at these pottery classes

Adena Maier
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Adena Maier
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The art of pottery has been around for millennia, and some of the oldest known ceramic artifacts date all the way back to around 29,000 BC. If you're keen to try your hand at the age-old craft, luckily for you there are heaps of ceramics studios around Melbourne with skilled teachers keen to share secrets of the trade.

If you're a curious beginner or have a cheeky desire to recreate that scene from Ghost, many of them offer one-off classes where you can learn the basics. And for seasoned ceramicists or those looking to learn more advanced techniques, you can opt for a six or eight-week course. 

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The 12 best pottery classes in Melbourne

This South Melbourne studio offers small classes with no more than ten participants that are suited for all skill levels. In the classes, you'll explore the fundamentals of wheel throwing and explore basic hand-building techniques like coiling, slab-building, surface treating and more. For an introduction to ceramics, you can sign up for a two-hour class for $120. If you're keen to develop your skills, four and eight-week long term classes are also available starting at $295. 

This gorgeous South Melbourne studio offers a range of classes, including introductory single-session classes for the clay curious ($100), six-week term courses for the developing potter and an array of specialty workshops. Emerging potters in need of a space to work can utilise the studio's small co-working area and enjoy access to all equipment, private storage spaces and the firing kiln.  

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  • Things to do
  • Collingwood

Slow Clay Center offers classes and workshops for beginners to pottery experts in a beautiful Collingwood warehouse. The studio specialises in ergonomically sound Japanese techniques, which encourages students to work efficiently and with correct posture as they learn to work with clay. The practice can be so relaxing that students at Slow Clay sometimes call it clay yoga, so how’s that for mindfulness. You can choose between single sessions ($120) and eight-week terms (from $585), and it's best to register in advance to ensure you have a spot. 

This relaxed studio space in Flemington is helmed by ceramic artist and educator Gordon Hickmott, who has more than 25 years of experience in the field under his belt. For $530, keen potters can take eight-week courses and learn skills like hand-building, wheel throwing, sculpting and glazing. 

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  • Things to do
  • Classes and workshops
  • Brunswick East

Northcote Pottery Supplies is the go-to spot for pottery pros to buy materials like clay, glazes, and tools, but they also offer short courses and workshops (ranging from four to eight weeks) to bulk up your pottery skills from wheel throwing to glazing. After a few pieces for the house? Northcote Pottery Supplies’ retail space SMALLpieces sells ceramics and artwork from local artists and the studio’s alumni or studio residents. 

This independent studio and store also offers a range of classes, short courses and workshops for those interested in learning the art of wheel throwing and glazing. Choose between a $95 taster class where you'll learn how to make a stoneware piece or a six-week term for $455. Looking to learn specific skills? Keep an eye out for specialty workshops, like advanced glazing sessions and opportunities to shadow an advanced potters approach to studio practice.

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  • Things to do
  • Classes and workshops
  • Brunswick

This Brunswick artist-run studio specialises in ceramics and visual arts. In its pottery short courses, students are not only encouraged to work the wheel, but also learn to create sculptural objects using hand-building techniques. The studio’s instructors are amazing artists whose work is often found in the city’s best craft shops, so you’ll be learning from the best. A term of eight weeks will set you back $575. 

Whether you're a curious novice or a seasoned pothead, this ceramic joint nestled in the heart of Chapel Street offers a range of classes to help you hone your craft. Choose between one-off, two-hour classes ($120) and six-week terms ($490) that cover a range of skills, including wheel throwing, trimming and glazing. All classes are designed to be intimate and offer no more than nine spots per class, so you're guaranteed to receive a lot of one-on-one attention and support. 

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Based in Melbourne's east or south-east suburbs? Céramiques has a studio in Elsternwick and another studio in Kew, and both offer one-off classes for $80 per person and six-week terms for $390 per person. Build your skills in throwing, trimming, sanding and glazing, and create a variety of your very own masterpieces on the wheel. If you want to save a bit of dough, you can also book one-off classes for private groups. If you can round up a group of more than 26 curious potters, you can do a two-hour class for just $50 each.

Carlton Arts Centre
  • Things to do
  • Carlton

Established in 1975, Carlton Arts Centre has cultivated a reputation as the place to go to learn all things pottery. All skill levels are welcome at the studio. Run more like a club with classes in the morning and evening, experienced ceramists and new students work side by side with qualified instructors, so you can always learn a thing or two from your wheel neighbour. There are four terms each year, and you can either join individual classes or attend an eight-week term.

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Melbourne Clay School
  • Things to do
  • Classes and workshops
  • Abbotsford

Get your hands dirty at this small Abbotsford studio. All classes are designed for beginners, but if you want to graduate from making bowls to larger vessels, the instructors will happily give you a refresher before you tackle a more complex project. Places are limited to just nine people per class, so beginners will get lots of one on one tuition if required. An eight-week term will set you back $545.

While working in the corporate world, Sarah Schembri began explore pottery as an after-hours hobby and eventually decided to make the switch to being a full-time ceramic artist. At her Fitzroy studio, she creates tableware for chefs and restaurants across Australia and offers  a variety of workshops for those keen to have some fun on the wheel. Several of her workshops require zero previous pottery experience, and many include nibbles and wine for participants to enjoy. Sessions start at $119 per person, and all classes can also be booked as private workshops.

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