An ancient necessity that has evolved into a Mastercraft; the art of pottery is a beautiful process and has recently enjoyed a revival in popularity. Ponderers welcome to some of our favourite Potters from around Australia.
Victoria - Bendigo Pottery
Bendigo Pottery is considered Australia's oldest working pottery, established in 1858 this particular pottery so unique! Why? The pottery still retains a collection of ceramic wood-fired kilns which are some of the only ones left in the world. The kilns are no longer in use but remain in a museum for customers to view. Techniques that are utilised in this pottery are hand throwing, slip casting, jolleying and pressing. You can test out your wheel throwing skills in a half-hour lesson at $18 per person.
New South Wales - Pilliga Pottery
Pilliga Pottery in New South Wales is family-owned pottery, originating over 30 years ago. Johannes, the son of the original founders, is now the master potter. Utilising local clays, Pilliga Pottery art can be recognised with designs such as the signature Blue Wren and Australian native flowers engraved on their pieces. Their pottery workshops start at $25 per person where you can take home your very own treasure dish.
Queensland - Colour my pot
This little pottery is a step ahead offering classes guaranteed to spark creativity with pieces ready to be picked, painted, fired, glazed and collected by you. Pieces to paint start at $6 a piece with an additional $10 studio fee otherwise pottery classes are available for $85 per person for a 2.5 hour class. Especially handy during the COVID-19 restrictions are their take-home clay packs which can be purchased in-store for anyone who lives in Cleveland or delivered for an additional $5 within 40km of Cleaveland.
South Australia - Studio Potters
With a lengthy history, The 'South Australian Studio Potters Club' as it was formerly known, was established in 1954. Now known as Studio Potters SA, the studio encourages the social and teaching aspect of pottery to help members advance and achieve their goals in all types of pottery. Members pay for their usage of the club, and there is also a sales/exhibition area which faces onto Fourth Avenue.
The store exhibits work by the artists from the club including platters, plates, mugs, bowls and pots. The classes/workshops available here are for the more serious potters. Pricing and availability can be found upon enquiry.
Western Australia - Winterwares
Winterwares derived its name from the creative founder's mother's maiden name 'Winter', her love for the season and the notion that "meals are considered more in winter".
Founder Simone Habholz left her fast-paced day job, attempted a pottery class and fell in love with art where she later developed her own range. Winterwares focus on monochromatic designs and employ the Japanese tradition of wabi-sabi to create a luxury range of plates, bowls, mugs and vases.
Simone invites customers to 'Give [themselves] permission to slow down" in her creative workshops with private 1.5-hour workshops starting at $139 to create your own mug. At home pottery kits are also on offer, starting at $95.
Tasmania - Small Fires Studio
Small Fires Studio specialises in handmade ceramics for the table, kitchen and Botanics including bowls, espresso cups, mugs, jugs and teapots. Each piece is handcrafted with different washes, glazes and textures and stamped on the bottom with their signature 'Small Fires Studio' mark. Muddle Ceramics Workshops are the linked workshops for the studio, offering adults and kids multiple workshops, plus special one-off play days that are only $50 each.
Northern Territory - Tactile Arts
Tactile Arts is a studio that focuses on supporting local emerging artists and creatives through textile and print, ceramics and glass and jewellery classes. Established in 1973, it is considered Darwin's longest-running arts organisation.
The organisation holds a yearly schedule of events which includes exhibitions, workshops and a retail store at Parliament House. Workshops here include throwing on the wheel and creating with clay. If you are a more experienced potter, you can choose to hire the studio starting from $15 for a 4-hour slot.
For many of you living around Australia, now may be the perfect time to try your hand at a beginner pottery workshop to see what all the fuss is about and discover your inner 'Molly' (Demi Moore from Ghost) with some wheel throwing, however, for those of us remaining in Stage 3 Lockdowns in metro Melbourne for the next six weeks, a take-home kit might be a good place to start!