Canberra Potters'

Society Inc.























Watson Arts Centre is an ACT Government facility managed by Canberra Potters' Society Inc. CPS is supported by the ACT Government


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General course details

How to enrol

Cancellation policy

Children's courses

Children's school holiday programme

Meet the Teachers


TERM 3 starts 22 July; finishes 22 September

Term 4 starts 14 October





Students may attend any of the Beginners' courses once after which they are in a position to proceed to our Continuing classes. It is not necessary to attend all three Beginners' courses, eg if a student wishes to concentrate on wheel-throwing they may do the Introduction to Clay course followed by Basic Wheel-throwing and then proceed to Continuing classes

 Introduction to Clay        $320     Fee includes materials & firing

Introduction to Clay is a seven-week course for people with no or limited pottery experience. It provides a general overview of techniques, touching on a range of making skills, and provides basic information on glazing and Raku firing.

Saturday 9.30am-12.30pm   next course starts 22 July

Saturday 2-5pm    next course starts 22 July

Monday 6-9pm    next course starts 24 July   FULL

Tuesday 6-9pm    next course starts 25 July    FULL

Wednesday 6-9pm    next course starts 26 July   FULL

Thursday 6-9pm    next course starts 27 July   FULL

Friday 6-9pm    next course starts 28 July


In weeks 1 to 3 students get a feel for clay and its properties through various hand-building techniques.

In weeks 4 to 5 the focus shifts to the potter’s wheel, learning to centre clay (the basis for all wheel-throwing) and form cylinders and other shapes.

In week 6, work produced during weeks 1 to 5 is glazed ready for final firing and in week 7 a Raku firing takes place when students will see some of their pots go through the Raku rapid firing process.

Health and safety aspects of working with clay and pottery materials, and working in a pottery workshop, are covered during the course.

NB Because this course follows a set curriculum it is not possible for a missed class to be made up on another day or time.

 Introductory Intensive        $320     Fee includes materials & firing

An intensive version of our introductory wheel-throwing and hand-building course running over 3.5 days. Maximum of 10 participants in each course.

INTENSIVE 1  cancelled




Saturday 8 July & Sunday 9 July (9.30am - 4.30pm)

Monday 10 July (9.30am - 12.30pm)

Friday 21 July (9.30am - 4.30pm)



 Clay Basics       $320     Materials & firing are an additional costs

Prerequisite: Introduction to Clay course

Designed to follow on from the Introduction to Clay course, these 9-week structured programs build on the 'bare bones' techniques learned in the introductory course. In these courses techniques are explored in more depth, different finishing techniques and decorative concepts are introduced and there is more focus on glazing and firing.


Basic Hand-building

Sunday 2-5pm    CANCELLED - why not enrol in the Sunday afternoon general instead?

Basic hand-building incorporates joining pinch pots as the basis for other forms; scaling up using coils; the use of moulds for slab ware and addresses soft versus leather-hard slabs.


Basic Wheel-throwing

Sunday 2-5pm    

Thursday 6-9pm    FULL

Friday 6-9pm    CANCELLED

Basic wheel-throwing incorporates throwing cylinders as the basis for other forms, bowls, handles and other joined elements, turning/trimming and repetition throwing.




Continuing courses are of 9 weeks' duration unless stated otherwise.


 General - handbuilding and wheelthrowing      $320  materials & firing are an additional charge


Suitable for students who have completed 2 or more Beginners (Introduction to Clay and Clay Basics) courses


These classes are suitable for students with competent skills in ceramic practice wanting to practice and extend those skills and to explore their own interests in working with clay. Students who have completed an introductory course will have learnt enough to equip them to attend these classes. All our general class teachers are experienced potters in their own right and are equally at home teaching both wheel-throwing and handbuilding techniques. Terms run for 9 weeks.


Saturday 2-5pm    next course starts 22 July   FULL

Sunday 2-5pm    next course starts 23 July

Monday 7-10pm    next course starts 24 July

Tuesday 9.30am -12.30pm    next course starts 25 July

Tuesday 7-10pm    next course starts 26 July

Wednesday 7-10pm    next course starts 27 July


 Continuing wheel-throwing      $320      materials & firing are an additional charge    

Suitable for students who have completed Introduction to Clay and Basic Wheel-throwing courses 

If you want to concentrate on extending your wheel-throwing skills, these classes could be for you. Suitable for students who have completed Introduction to Clay and Clay Basics courses as well as potters with more wheel-throwing experience, teacher Cathy Franzi will tailor projects suitable for students' skill levels.


Friday 2-5pm     CANCELLED





Short courses are designed for the more practised maker and allow students to extend themselves and/or focus on a special area of interest.


 Surface Design & Development      $165      materials & firing are an additional charge    

More details coming soon.

Tuesdays 12 and 19 September 6-9pm    




 Art Basics - composition and design      $180   Lunch and morning tea included



(On-site delivery at your school available by arrangement)



Course 002401

TQI Accredited 5 hours


Places are limited so early enrolment is advised.

The program is designed for non-specialist art teachers who need to teach Visual Art as part of the Australian curriculum, such as primary school teachers.

This program teaches the language of art, focusing on the key concepts of composition and design. This enables participants to talk about why and how artworks are different, why they prefer one work over another. Participants will apply these concepts to the making of artworks in clay. All projects can be taken back and used in the classroom without specialised equipment of supplies.

9.00 - Responding to art using the language of design and composition using images and actual artworks. Concepts explored will include:

  • Form and function

  • Repetition and rhythm

  • Balance and harmony

  • Negative space

10.30 – Morning Tea (provided)

10.40 – Design decoration for a cup and a plate using templates provided. The focus of this session will be to:

  • Draft a design on paper

  • provide feedback on each other’s designs using the language discussed in the morning

  • Identify and resolve design and composition issues

11.40 – Make the cups and plates from clay slabs using templates. The focus of this session will be on:

  • Techniques for handling clay

  • Making strong and effective forms

  • Techniques for applying design to clay slabs

12.20 – lunch (provided)

1.00 – Complete making and decorating of cup and plate. The focus of this session will be on:

  • Techniques for joining clay

  • Managing drying of clay

  • Power of finishing touches

2.00 – debrief and planning session

3.00 – day over




we'll get back to you as soon as possible to confirm class availability and payment arrangements

phone (02) 6241 7800 for more information or to enrol (credit card payment can be done over the phone)

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General course details.

  • Handbuilding incorporates the use of coiling, modelling and slab-building techniques to manipulate clay into more free-form pieces.

  • Wheelwork involves learning throwing and associated skills on the potter's wheel. You will be taught how to centre clay and pull up a basic cylinder. This form is the stepping stone to more complex shapes such as bowls, plates, etc., which are covered in the latter part of the course.

  • In all classes you will learn to wax, decorate and glaze your pots and although the work is fired for you, a fundamental knowledge of the firing process will be gained.

  • The standard firing charge is $6 per kg. This includes bisque (first) firing, glaze firing, and use of glazes. A range of clays is available for purchase with prices from approx. $16 per 10kg bag. Tools are also available for purchase. CPS members receive discounts on firing and clay purchases. Clay and firing costs are included in the introductory course fees.

  • With the exception of the Introductory classes, any classes missed may be made up during the term at an equivalent class subject to available space in a class, but missed classes will not be transferred to the next term. Contact the office (6241 7800) to check the availability of suitable dates/times for makeup classes.

  • Classes are run subject to numbers.

  • Payment in full is required as the time of booking.

  • CPS member discounts apply to course fees.

Secure your place by early booking and payment.

Eftpos facilities available


Enrolment can be done by email or by phone (02) 6241 7800


Enrolment may also be done in person Tuesday to Thursday between 9.30am - 12.30pm at the workshop office, Watson Arts Centre, Aspinall Street, Watson, ACT

EMAIL ENROLMENTS: please note that you will be notified with confirmation of your booking or offered an alternative if your preferred class is already full


All prices are subject to change

Classes are run subject to numbers. Full payment is required at the time of enrolment.

Class fees will be refunded, less 10%, if cancellation is notified more than 10 business days before the first class date. If less than 10 business days’ notice is given then a refund, less 10%, will only be given if the place can be taken by another student otherwise the full fee is forfeited. If we cancel a class due to lack of enrolments, 100% of your class fee will be refunded.

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This information last updated 18/07/17