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Online Program

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Canberra Potters, Watson Arts Centre

1 Aspinall St Watson, ACT, 2602


Saturday 12 August 2023

3pm to 8pm


Entry by gold coin donation, some additional paid events.

About the Festival

After a flaming success in 2021 and 2022, Canberra Potters is excited to present Fired Up 2023: Licence to Kiln
Fired Up is Canberra Potters’ annual festival celebrating Canberra’s ceramics community. Join us under the winter night sky to explore the wonders of the ceramic art form and connect through clay at Canberra Potters. Visitors will have the opportunity to engage in pre-booked user experiences such as our ever popular “Have a Go, Have a Throw” or handbuilding stations, where you get to try making clay objects with the guidance of experienced potters, or enjoy the magical alchemy of raku firing where visitors are able to glaze pre-made ceramic sculptures and watch them get fired in the raku kilns right in front of them! (See details below)
Just want to enjoy the atmosphere without getting your hands dirty? Why not view the spectacular opening of our custom-built petal kiln? Our resident artists will also throw open their studio doors and welcome visitors into the makers world and offer opportunities to watch them create sculptural and functional clay pieces or purchase original artwork directly from the maker. In addition, our Market and Shop will be offering an array of ceramic wares, jewellery and decorative items created by some of the region’s best known ceramic artists. Food and drinks will be available to purchase from selected vendors (see below), with visitors invited to buy handmade bowls by Canberra Potters members and students, and have them filled with delicious warming home made soup for free. Musicians will add to an atmosphere of cozy conviviality as our artists share their enthusiasm of the ceramic art form among the community.
Come and get fired up about clay at Canberra Potters.
Supported by ACT Government 

Experience Bookings

Bookings are now closed.

Our popular “Have A Go” user experience sessions allow for visitors to try handbuilding, wheel throwing or glazing their own raku piece under the guidance of our expert potters!

Have a go at Raku Firing:

Raku firing is all flame, smoke and excitement. A fast-firing process that can produce beautiful finishes.

Choose a raku piece and glaze it with help from our experienced volunteers, then watch while our Raku Firers put it through a firing. You will be able to take your piece home to enjoy!

Raku pieces are purely decorative. Pieces are NOT suitable for fresh flower arrangements, food or drink.

Book for yourself or a group. Suitable for adults and children over 7 years of age.

Bookings are essential for this event. As sessions are time sensitive late arrival may result in loss of your booked session.

Have a go at Handbuilding:

Spend some time hand building your own small creations with clay. Enjoy the tactile and creative alchemy of clay with a potter to guide your experience.

Sessions allow for 20 to 25 minutes building with a 5 to 10 minute clean up.

These sessions are suitable for adults and children over 5 years of age.

Book in for yourself or for groups of up to 8 each session.

Places are limited so bookings are essential. Failure to arrive on time may result in the loss of your booked session.

Have a Go, Have a Throw (Wheelthrowing):

Always wanted to have a go at throwing clay on a potter’s wheel? Here’s your opportunity! As part of our Fired Up Winter Festival book into a session and try your hand at throwing on the wheel.

You will receive three balls of clay to throw on the wheel with help from a potter. These timed sessions are 30 minutes with 20 minutes of throwing and ten minutes to set up & clean up between participants.

Book in for yourself or a group. Suitable for adults and children over 7 years of age.

We will not be firing work made at this event. All clay will be recycled to use again.

Bookings are essential for this event. Sessions are time sensitive so please arrive 5 minutes ahead of your session. We may not be able to accommodate you if you arrive after your session has commenced.

Petal Kiln

We’re thrilled to have a custom-built petal kiln as a new addition to this year’s event!

A petal kiln is a unique, site-specific kiln that offers a captivating and dramatic experience for viewers. The name “petal kiln” derives from the design of the kiln. It is composed of individually hinged panels, reminiscent of the petals of a flower. These panels are carefully fabricated in such a way that they can be opened, like the petals of a flower, once the kiln reaches the desired temperature - revealing a handmade sculpture glowing at an impressive 1200°C.

Our petal is a wood-fired kiln which has been designed and constructed by Canberra Potters workshop staff Dan Venables and Joey Burns

The sculpture showcased within the petal kiln has been conceived by artist Maryke Henderson.  With her artistic vision, Henderson has created a captivating piece that takes full advantage of the unique environment provided by the kiln. The sculpture has been constructed by Elena Alvarado Benavides, Alice Bowers, Maryke Henderson, Abbey Jamieson and Dan Venables.

The petal kiln will be fired by skilled staff and volunteers on the day of Fired Up 2023. Late in the evening, visitors will be treated to the dramatic opening of the kiln, revealing the glowing sculpture bathed in intense heat and vibrant colors. Don’t miss this captivating centerpiece and unforgettable experience at Fired Up 2023.

Demonstrations & Open Studios

Find more details in our online program (top of page)!

Demonstrating Artists:

Guest Demonstrating Artists will delve a little deeper into their practices, showcasing their skills in hour-long demonstrations: a unique chance to see what these artists do and ask them about their processes.

Featuring: Cathy Franzi | Mahala Hill | Maricelle Olivier | Alex de Vos (Flaming Gargoyle Pottery)

Open Studios:

Canberra Potters’ Studio Tenants will be opening their doors and demonstrating what it is they do! This is a brilliant opportunity to see how pottery and ceramic art is made and discuss the ins and outs with the maker.

Featuring: Sue Peachey | Julie Pennington | Tanya McArthur | Maricelle Olivier

Potter’s Lounge:

Looking for something a bit more relaxed? Why not take a seat in our Potter’s Lounge, where staff from out Canberra Potters’ Teaching Team will be showcasing quick demonstrations of all things clay!

Featuring: Georgie Bryant | Chris Harford | Maryke Henderson | Erin Kocaj | Jackie Lallemand | Fran Romano


Join Canberra Potters for a small market with giant rewards! Enjoy part of the festival experience by finding some unique, hand-crafted ceramic pieces for yourself - or as early Christmas gifts.

Meet some of Canberra’s finest potters and ceramic artists and buy original, handmade ceramics including planter pots, tableware, sculptures, jewellery, vases and more, directly from the maker.

Participating Stallholders:

Blackburn Studio | Braidwood Clayworks | Canberra Red | Gingko Cottage | imPAWfect creations | Josephine Townsend Ceramics | Kate McKay Ceramics | P and P | P4P (P for Pottery) | Sandie Johnston Ceramics and Colette’s Clay Creations | Stephanie Johnston Designs | Urayarra Pottery

Food, Drinks & Entertainment

Food & Drinks

Our ever-popular “soup and a bowl” event is back! Visitors are invited to buy handmade bowls by Canberra Potters members and students, and have them filled with delicious warming home made soup for free. We also have a “mug and mulled wine” deal: you buy a mug from our shop and we’ll fill it with warming mulled wine for free!

Soup and mulled wine not you thing? Sylvie & Bruno Coffee will be providing all of your coffee, tea and hot chocolate needs (and Poffetjes!), fresh potato rosti and curries will be available from The Hot Skillet, plus beer and non-alcoholic beverages from Bentspoke


Local musicians LEILA and Jarrod and Lachlan will entertain the crowds, light-up dancer Ella Phoenix and fire twirlers Jack Bell & Friends are on the program to add to the atmosphere and keep you entertained all evening. 

Chook Raffle

Our chook raffle is back for Fired Up 2023!

Created by local artist and Canberra Potters member and teacher, Jackie Lallemand, this characterful chook “Princess Lay-a” is looking for her forever home!

To be in with a chance to take her home, come into the Canberra Potters Shop to buy your raffle tickets.

1 ticket for $5 or

3 tickets for $12.

Please note, we are card only, no cash.

The winner of our beautiful Fired Up Raffle Chook will be announced at Fired Up, 12 August, at 7.30pm. The winner will be called, so keep your phone handy!