The Studio Program

A pathway to independent practice

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The SoCA Studio Program provides in-depth learning that is customised to support each individual to progressively deepen and refine their engagement with clay and art and to develop the skills to support an independent ceramic practice. Students benefit from group exploration of conceptual, aesthetic and technical elements of practice, alongside development of their individual work.

Lead teachers Shane Kent and Neville French have both previously held roles developing and teaching Diploma-level courses in ceramics in the TAFE sector and bring great breadth and depth of knowledge and experience to the SoCA program. 

Areas of focus include:
–  the qualities and idiosyncrasies of different clay bodies
–  hand and/or wheel-forming techniques
–  surface treatments including slips, engobes and glazes
–  firing techniques
–  the philosophies and techniques of major ceramic traditions
–  understanding the language of art to deepen aesthetic appreciation and perceptual skills
–  creative processes
–  the contemporary ceramic culture/marketplace

The program includes streams in wheel-based and hand-formed ceramics.  Each stream is offered as an ongoing, multi-term course run over four 8-week terms per year comprising one full tutored day each week plus additional studio time.  Students can enrol in one or both streams.

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Clay & Fire - Studio Program: Wheel (with Neville French)

  • Tuesdays 10am-5pm + 3 hours studio access $1500 per 8-week term

Clay & Fire offers a deep exploration of the elemental alchemy of clay, glaze and fire and is a comprehensive grounding in the ideas, techniques, skills and creative processes that underpin professional wheel-based practice as an artist potter.

Classes explore making, glazing and firing techniques for stoneware and porcelain with reference to Japanese, Korean and Chinese ceramic traditions, giving consideration to the principles and philosophies of these traditions, their relationship to western art practice and links to your own work.  You will be taught an approach to wheel-forming that explores the interplay of perception, ideas and felt experience and enables you to make authentic, original work. You will also learn how to make your own unique, wooden tools for forming functional ceramics.

You will be assisted to resolve issues that emerge as you work from ideas and experimentation through to glazing and firing your own work and will be encouraged to progress towards making a body of work for sale, exhibition and/or entry into competitions.

Fee includes clay and materials for testing and development; additional clay for individual projects can be bought at SoCA; firing is $8.00/kg.

2017 Term Dates

Term 1  7 feb-28 mar
Term 2  
2 may-20 june
Term 3  25 july-12 sept
Term 4  10 oct-5 dec (no class 7/11)
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Art & Clay - Studio Program: Hand-Building (with Shane Kent)

  • Fridays 10am-5pm + 3 hours studio access $1500 per 8-week term

Art & Clay explores the novelty of the hand-built form, the myriad possibilities of surface and the relationship between them.  It provides in-depth learning to develop and deepen the necessary technical expertise and artistic process to support an independent ceramic art practice.

You will develop and consolidate hand-building and sculpting methods and techniques based on your interests, exploring different clays, decorative techniques, and glazes. You will progressively develop and pursue a personal direction for your ceramics, refining and integrating these elements in a way that is unique to you.

You will be encouraged to consider and develop your work in relationship to your chosen benchmarks, historical precedents, contemporary cultural context and the standards required to support a professional exhibiting practice. As part of this, you will also be encouraged to progress towards making a body of work for exhibition and/or entry into competitions.

Fee includes clay and materials for testing and development; additional clay for individual projects can be bought at SoCA; firing is $8.00/kg.

2017 Term Dates

TERM 1  3 feb-31 Mar (no class 24/2)
TERM 2  
28 APR-16 jun
TERM 3  28 JULY-15 sept
TERM 4  13 OCT-1 dec