The Studio Program

A pathway to independent practice

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The SoCA Studio Program provides in-depth learning that supports each individual to 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.

The studio environment, and the creative processes we teach at SoCA, stimulate and nurture the development of a rich, multi-dimensional practice that embraces multiple ways of knowing and connects self, culture, history and craft.  We encourage an approach to making that explores the interplay of perception, ideas and felt experience and enables each person to make authentic, original work.

Areas of focus include:

–  hand-forming techniques
–  wheel-forming techniques
–  testing and development of glazes and clay bodies
–  surface treatments including slips, engobes and decorative techniques
–  oxidation and reduction firing
–  the philosophies and techniques of major ceramic traditions
–  contemporary ceramic culture/marketplace
–  understanding the language of art to deepen aesthetic appreciation and perceptual skills
–  creative processes

Our students come from a wide range of backgrounds and levels of experience.  Although it is useful to have done a term or two of wheel-forming or hand-building before joining the program, it is not essential.

There are four 8-week terms each year.  New students can join the program at the start of any term, as long as places are available.   If you’re interested, please contact us letting us know your preferred class, your background in art/ceramics (if any) and whether you’re looking to focus on wheel based or hand-formed work.

Two complementary streams – Clay & Fire and Art & Clay – provide a comprehensive grounding in ceramic practice.  Both hand-building and wheel-forming are offered in each stream.  See below for further information.


Studio Program: Clay & Fire

  • Wheel or Hand-Building
  • Tuesdays 10am-5pm $1650 per term
  • Wednesdays 10am-5pm $1650 per term
  • Ongoing program; 4 x 8 week terms each year

Clay & Fire offers a deep exploration of the art of classical glazes and their application to contemporary work.  You will build your understanding of the elemental alchemy of clay, glaze and fire with reference to glazes from the Japanese, Korean and Chinese ceramic traditions giving consideration to the principles and philosophies of these traditions, their relationship to western art practice and their translation to your own work.

You will learn how to produce museum-quality historical glaze surfaces using a systemised approach to glaze development.  This includes use of local raw materials such as found clays and wood ash.  Each term there will be a group project investigating a particular category of glazes.  These are stoneware glazes fired in reduction and/or oxidation.

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.  Firing is $15.00/kg.  

2024 Term Dates – Tuesdays

T1  30/1-19/3
T3  23/7-10/9
T4  8/10-3/12 (no class 5/11)

2024 Term Dates – Wednesdays

T1  31/1-20/3 
T3  24/7-11/9
T4  9/10-4/12 (No class 6/11)

Studio Program: Art & Clay

  • Hand-Building or Wheel
  • Fridays 10am-5pm $1650 per term
  • Ongoing program; 4 x 8 week terms each year

Art & Clay investigates ceramics within the frame of the Western Art tradition, exploring the ideas and issues that have informed contemporary practice.  You will develop and consolidate methods and techniques for approaching form and surface in your own work through exploration of different clays, decorative techniques, and glazes while developing an understanding of the language of art.

Technical development is directed toward exploring different the tonal and textural range in clays and a simple methodology for testing combinations of clays, slips, engobes and glazes for low stoneware firing suited to electric kilns.

You will progressively develop and pursue a unique personal direction for your ceramics through an iterative creative process that supports both discovery and integration, deepening skills and refreshing practice across the cycle of making, glazing and firing.

In developing a body of work, you will be encouraged to consider chosen benchmarks, historical precedents, contemporary cultural context and the standards required to support a professional exhibiting practice.

Fee includes clay and materials for testing and development.  Firing is $15.00/kg.

2024 Term Dates – Fridays

T1  2/2-22/3 
T3  26/7-13/9
T4  11/10-6/12 (no class 8/11)