Have you ever wanted to work with clay, but not known where to start? Come and learn a range of skills that you can later adapt to fulfil your creative ideas. This course, designed for beginners or relative beginners, teaches hand building skills in a structured way. It is essential to attend the first two evening classes or the first weekend day to learn foundational skills. Do you want us to email you when new courses are scheduled? Click on "Let me know about future course dates".
Evening courses run over eight weekly sessions. Courses are available on either Tuesday or Wednesday evenings 7 - 9pm. Weekend courses run over two weekends. The first part of each course runs on a Saturday and Sunday 10am - 4:30pm. Then a follow-up class will run on a Saturday 10am to 1pm to glaze your pieces. Courses are limited to 12 per year due to constraints in our pottery room and kiln room. Each year's courses are published in approximately November of the prior year.
2024 dates will be published in October or November 2023.
Matt will discuss dates and times for collecting fired pieces.
Ideal for beginners or those relatively new to pottery, this course introduces a range of clay forming and decorating techniques that will equip you to work independently at home. A range of hand building approaches, wheel throwing, slip trailing and press moulding are covered.
This course is focused on learning technical skills which Matt teaches in a systematic way - usually demonstration first, then group practice. For most students it takes a full course to acquire these basic skills and you will produce some simple pieces as part of your learning. Once you have mastered the basics you are encouraged to pursue your own creative direction (in either a second term of classes or at home). It is important to attend the first two classes of your course as foundational skills are covered in this classes. Please enrol at a time when your schedule will permit this.
Maximum class size 11 students. We have three wheels available for most classes. Your fee covers basic clay and glazes as well as firing. Matt will have some tools available to share with the group (cutting wires, smoothing tools, texture tools, shaping tools, sponges etc). You are welcome to share the use of these tools or buy your own (a cheap kit is available at The Warehouse and Matt will talk about this in the first class).
Matt is one of New Zealand's top award-winning potters, and is a dedicated and patient teacher.
We are excited to have you join us in our small, pottery shed, located next to our kiln room at the back of Selwyn College, for a fun and creative pottery experience. Since the shed can be cold in the winter months, it's essential to dress appropriately to ensure your comfort while you work on your pottery masterpieces. We suggest you layer up, wear a warm top, warm socks, closed shoes or boots, hat and scarf if you particularly feel the cold.
On completion of the course it is expected that you will be able to:
Those new to pottery wishing to learn hand forming techniques in a structured setting. Matt encourages students to attend the course twice if possible to practise learned techniques in a supported environment before crafting at home.
Dear Anne, I’m just writing to say what a privilege it was to do your Pottery Course with Matt McLean. He is an extremely experienced tutor with a wealth of knowledge to pass on to his students. This is high calibre teaching at its best. Thank you for the opportunity. Sue M August 2022
Feedback from past students:
- Hi Please pass on my thanks to Matt-thoroughly enjoyed these evening classes and the tolerance, generosity and humour that Matt brings to the lessons. Highly recommended. Kind regards Cheryl
- What a privilege it was to do your Pottery Course with Matt McLean.
- He is an extremely experienced tutor with a wealth of knowledge to pass on to his students. This is high calibre teaching at its best.
- The course is good with reasonable price and suitable class size. It's great that more people can know and join. Great fun!
- I liked that it is not too structured - you're free to make what interests you but other tools and ideas are available if you want to branch out
- Matt is very knowledgeable, clear in his explanation, patient and helpful - and friendly! This is my second time taking this course, I am happy I returned
- Enjoyed everything! I attended this course along with 2 friends last year - this yer we all cam back and brought 2 more friends. I like the combination of practical skills and freedom given my the tutor to experiment. The course covers a great range of techniques so beginners can accomplish a variety, rather than feeling restricted by their newbie-ness. Matt is a great tutor, gives lots of good instructions, and feedback when needed. He's very knowledgeable, and great at one-on-one and group instruction. I'll probably be back for a 3rd run soon