A Message from Clay Talk Ceramic Centre:
For you to stay safe at ClayTalk and to protect other attendees and staff at Montsalvat, any patrons with flu or Covid like symptoms are asked to avoid the studio and reschedule their class or workshop when better. Masks are NOT mandatory. Vaccination and QR code checks are NOT required.
Handbuilding with Mary-lou Pittard - TERM CLASS

Handbuilding with Mary-lou Pittard - TERM CLASS

Handbuild ceramic vessels and sculptural pieces

Next Available: Tue, 11 Jul 6:30PM (AEST)
(Private Dates Available)
2 hours 30 minutes x 8 Weeks
Over 50 people have attended this class


Term 3 2023: Tuesday 11th July - Tuesday 5th September.

Term 4 2023: Tuesday 3rd October - Tuesday 28th November.

Time: 6:30pm - 9pm

Tutor: Mary-Lou Pittard

Placements are limited to 10 per class. Placements will be properly opened to the public one month before the beginning of term.

**NDIS is now available under "Request Private Date & Time"** This function is still developing with We Teach Me and any questions or need assistance how this function works please email us at claytalk@montsalvat.com.au

This course is suitable for beginners or for those with more experience who want to handbuild with clay. You will learn a range of handbuilding techniques suitable for creating your own vessels, sculptural pieces and small objects. This is your chance to create objects with your own personal style or draw on inspiration from the latest trends.

Our experienced tutor, Mary-lou Pittard, will develop your skills and help you work towards your own final project or take inspiration from her years of experience.

What you'll learn:

  • How to work with clay as a material
  • Pinch and slab building techniques for creating small forms and vessels
  • Choose your project and our experienced tutor will guide you to your goal: platters, bowls, vases, spoons, jewelry - the possibilities here are infinite.
  • How to finish your work in preperation for firing
  • Introducing you to glazing, glazing techniues or improving your glazing skills, plus learning about the Clay Talk studio glazes on offer and how to apply them correctly.


This is a 2.5 hour course on Tuesday evenings for 8 weeks.

Why Clay Talk?

Our class sizes are small so you can develop your skills, find your individual style and learn at your own pace. Clay Talk @ Montsalvat’s spacious and beautifully designed ceramic studio is a great space to tap into your creativity.

About your tutor:  Mary-lou Pittard

Mary-lou has worked in her Eltham Studio as a professional potter for over 35 years.  She is a well known local identity through her community involvement, as artist in residence with local schools, working with the Nillumbik Shire on large scale ceramic murals and smaller class room projects, not to mention her own functional ceramic practice.

Mary-lou produces brightly coloured stoneware ceramics in her home studio/gallery in Eltham.  Her work can also be admired & purchased at the Montsalvat Shop. She will create an energizing and creative haven for you at Clay Talk, where you can explore and develop your hand-building skills.

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What you will learn

  • An introduction to clay & to assist you with your project ideas
  • Techniques including pinching and slab building for creating small forms and vessels
  • An introduction to glazing, glazing techniques and preperation of pieces for firing

What you will get

  • A 10kg bag of Clayworks JB3 white stoneware clay to start you off
  • Use of tools, glazes and materials to form and decorate your projects
  • Your project completed including the first 2.5kg of your work fired for FREE! Additional charges apply after your first 2.5kg of fired work.

What to bring

  • Apron
  • Towel

What to wear

Casual / older clothes and covered or closed-in shoes - clay can get messy!

Appropriate for

Anyone interested in learning ceramics, you may have never touched clay before, want a refresher course or are keen to build on your existing skills

Clay Talk Ceramic Centre

(455 Reviews)

The Clay Talk Ceramics Centre in Montsalvat is a ceramics facility located in the grounds of Montsalvat – Australia’s oldest continuously active artists’ community. The studio is an addition to Montsalvat’s already rich history as a place where art is made, taught, shown and experienced.

At Clay Talk, we aim to be a creative environment that brings students and practitioners together through education and skills-based programs. Currently we offer classes where you can learn wheel throwing and hand building at all stages of development supplemented by specialist programs and workshops taught by established artists.

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4.8 (12 reviews)
Junerated it
17 Apr 2023
Absolutely Fabulous . Thank you Mary-lou , each class I learn a new set of skills. So much fluidity and freedom in these classes to express yourself through clay with no limitations. I really appreciate your enthusiasm and outstanding knowledge .
Tonirated it
05 Apr 2023
Rating Only
Laurenrated it
22 Jun 2022
Had a wonderful time hand building in Mary-lou's class. She is a wonderful teacher & look forward to returning in the future.
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Cancellations & Refunds

If the organiser cancels the class:

You are entitled to a transfer or credit note.

If you can't attend the class:

You’re welcome to send someone in your place.


You may cancel anytime before class starts and claim a full refund or transfer or credit note.

We recommend the refund upgrade option upon checkout in case you’re not able to attend the class. Learn more about refund upgrade option.

Terms & Conditions


To secure your place in a class, course or workshop we require full payment at the time of booking.

Bookings are only accepted through our online portal at www.claytalk.weteachme.com/.

Payment of class, course or workshop fees can only be made through our online portal at  www.claytalk.weteachme.com/.


Clay Talk studio is located on the grounds of Montsalvat. For this reason there are security measures in place to prevent trespassing and maintain your safety. Upon booking you should receive an Information Kit which has instructions on how to access Clay Talk studio.


  • We DO NOT offer refunds or transfers if you change your mind. Please be sure you are able to commit to the class, course or workshop dates and times prior to booking.
  • We do not offer 'make-up classes'. We might be able to offer alternative arrangements if you cannot attend class by contacting us at claytalk@montsalvat.com.au to check if you are eligible  within 5 working days of missing your class . Retrospective requests will not be accepted. Studio Access times are NOT make-up classes.
  • Clay Talk reserves the right to cancel a class due to unforeseen circumstances such as insufficient enrolments. You will be notified prior to the class if cancellation of the class is deemed necessary and a pro-rata refund will be provided.


In the event of a lockdown or restrictions causing unavoidable or unforeseen interruption to the delivery of classes and workshops Clay Talk will endeavour to provide rescheduled classes and workshops.

In the event that students cannot attend the classes, students must email claytalk@montsalvat.com.au as soon as possible prior to the commencement of the rescheduled class or workshop. If a student is unable to attend the rescheduled classes or workshop Clay Talk may, at its absolute discretion, provide either a credit note or a pro-rata refund (minus an administration fee of 10%).



Gift vouchers are only available through our online portal www.claytalk.weteachme.com/. Gift vouchers can be purchased for a minimum of $20 and are valid for 3 years from purchase. Gift vouchers can be only be used for booking classes, courses and/or workshops at Clay Talk through our online portal. Gift vouchers can be applied at check out when booking a class, course or workshop.


Most workshops include firing and glazing of a specific number of pieces. Check the workshop listing description on our online platform. Students participating in one-off workshops must label their pieces with the name associated with their booking/ticket.

We take extreme care with your work but accidents do happen and we are unable to guarantee that your work will be successfully fired. Clay Talk takes no responsibility for failure or breakage of work. 

Term classes:

  • Firing of 2.5kg of finished work per student is included in the term class fee.
  • Students can make and fire more work over this limit however additional charges apply.
  • Students must label each of their pieces with their Makers Mark (your Makers Mark is made up of the initials of your first, middle & last name and your class code e.g. John Adam Smith = JAS). No Makers Mark will mean your work will not be fired.

If a kiln shelf is badly damaged from your work due to incorrect glaze type or clay body, you will be charged for the cost of replacing that shelf.

  • If your work damages the interior of the kiln, you will be required to pay a fine based on the severity of the damage to be determined by the Clay Talk Studio Coordinator.


  • Firing, glazing and packaging of your work takes approximately 2-4 weeks after your class/workshop.
  • You will be notified by email when your work is ready for collection.
  • Student work must be collected within 1 month of being notified. Students will be notified by email to the email address provided upon booking.  If fired work, leftover clay and/or tools are not collected within this time it will be disposed of or donated to Clay Talk Fundraising.

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