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.
The Art of Wood Firing
from AU$35.00

The Art of Wood Firing

6 day journey into woodfirng workshop

Next Available: Sat, 06 May 10:00AM (AEST)
6 hours x 6 Days
Over 20 people have attended this class


This is a 6 day journey into making and firing pots for the wood fire kiln with Sergei Shatrov.

Strap yourselves in for this amazing ride as Sergei takes you into the addictive and infinite world of firing ceramics by wood.

Why wood firing?

It's the oldest method of firing your pots. The ash thats burnt from the timber in the kiln melts onto your pieces changing your work in ways no other type of kiln can ever produce. If you:

* like the idea of first principles

* interested in learning how fire clay naturally

*interested in the Japanese philosophy of Wabi-Sabi

*love to work with flame and fire

*feel you need to progress to a more complex and inspiring process with clay

*want to learn a more ecologically & environmentally sustainable way to fire your pottery

*want to be inspired and get some therapy from using a wood kiln

...then this 6 day workshop is for you! 

What is the schedule?

1st Day - Saturday 3rd December 10am-3pm

  • 10am-11am presentation
  • 11:30am - 12:30 pm demonstration making on the pottery wheel
  • 12:30pm - 3pmmaking own work

2nd Day - Sunday 4th December 10am-3pm

  • 10am - 11am trimming and slip demo
  • 11am-3pm students trimming and slipping

3rd Day - Friday 9th December 10am - 2pm

  • 10am-11am Kiln pack demonstration
  • Assist with kiln packing

4th Day - Saturday 10th December 10am-11pm

  • Fire kiln during day and finishing into late evening

5th Day - Sunday 11th December 10am- late

  • Fire kiln late into night

6th Day - Friday 16th December 6-8pm kiln opening

* unpack kiln, clean pots, discuss results 

Do you have to be a wheel throwing pottery to attend this workshop?

Absolutely not! In fact, the anagama kiln suits best the sculptural vessel and form. The two day making session will demonstrate and show you ways to handbuild with clay without even needing the wheel if you want. So if you are a handbuilder and sculptor fan - come on over!

What you get?

*10kg of woodfire clay body (more clay will be available if you need but at extra cost at around $25 per bag)

*all pieces bisque fired for the wood firing

*wadding material

*slips and glazes for your pots

*access to tools & pottery wheels in the studio

*access to the wood kiln

*the experience of firing with wood

*beautiful wood fired ceramics when you unpack the kiln

*space in the kiln is limited but expect around 5  of your best pieces to come out of the kiln. If small pieces, maybe more!

* Tea, biscuits, coffee & milk

What can effect or potentially pause a wood firing?

*bushfire season or fire danger period - please read below


*very bad wet weather - although the kiln at Montsalvat is mostly under shelter

What the cost doesnt cover?

* lunches or dinner. Although The Boulevarde Cafe is open on weekends at Montsalvat 10:30m-3pm - highly recommend to book there if you want to dine in at The Boulevarde.

About Sergei

Sergei Shatrov's passion with clay, firing wood kilns and leading a potters way of life has gone on for 27 years. Having travelled internationally to visit artists and learn from their ways, Sergei has a kind of knowledge and experience that you will surely enjoy and will invigorate your art of making in clay. Sergei trained in NSW Tafe systems in studio ceramics before going onto the Canberra School of Art at the Australian National University and then travelling overseas to Japan and the USA to take his knowledge to a whole new level. Sergei was born in Sydney to Ukrainian-Russian heritage and today lives with his family in Melbourne as well as being the lead artist and coordinator for Clay Talk Ceramic Centre at Montsalvat, Eltham.


Clay Talk reserves the right to cancel the workshop:

  • if a minimum number of people have not booked 7 days before the workshop. 
  • If there is a health order directive to isolate prior to or during the workshop.
  • with a sudden change in fire danger warnings or a dangerous fire weather system - if the workshop is cancelled due to fire danger period or from the advise of fire authorities, Clay Talk will POSTPONE the workshop and commence or reconvene in autumn/fall 2023 i.e. March/April

Upon booking please pay attention to Clay Talk Terms and Conditions and Conditions of Entry.

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What to bring

  • Apron
  • Your own pottery tools
  • Lunch

What to wear

Casual clothing, closed shoes, no long finger nails

Clay Talk Ceramic Centre

(399 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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5.0 (9 reviews)
Reneerated it
06 Oct 2022
Loved it! Woodfiring it the best.
Ritarated it
30 Sep 2022
Such a wonderful experience Thank youuuuuuuuu 🤗
jasonrated it
19 Sep 2022
Very inclusive workshop no matter what skill level in ceramics. Amazing inspiring hands on learning experience !
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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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