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.
Learn sculpture in clay!

The Human Portrait

Clay sculpture on the human head and face


This is a great opportunity to learn how to sculpt the human portrait with Jean-Paul Zilliacus over a relaxed 3 Sundays June 4, 11 & 18 10-2pm in the beautiful surrounds of Montsalvat in the Clay Talk studio!

As a bonus for the June class, Jean-Paul will be offering 3 extra sessions for FREE to help you all get to a quality level of finish of your piece.

This is NOT The Human Figure where it studies the whole human figure but the head and face of a model.

This masterclass will introduce you to sculptural form. It is suitable for those who are beginner sculptors through to advanced. As long as you have some basic experience handbuilding in clay and you are over 13+ years of age this is your chance to learn from one of the very best!

Jean-Paul was a pupil of Matcham Skipper and has held numerous exhibitions and clay sculpting commissions of people over the years. His work can be seen at Montsalvat and Clay Talk studio. Jean-Paul has a keen following from the public who have enjoyed his works over the years.

As part of the masterclass experience, a live model will be in attendance for each session with a focus on Observational Realism

Each attendee will be given 25kgs of high quality white stoneware clay. The cost does not include a Pottery Toolkit. If you need a Pottery Toolkit you can purchase one for $40 at checkout here. You will be guided to make more than one solid human figure piece on 30cm x 30cm boards.

After the workshop finishes, your pieces will need to dry for 6-8 weeks before they are ready for pick up. Your pieces will be kiln fired to 1000C if you wish. You will receive an email when your pieces are dried, safe to transport and ready for collection from Montsalvat Reception.

The masterclass runs for 3 Sundays:

Sunday June 4 10am-2pm

Sunday June 11 10am-2pm

Sunday June 12 10am-2pm

The cost of the masterclass includes:

*a live model

*2 x 12.5kg sculpting clay

*some tools and equipment 

*storage and safe drying of your work

*tea and coffee provided

--- Lunch is not provided, however the Boulevard Restaurant at Montsalvat is open 9.30am - 3.30pm. For bookings please call (03) 9431 2681. 

We strongly suggest bringing your own lunch and time will be allocated for a short lunch & tea/coffee break in between. 

The cost of the masterclass includes the firing of your head if you wish.

Places for the masterclass are limited to seven people. So book in today to guarantee your place for this exciting and rare opportunity to learn from a real master of sculpture!

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.

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

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What you will learn

  • Observational Realism

What you will get

  • A new way of seeing and using your hands!

What to bring

  • Apron & Pottery Tools

What to wear

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

Appropriate for


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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Clay Talk Ceramic Centre has an average rating of 4.9 for their other classes.

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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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