International Guest Artist: Michael Martino

A lecture and workshop opportunity

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Lecture: Saturday 21 October, 2-4pm $55 

Workshop: Sunday 22 October, 10am - 4pm $235 

Slow Clay Centre is excited to offer two opportunities to connect with Michael Martino, a studio potter based in Kyushu, Japan. Mike's work is inspired by the famous Japanese Karatsu pottery, known for it's simple rustic beauty and being an exemplar of the Japanese wabisabi aesthetic since the 16th century. These two events coincide with Michael Martino's visit to Australia. Come to one or come to both for a great discount! Note the earlybird prices expire on 1 Oct.

Karatsu ceramic ware is a style of pottery that has been produced in the Hizen region of Kyushu (modern day Saga prefecture), Japan, since the mid 16th century. It is the first example of glazed ware in Japan, made possible by the introduction of the climbing kiln, the kickwheel, and clay/glaze processing technologies from Korea. Karatsu ware is known for its simple, rustic beauty, and considered to be a model of the Japanese wabisabi aesthetic.

Mike, a native of New Mexico, USA, lives and works in Taku city, in Saga Prefecture, Japan. Mike makes his work using traditional Karatsu techniques and tools, and local materials. Most of his clay is collected by him in the surrounding area, and is sometimes blended with commercial clays and/or locally acquired stone which has been processed by hand. All glazes are ash and feldspar, with a bit of clay in some cases and fired in a large wood-fired climbing kiln. see more:


Lecture: Mike's talk will cover the history of Karatsu ware in Japan from 16th century to contemporary styles. He will also share his love and knowledge of searching, digging and processing wild clays. There will be plenty of time for questions and we can hear about his experiences of living and studying in Japan as a foreigner.

Workshop: Mike's workshop will be a practical demonstration of his work that is heavily influenced by the various styles and techniques of Karatsu ware. He will demonstrate using traditional local tools such as the "gyubera" (bull's tongue tool) for wheel throwing and include turning and hand building demonstrations and making teaware, tableware, sake ware. He will discuss glaze technology, brush decoration, clay prep and building and firing his large wood fired climbing kiln.

When: Lecture: Saturday 21 October, 2-4pm $55 and/or Workshop: Sunday 22 October, 10am - 4pm, $235 

Where: Slow Clay Centre, 13 Keele St, Collingwood

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What you will learn
  • A rare chance to meet and learn from international guest artist Michael Martino
  • Come to the lecture to hear the history of Karatsu ware and identifying and digging wild clays
  • Come to the workshop to hear about wood firing and see Mike demonstrate his wheel throwing, turning, and hand building techniques
What you will get
  • Inspiration and knowledge about Karatsu wares
  • Knowledge about Japanese wheel-throwing techniques, hand building techniques and specialist tools
  • Opportunity to purchase tools and Mike's own pottery direct
  • Knowledge about digging wild clays and building and firing large wood fired climbing kilns

What to bring
  • Your eager self!
  • Notebook, pen and camera if you wish.
  • Plenty of questions for discussion
What to wear

whatever you wish but with sensible shoes please!

Appropriate for

anyone with an interest in ceramics!


Slow Clay Centre

Vendor since 2013

Escape to Slow Clay Centre and learn the art of expression in clay.

Slow Clay Centre specialises in ceramics education and offers an extensive variety of ceramics and pottery classes throughout the year. Classes are offered on a weekly basis by the term, intensive weekends and short courses, and a rich variety of one-day guest artist workshops and forums. Catering for mostly adults, from beginners to advanced, we also have a Professional Development Program for serious practitioners. And some kid's classes so everyone can learn the art of working with clay!  Our enrolled students have priority to re-enrol each term and take advantage of our generous loyalty program providing free studio access (conditions apply). In this way we can help you to develop your skills to a high level. 

Our unique "Slow Clay" method (TM) for teaching the pottery wheel, established by Slow Clay Centre director and ceramic artist Jane Sawyer, has been taught for more than twenty five years. Based on the Japanese techniques Jane studied as an apprentice in Japan, in combination with western techniques, the "Slow Clay" method offers a synthesis of East and West. It provides ergonomic best-practice and a solid foundation for personal expression and confidence with clay. All our courses offer skill-based learning within a rich framework of contemporary art and design enquiry.

Based in a beautiful inner-city studio in Collingwood, Melbourne, Australia, the Slow Clay team consists of leading professional ceramic artists and experienced teachers who offer high-level teaching in a broad variety of topics - see our web site for teacher profiles. Together with other invited professionals for guest artist workshops and forums, we are a vibrant community of enthusiasts.

No matter what level you are, we welcome you to Slow Clay Centre where you can follow your personal pathway with clay!

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Refund & Cancellation Policy

Please choose carefully. Due to our limited class sizes once you've booked and paid either the deposit or the full fee we will only refund what you have paid if the class is cancelled by us. If you are unable to attend you may share the love and transfer your booking to a friend for no charge or, provided we can fill your place, you can hold your payment for up to 12 months for a future course.

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Terms & Conditions

Welcome to Slow Clay Centre!

We have some Terms & Conditions you need to know about:


These apply to all Slow Clay Centre classes/workshops/events:

  1. Deposit or full payment (depending on the course/workshop/event) must be made at the time of booking.
  2. Please choose carefully. Due to our limited class sizes once you've booked and paid either the deposit or the full fee we will only refund what you have paid if the class is cancelled by us. If you are unable to attend you may transfer your booking to a friend for no charge or, provided we can fill your place, we can hold your payment in credit for up to 12 months for any future course (you must pay the difference if the price is higher). 
  3. Please note: All students will receive a reminder three weeks before the start date with a link to pay the remaining balance with your credit card. Students who paid the deposit online will have the balance automatically deducted. Others will need to click on the link provided or ring our office on 99437844.
  4. Due to our limited class sizes, if your balance is not received three weeks before the start date we reserve the right to find a replacement student and if this is not possible we will keep your deposit.

Weekly classes: These additional conditions apply to all Slow Clay Centre weekly classes.

  1. Please note that making ceramics, particularly on the pottery wheel,  can be a physically demanding activity. If you have any pre-existing illnesses and/or chronic injuries to your back, shoulders, hips, neck, wrists or elbows we strongly advise you to seek a medical opinion before enrolling as some activities might exacerbate past injuries and we take no responsibility if this occurs. 
  2. We ask that you fully disclose any prior and/or ongoing illnesses or injuries that could affect you IN WRITING BY EMAIL before you enrol. 
  3. Your enrolment is conditional on your acceptance that Slow Clay Centre and/or the company's employees, whether casual, contract, or permanently employed, are indemnified against any exacerbation of any past or any new injuries.
  4. All work made during classes is to be used for personal, non-commercial purposes. This is individually negotiable for advanced students or for studio exhibitions but we ask students to accept that the emphasis of our classes is strictly on education not studio production
  5. Teaching fees are fully inclusive of materials but students will incur a single firing fee based on the current cost of $10 per kg weight after gloss firing.(no charge for biqsue firing)
  6. Collection of fired pieces: Please understand that our storage capacity is extremely limited. Students will be notified via email when work is ready to be collected. Work will only be retained for one month following this notification. No exceptions.

Regarding Kids Clay Club: 

  1. It is your responsibility to clearly report in writing on the enrolment form, any illness, allergy or disability that may affect your child's involvement in the Clay Club activities.
  2. Please respect our teachers and be prompt to arrive and collect your children. Do not arrive more than 5 minutes early to class or leave your children more than 5 minutes later than the class end.
  3. Children are expected to be mature enough to work in a group together, to respect everyone's needs and differences and to be polite.

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