Pottery Class FAQ

What should I wear to a class?

Comfortable clothes you don't mind getting dirty! If your hair is long it should be pulled back for safety reasons. If you are wheel thowing, please trim your finger nails before class.

What should I bring to a class?

We ask students to bring a clean hand towel to each class (and wash it after each class!). A personal drink bottle and a note book and pen is a great way to keep track of instructions!

How do I find new course dates?

New course dates are published on our bookings page, Facebook and through the local Upper Clutha Messenger. Please keep an eye on it as you need to book as soon as possible to ensure a place. Our wheel throwing courses book up quickly and we apologise if you miss out but encourage you to think about enrolling in another course with us if it has spots available. After the published date, our classes will appear on our website as open for booking if they still have spots available. You can then follow the prompts to book using a credit card.

Do I need to pay in advance?

Yes, all classes require either a deposit if the class fee is over $300 or full payment to confirm your booking – depends on which class you enrol in.

Covid-19 changed refund policy

We do not usually offer refunds due to the small size of our classes and the difficulty of waiting list administration. However, due to Covid-19 we are able to refund if we cannot reschedule a class/course by finding an alternative date or cannot operate due to government restrictions. In all cases we will try to reschedule a new date for the class and contact you via the email address you have supplied when you enrolled. If you decide to reschedule and a date has not been set upon we will offer you a credit note to redeem on a future class, if this is the case please contact us so we can secure you a place in the class before it becomes fully booked. Leave the tricky organising to us as we hope to accommodate all.

Do you offer a firing service?

No, sorry. But we do fire all our student’s work which they have created with us during their course.

Can I use my own glazes?

At the moment, no sorry!

Can I use your raw glaze materials to make my own glaze/test tiles?


Where can I book classes?

Please use the classes link at the top of our website.

Can I pay with Credit Card?

Yes, all classes can be paid by credit card through our online booking system.

All your classes are booked up, will I ever get in?

Were really sorry if you missed out! We can add you to a wait-list and send you an email to advise you of new class dates but it really is a matter of timing!

What are Studio Black's Terms and conditions?

Cancellation / Refund / Enrolment Policy Class Enrolment and Refund Policy **Please note the additional COVID-19 policy clause effective immediately. REFUND POLICY • A full refund (minus $25 administration fee) will be given if you cancel 3 weeks before the class start date. • A 50% refund will be given if you cancel 2 weeks BEFORE the class start date. • NO refund will be given if your cancellation occurs within the 2 week period of the class start date. ALL REFUNDS WILL INCUR A 2.9% STRIPE PROCESSING FEE. • Tuition fee is due in full at time of registration. • There are no refunds or make-up classes for missed classes. • Tuition is non-transferable Clay and firing fees are not included in tuition unless specifically stated for that class. All work made during class by students is to be used for personal, non-commercial purposes. At this stage we ask students to accept that the emhasis of classes is strictly on education rather than on production. Studio Black reserves the right to cancel classes with insufficient enrolment. A full refund will be issued if rescheduling cannot be arranged. Studio Black reserves the right to change the tutor stated for the class at any given time; however, we will endeavour to let students know ahead of time. COVID 19: for more information please refer to the Covid-19 refund policy question. If a class is paid for and interrupted due to COVID 19, we will reschedule these classes at the earliest possible date. NO REFUNDS are offered for these classes unless no suitable alternative date can be arranged. Leave the tricky organising to us as we hope to accommodate all. If your class is cancelled or postponed due to COVID 19, we will reschedule these events to run at a later date. ALL REFUNDS WILL INCUR A 2.9% STRIPE PROCESSING FEE.

What are your firing fees?

Firings are based on weight. A user-pays system, $10.00 per kilogram weight and payable before students collect their finished pieces. An invoice is sent out after all students pieces (ie, all classes run over the course block) have been firied. The invoice will be sent to your email address with the cost of your firing fee, payment is due before collection. The firing fee is inclusive of bisque and glaze firing and is charged to cover electricty and wear and tear of equipment.

Is there anyone who can't do pottery or work with clay?

Generally, anyone can do the hand building classes but for the wheel classes we suggest that you get a doctor’s opinion if you have a bad back, neck, shoulders or wrists. We do not take any responsibility for any pre-existing illnesses or health issues that may be exacerbated by being in our studio, including respiratory illnesses such as asthma. Using the potter’s wheel is quite a physically demanding activity and requires a bit of strength but most physically fit people can master the wheel with practice and perseverance! It often requires about six to nine months to start feeling comfortable with it so be prepared to join us for a while if you can!

What is the minimum age for Studio Black's classes?

Unless otherwise stated, all classes are for adults with a minimum age of 16. We do not offer children's classes.

What facilities are at the studio?

Presently the studio has three electric wheels, two electric kilns inside, one outside and a raku kiln conversion with plenty of ground space to offer pit firings in the future. A full size slab roller, a pug mill and plenty of clay recycling slabs if you like to get your hands dirty.

How can I find you?

Studio Black is located at Lake Hawea in Melanie's personal ceramic studio (a coverted garage). It's easy to see the location on the google map below.

Can I rent a space in the studio?

At the moment, no! Studio Black is a working pottery studio when classes are not on. It gets busy, that is why classes are worked out to a tight schedule.

Can I make pottery to sell?

All work made during classes is to be used for personal, non-commercial purposes. At the moment we ask students to accept that the emphasis of classes is strictly on education rather than on production.

How often are classes run?

Studio Black Classes are run as a secondary role to Melanie's commercial pottery studio. With classes fitted inbetween commercial production. Melanie's work not only encompasses small batch ceramics for everyday use in the home but also hundreds of dinnerware pieces for the hospitality industry. Over the winter months classes are often put on hold due to the longer drying times needed, this extends course dates past viable working time.

Studio Black Clay Centre FAQ