People have been into ceramics and pottery for millennia. And no wonder; there is a primal satisfying earthiness to sticking one's hands into cool, moist clay and moulding it. Maybe you remember doing it in high school. Maybe you'd like to give it another go?
There are a multitude of ceramics courses in Sydney. Some things to think about when choosing one are: the type of ceramics you want to get into, location, cost, how serious you are about it, and the time you are willing or able to devote to it.
If your local college isn't doing it for you, courses in creative arts centres tend to be similarly priced while having a similar or better level of teaching. They usually also offer a more diverse range of creative people in the one place, which is great for boosting enthusiasm and inspiring ideas. Options include: Pine Street Creative Arts Centre, Chippendale Hazelhurst Regional Gallery and Arts Centre, Sutherland
For something a little different, Sturt in Mittagong offers intensive ceramics courses. This comes with the advantage of a studio and
teachers geared towards the more serious enthusiast wanting to immerse themselves in the craft. Being a couple of hours out from Sydney, they also offer limited on site accommodation.
If you love the art and want to make a long term and certified commitment, TAFE offers certificate and diploma courses. If you like academics, research, and degrees, The College of Fine Arts, Sydney College of the Arts, and the National Art School offer a Bachelor of Fine Arts or Design with a major in ceramics. The downside to these options is that you'll have to write essays and then pay off a university loan at the end of it. If you can handle that, the upsides are access to a dedicated ceramics space outside of class hours, to teachers who
are working as professionals in their field, and a plethora of new contacts and networking opportunities.
Before you get started, do speak with instructors first to see if the course covers what you want to learn and to get a feeling for what the atmosphere and expectations in the class will be like, so as not to end up with more - or less - than what you bargained for.
The physicality and tactility of clay makes it an almost therapeutic medium to work with, and the mixing of glazes does make one feel thrillingly like an alchemist. Working with ceramics can be a very rewarding experience in itself, regardless of whether or not you end up with an urn worthy of being in a Greek temple.