Clay Talk @ Montsalvat

Clay Talk is a new ceramics centre located in the grounds of Montsalvat. It's a space for those of you who seek to embrace the pursuit of ceramics.


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Clay Talk's creation is a natural extension of Montsalvat’s already rich history as a place where art is made, taught, shown and experienced. The centre aims to foster learning and inspire creativity by bringing students and practitioners together through education and skills-based programs.

At Clay Talk, students can progressively develop their wheel throwing and hand building skills. There are also opportunities for practicing ceramicists to explore specialized techniques taught by established artists known in their field.

In the future, we hope to have studio spaces available to rent for ceramic artists as well as visiting artists (national or international) involved in workshops, talks, residencies and/or projects.


At Clay Talk you can discover both wheel throwing and handbuilding. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never touched clay before, want a refresher course or are keen to develop your skills further. Our class sizes are kept small so you can learn at your own pace.
Take a look at our available courses below to find one that suits you.
You can also give someone special a course gift voucher, available in our Made @ Montsalvat shop.


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Denholm Lappas

Clay Talk Tutor (Discover Wheel Throwing), Kiln Technician & Studio Assistant

Denholm Lappas is an enthusiastic potter, who has recently graduated from RMIT University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Ceramics).  He has been working in the medium of clay for over 10 years. Working from his own studio in Footscray, his practice extends into various facets of the ceramic art including hand building, throwing, casting, artistic exhibition and commercial commission.  He has years of teaching experience running workshops from his home studio and with various non-profit arts organisations in Melbourne.

Denholm holds a passion for ceramic education and considers himself honoured to impart the ceramic tradition and share the transformative nature of clay. He has a fervent interest in all technical facets of the ceramic craft including alternative firing techniques, kiln construction, glaze development and studio management, he looks forward to the ongoing exploration of his craft.

When he's not teaching, running studio time and firing the kilns at Clay Talk @ Montsalvat, he's at RMIT University firing their kilns and assisting the students in the ceramics department. You could say his life revolves around clay.

Denholm aims to make your first experience with ceramics fun and exciting, and his enthusiasm for the art form is infectious.

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Tania Jeffery

Clay Talk Tutor (Beginner 1 & 2 Wheel Throwing)

Tania has taught all levels and ages how to throw and handbuild. She’s been working as a ceramic artist for over seven years, but Tania’s passion for ceramics started earlier – when she first got a chance to use the pottery wheel in art class at primary school.

Tania runs her own studio, "Jumping Creek Designs" which combines her two passions of ceramics and gardening. 

In Tania’s own words, “Turning malleable clay in to limitless shapes and finally transforming the finished artwork in to something permanent and frozen in time is like magic. Sharing this discovery with others is part of the joy of working in ceramics. Teaching is one of the highlights of my time in the ceramic field.”

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Amy Kennedy

Clay Talk Tutor: Clay and the Natural World

Amy began her ceramics journey at the Eltham Living and Learning Centre in 2000.  She then completed further studies at Box Hill TAFE and RMIT University.  She has undertaken artist residencies in The Netherlands, U.S.A., Iceland and most recently Japan.  She exhibits her artwork nationally and internationally.  She has taught ceramics at Manningham Art Studios, Living and Learning Nillumbik and Angelsea Art House.

Amy’s field of interest is the natural world, its intricate structures and patterns, energies and movements.  She is very excited to join the Clay Talk @ Montsalvat team to share her knowledge and hopes to inspire students to follow their curiosity to explore their own ideas.

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Mary-lou Pittard

Clay Talk Tutor (Hand Building)

Mary-lou has worked in her Eltham Studio as a professional potter for over 35 years.  She is a well known local identity through her community involvement, as an artist in residence with local schools, working with the Nillumbik Shire on large scale ceramic murals and smaller class room projects.

Mary-lou produces brightly coloured stoneware ceramics in her studio/gallery established at her home. Her work can also be admired & purchased at the Made @ Montsalvat Shop.

Mary-lou aims to create an energizing and creative haven for you at Clay Talk, where you can explore and develop your hand-building skills.


To stay in the loop about what’s happening at Clay Talk @ Montsalvat, send us an email or give us a call. We’ll add you to our mailing list.
Phone: (03) 9439 7712


During Montsalvat’s opening hours, come to Reception in the Barn Gallery. They can direct you to Clay Talk.
Note: We’re not always open when Montsalvat is, so please email us to organise a time to visit. If you’re already at Montsalvat and our main door is open, come in and say hello. Just be aware that when classes are running, our tutors won’t be able to show you around – they’ll be focused on teaching students.