Hand-building Ceramics for Beginners and Beyond with Tanya Bechara Art Est Art School and Gallery

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Hand-building Ceramics for Beginners and Beyond with Tanya Bechara

Hand-building Ceramics for Beginners and Beyond with Tanya Bechara

This course has no current classes. Please the waiting list.

Learn to make functional and decorative ceramics with Tanya Bechara, an award-winning ceramicist known for her whimsical creations featuring Australian native fauna. Whether your taste leans decorative or crisp and clean, Tanya's 20+ years of experience can guide your creative vision and practice in a relaxed, friendly atmosphere. 

Students will be introduced to clay hand building fundamentals: coiling, pinching, slab building and sculpture. Using these techniques, students will learn how to build a range of simple forms. Students will also be introduced to a range of creative surface decoration techniques including sgraffito, carving and some glazing. This class does not use the pottery wheel you just use your hands, fingers and simple tools for your hand building to create functional ceramics.

Tanya will bring a selection of her own tools to demonstrate with. By showing you how to use the tools first, you can make more informed choices about the tools you want to purchase for yourself. Link to stockists below.

What to expect

  • learn fundamental skills in hand-building ceramics
  • make functional wares as well as sculptural pieces
  • learn about slab, coil and molded ceramics
  • learn key details about various clays and glazes
  • discover surface decoration techniques

Is this course right for me?

This class is suitable for anyone from absolute beginners to more experienced students who would like to learn creative approaches to ceramics. You are encouraged to develop your own projects to work on as you build your skills


Included in the course fee is half a bag (6kg) of earthenware clay, a limited colour range of underglazes for use, and firing of your work. Additional clay can be purchased from Art Est as needed.

If you wish to use speciality glazes or other colours, or decorative items, your tutor will recommend what to buy once the course is underway.

You will need to bring (all ceramics tools are available from keaneceramics.com.au):

  • an apron
  • hand towel
  • plastic bags to cover your projects as they dry
  • a small round sponge
  • a metal needle tool
  • a fettling knife
  • Sgraffito tool or carving tools
  • a pencil case to store your tools
  • a large(ish) plastic storage container with a lid
  • a stamp to mark your work (optional)
  • your sense of fun and creativity!

Will my vessels be fired?

Standard pieces made as part of your course program will be fired as part of your course fee. Larger or extra pieces made in class will be fired at $7/kg. Works made outside of Art Est. studios are not able to be fired in our kiln.

About studio classes

Our class sizes are small, ensuring you receive the individual tuition you need. We have a maximum of 12 students per class.

Unless otherwise noted, prices *exclude* art materials. Click here to see a list of local art supply retailers.

To learn about our studios, amenites and how to get there, click here.

Save on your art class

Art Est accepts Creative Kids vouchers and memberships to help you save on your art class, along with regular discounts for current students. To find out what you are eligible for and how to book with these, visit our special offers and discounts page:

Special Offers  

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Course testimonials:

  • I thoroughly enjoy hand-build ceramic in Tanya's classes. The class is friendly and easy-going and Tanya is a skilled teacher that generously shares her knowledge and passion for ceramics. Each student has the freedom to do their own projects and/or Tanya can teach new techniques to learn for new projects. Tanya gives genuine care and attention to each student, and supports students with many suggestions to help improve their projects. It's a highly creative and fun activity, after each class I always felt better than when I came in!