A few weeks ago myself and Emily from the JM team went to try out one of the best new pottery classes in Melbourne for beginners.
Dean Millsom welcomed us into his beautifully decorated studio, located in South Melbourne. It’s a small studio, catering to a maximum of 6 students which allows for an intimate and personalised class.
Millsom grew up in Bacchus Marsh, studying ceramics and finishing with a Bachelor of Fine Art majoring in Ceramics & Grad Dip in Education. After some time teaching in Melbourne secondary schools his path first took him over to the United Kingdom where for several years he gave art therapy workshops to young people coming out of prison.
Eventually, Dean returned to Melbourne and joined the corporate world however was eager to get back into a creative space and share his passion for ceramics. He took the plunge and opened a studio in South Melbourne. It’s a clean and creative space where people can feel relaxed as they build on their pottery skills.
It’s grown faster than he thought. Initially, Dean was happy to fill classes with people who weren’t his friends but he’s already had to hire his first teacher as his weeks quickly fill up with class bookings.
One day, Dean hopes to have a gallery where he and his students can display their creations. In the meantime, he is enjoying teaching his craft to the various people who come through his doors.
Novice potters and new students looking to pick up a new skill can take an introduction course which happen 3 times a week. The training comes with a tool kit for your starting class. You’ll learn everything from wheel throwing, basic hand building techniques, and all the benefits that come with pottery, including its therapeutic benefits, and many other things pottery related. For the more enthusiastic there is a 4 week term. He’s also started running classes for team building events and hen’s parties. His classes cover the full spectrum of ceramic skills, including glazing and colouring.
“It’s like the new pilates”.
You sit there on your stool, the potter’s wheel in front of you and some clay that’s ready to be moulded into something entirely new. Simply unwind and create something with your hands. It was a really relaxing and fun experience that I would love to do again. That’s coming from someone who doesn’t have a single artistic bone in his body.
During our beginners class, I saw some significant improvement in my pottery skill levels. I went from not having a single clue about pottery to having produced two pieces that I look forward to having in my home after they are put into the kiln.
It also gave me a new appreciation for the items we have in our home. It’s so very easy these days to your kitchen with crockery from Target. The feeling, however, of drinking your morning brew from something that you made with your hands is quite special.
I asked Dean what his vision for the studio was;
“to help people achieve the shapes they want to make.”
If your looking for the best pottery classes in Melbourne, Dean’s should be on your list. You can find out more about the classes and offerings available via his website: thewheelhousestudio.com.au