FAQ’s

General Questions


When does my class start & what time?

The CPS terms run in-line with the ACT public school system with full term classes starting from the Saturday at the end of the first week of the school term. Term starting dates are given on the website. The start dates of shorter courses and workshops are as advertised and on the website. The start times of individual classes are as listed on the website.

Children’s school holiday programs run during the ACT public school holidays. There are generally two weeks of classes offered in the autumn, winter and spring holidays and three weeks in the summer holidays. Dates and times are as listed on the website.

What do I need to bring?

An old towel; pottery tools. New students – your teacher will talk to you about tools that may be required.

Tools can be purchased from us although it’s amazing what useful tools you can find in your kitchen or garage.

What should I wear?

Enclosed sturdy footwear; clothes to get dirty in; an apron is useful.

Will I need to buy anything?

Clay and firing costs are included in the fees for introductory classes and all children’s classes.

For all other classes students need to purchase their own clay and pay for firing (unless otherwise stipulated). Clay can be purchased at your class. CPS members receive discounts on firing fees and clay purchases.

We stock a range of tools that can be purchased, including basic kits. Other tools can be purchased from retailers such as Walker Ceramics in Fyshwick. While tools are available for use by students in introductory courses, students who continue into other classes are encouraged, and expected, to have their own tools. These don’t always need to be purchased – useful tools can often be found in the kitchen or garage.

Can I pay at the first class?

Full payment is required at the time of enrolment.

I’m a member of CPS. Do I get a discount on class fees?

Yes, member discounts apply to class fees.

If I cannot attend a class, how can I make this up?

With the exception of the Introductory classes (and any special topic classes), any general classes that are missed may be made up during the term at an equivalent class subject to available space in a class, but missed classes will not be transferred to the next term. Contact the office (6241 7800) to check the availability of suitable dates/times for makeup classes.

Because the Introductory course follows a set curriculum it is not possible for a missed class to be made up on another day or time.

If there is a public holiday or long weekend will the class still be on?

Classes generally run when there is a long weekend or public holiday. Easter is one exception.

Can I work on my own projects or do I have to make what the teacher specifies?

In the general classes you can work on your own projects; our teachers are experienced in teaching both hand-building and wheel-throwing techniques. On the other hand, if you’re stuck for inspiration our teachers can suggest projects. We also have an extensive library that you are welcome to browse during class time and where you’re bound to find inspiration.

In the Introductory classes students work through a set curriculum gaining skills in various making techniques.

Some continuing/intermediate classes also work through a curriculum but there is scope for the techniques being taught to be applied by a student in different ways.

Classes, workshops and masterclasses on special topics often work to a theme or technique but within this there is usually scope for individual expression.

Does the teacher have Working with Vulnerable People registration?

All our teachers and classroom assistants are required to have current ACT Working with Vulnerable People registration.

What are the class sizes?

Introductory courses generally have a maximum of 10 students. Occasionally a larger introductory course is run with up to 14 students but in this case a teaching assistant assists the teacher.

General adult classes usually have up to 14 students. This may occasionally be exceeded with the teacher’s agreement.

The number of students in shorter special interest courses will depend on which workshop is used and the requirements of the course. The main workshop can accommodate up to 14 or 15 students; studio one up to 9 or 10.

Children’s classes may have up to 14 students. Most children’s classes have a teacher and teaching assistant. The rare exception to this is where there are low enrolments but a class is allowed to run with just a teacher; this only happens when there would be other staff members on the premises to assist the teacher in an emergency.

What are the qualifications of the teachers?

All our teachers are experienced potters with their own art practices. New CPS teachers go through an induction process to ensure that they teach to the expected level.

I didn’t finish something last term – can I come in and use the Main Workshop or Members’ Room to do this?

CPS members are entitled to use the Members’ Room at the current drop-in rate during opening hours or when classes are running after they complete a workshop orientation.

Key holders (members who’ve successfully applied for key access to CPS after 6 months of membership and have completed an orientation) can access the workshop at any time.

Non-members are unfortunately not able to use the Main Workshop or Members’ Room between terms but may access the glaze room to glaze unfinished work and leave it for firing during the shop opening hours of Thursday to Sunday 10am-4pm. However, you must be cleared up and ready to leave by 4pm. If you have enrolled in a new term of classes then your unfinished work can be completed then.

I’m a current student in a class. When do I need to enrol in the next term’s class?

Priority enrolment for the next term for existing students is available in weeks 5 and 6 of the current term. Full payment is required at the time of enrolment – without full payment your place will be given away.

What is your cancellation policy if I need to cancel my enrolment?

Class, workshop and masterclass fees in full are required at the time of enrolment. These fees will be refunded, less 10%, if cancellation is notified more than 10 business days before the first class date. If less than 10 business days’ notice is given then a refund, less 10%, will only be given if the place can be taken by another student otherwise the full fee is forfeited.

If we cancel a class, workshop or masterclass, eg due to lack of enrolments, 100% of your class fee will be refunded.

Can I smoke at Watson Arts Centre?

Watson Art Centre is an ACT Government facility and is therefore a NON-SMOKING AREA. This includes all buildings and grounds.

Children’s Classes (holiday & term)

What ages do you cater for?

5 & up

Will my child be in a class with children of a similar age?

Our classes are mixed so it depends on enrolments.

Special age-based classes can be arranged by request, for example, birthday parties

Can I attend with my child?

Parents and carers are welcome to enrol as a student with their children at the class fee. If a parent or carer is not enrolled as a student then it’s preferred that they don’t stay in the workshop during the class as it has been found to be disruptive to the smooth running of classes. The exception to this is where a child needs one-on-one adult support to participate in a class – if this applies then please discuss it when enrolling your child.

What will the children be doing in class?

Classes vary depending on the teacher. Generally they will make something according to a theme ie: animals or dragons for example; and/or a particular pottery technique such as coiling, pinch pots or throwing

Who is the teacher?

Teachers of the children’s term classes are generally listed on our website. When enrolling for a holiday class please feel free to ask who will be teaching; if the teacher has been confirmed then we will be able to let you know.

When do we pick up the finished work after a holiday course?

Each child will be given a note with the date of pick-up. Generally works are available for pick up within a fortnight of the end of the course.