Skip to content


Nina Matthewson-  2012

The experience and pleasure I have gained from studying ceramics are beyond my expectations. I would highly recommend this course to those who are willing to let loose and enjoy this wonderful form of creativity. It has created a purpose, a balance and new friendships and I can’t imagine my week without it.

The professional guidance given by the highly regarded ceramists has been both inspirational and motivating to myself and to those who surround me. The state of the art facility has enabled me to extend my skills and grow quickly into a competent ceramist.

Everyday I am continually challenged to tackle the stimulating thought process associated with this niche art, and am constantly in a state of utter enjoyment and gratification. 


Vicki Camilleri- 2012

Dear Chris

I would like to thank you and the people of TAFE for the wonderful education and guidance your establishment has provided me over the past year. Without the existence of Brookvale TAFE my career purpose in life would never have been fulfilled. For this I will always be grateful. I have had difficulty in learning during my childhood due to dyslexia which unfortunately left me struggling in the workplace. So TAFE has done more than help me with my career, it has restored me as a confident human being in society. Therefore you will always have my devotion and gratitude.

 Best regards


Christine MacKinnon-2012

About 12 years ago I moved to Palm Beach and quickly discovered, through word of mouth, the wonderful opportunity available to study for a Diploma in Ceramics at the Northern Beaches TAFE.  With the support of the ceramics teachers, who are also practising ceramists themselves, I was guided through all the various aspects of potting – from construction techniques, throwing, decorating, glaze technology and firing techniques, to concepts and history of Art.  The course was so stimulating and rewarding that I then continued by enrolling in the Advanced Diploma Course.  The focus in this course was developing concepts to produce my own signature works and then experiencing how to exhibit them in commercial galleries.

My resulting sculptural pieces, which I am still continuing and developing today, consist of clay structures that represent or suggest ‘traps’ – fish traps, bird traps etc.  To these forms I add the natural detritus I collect along Pittwater, washed up after storms.  My concern in crafting these forms is to highlight the continuing depletion of biodiversity of our environment.  These natural additions, such as sea urchins, sponges and fibres, also work as symbolic camouflage, blinding us to the traps we are creating.  My sculptures have been exhibited at Byron Bay East Coast Sculpture Show, Broken Hill Regional Gallery, Kerrie Lowe Gallery Newtown, Depot 11 Gallery Danks Street, Waterloo and Artzpace Exhibition Avalon.

I now participate in the Studio Access offered by Northern Beaches TAFE, which provides me with studio space to create my pieces, technical advice by staff if I am having problems and kilns to fire and glaze my work.  And just as important is the ongoing contact this provides with friends I have developed over these ceramic training years.  


Christine MacKinnon trap

Kara Pryor 2012

I commenced fulltime cert 3 Ceramics at Northern beaches in 2011.  I have many years of experience behind me but I thrive on learning & wanted new challenges and someone to actually teach me new things.  I wanted to learn everything about ceramics. I needed direction. 

 I remember my first day so well, I was so excited to be starting at TAFE  yet I was really nervous.   I was worried that all the students would be school leavers or be really experienced.  Driving down to Brookvale, I almost stopped to be physically ill due to the nerves. 

 On my arrival I was really pleased to find that the other students in my class were all about my age, they were also there simply to learn, some had not even touched clay before!

 I was quickly put at ease as my teachers:  Barry, Chris & Bruce were amazing & taught me everything from mould making, slip casting, mixing ingredients to make glazes, raku, pit and wood firings, learning how to throw, & presenting myself as an Artist. 

 I loved every minute of that year.

 The environment is just pure heaven, for me.  I feel like a child in a toy store here.  The ceramic department is set amongst the trees; open, spacious & friendly.  I have not only learnt from my teachers, but also from many students who bring with them their life stories & experiences.

 I have met the most amazing friends & teachers, and they have taught me to be true to myself and create from the heart.

 I highly recommend enrolling in any of the classes down here at the Ceramic Studio, Northern Beaches TAFE.  One never knows where the learning journey may take you.  I can assure you…you will Learn!


Kara Pryor-Dragon

Kara Pryor-Dragon

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: