Jane in studio 09 3.jpg


An undergrad degree in art education, in Melbourne,  revealed a love for ceramics and led to full-time ceramics studio training with Andrew Halford, Sydney(1982-85) and Shussai-gama, Japan(1985-87). Jane was then lured to Edinburgh, Scotland(1987-1990) where she exhibited throughout the UK. She returned to Melbourne in 1990 and established an inner-city studio and has continued as a maker since. She holds an MFA by research (RMIT, 2002) titled The Evocative Object, which investigated the power of the functional object to communicate through the sense of touch.


Jane Sawyer's ceramic practice has taken her to residencies and exhibitions in UK, US, Denmark and Japan and she exhibits widely in Australia. Her work has received many awards and is held in institutional and private collections. Jane has served on the board of Craft Victoria,The World Crafts Council - Australia and is an exhibiting member of the International Academy Ceramics. She is the founder of Slow Clay Centre, an independent ceramics education centre in Melbourne, where she supports, teaches and mentors emerging practitioners within a team of committed and encouraging artist-teachers. 

Artist Statement

Fluid, gestural and tactile, my work reflects an interest in, or perhaps an obsession

with materiality, movement and engagement through the sense of touch. Whether

I am making a humble cup or an altered and manipulated piece, the physicality of the relationship between clay and our bodies interests me. Clay, like flesh, responds to

and reflects touch. Using very soft clay and wet slip (a creamy clay coating) the

fluidity of the material encourages movements to be simplified, refined and “choreographed” – an essence of the expression of gesture. Through this language

of touch I seek to provoke intimacy and connection from wet clay to the "fired-frozen" object and it's life beyond my hands. Objects that will inhabit other environments whether domestic, gallery or landscape, can provide multiple dimensions for reading. Touching and manipulating molecules of clay, a millions-year-old material created by planetary and earthen movement, is a privilege I do not take lightly. "