Say hi to our newest instructor, Alicia McVilly a ceramic artist from Melbourne. We sat down with Alicia to chat all things plants, planters and pottery.

What do you love about teaching the planter class? As with any class I facilitate I love the enthusiasm and curiosity of the students. I love the moment when something ‘clicks’ for them, that ‘aha’ moment. The planter class has a special element to it as students are able to achieve a lot of height with their piece compared to what they can achieve on the wheel in the beginning. It’s also incredibly meditative as the piece slowly comes together and the unique shape begins to appear. And of course the very end, once the piece has been fired and the moment a plant is potted into the planter, ready to be admired for years to come.

What’s your favourite plant? This tends to change all the time. Variegated Heartleaf Philodendron is fail safe and always looks nice, it can bring life to an empty corner when hung from the roof. My partners Mum hangs them around the shower which can leave you feeling as if you’re showering amongst trees, almost. I also love umbrella (Schefflera) plant at the moment too, especially as they grow tall they can look impressive.

What’s your best plant/ pottery tip? A drainage hole is essential. Make sure the drainage hole is about 3cm wide and you must account for shrinkage in the firings.

What’s your ideal weekend? Going away to a nice coastal Airbnb for the weekend. An addictive book in hand, with anyone who wants to come with me, my partner, family, or friends. 

Cocktails, do you drink them? What’s your favourite? I’m not a big cocktail drinker, I tend to reach for a petnat or a chilled red in the warmer months and heavier reds the other half of the year. However, I don’t mind an espresso martini on the odd occasion for some excitement.


Catch Alicia imparting her handbuilding and wheelwork wisdom at our 4 Week Wheel Courses on Tuesday evenings and our Planter Making Class on Saturday mornings.