Life’s too short not to be creative – so take a course

Take the next step, and give your creative passion more time with a short course at TAFE SA.
Theatrical group on stage

Adelaide College of the Arts (ACArts) has adopted the slogan ‘Freedom to Create/Freedom to be You.’

It is a spot on way to describe TAFE SA’s short courses at ACArts, which offer students the flexibility to study part-time over a semester, and yet are long enough for them to unleash their creative passions – and discover their talent, while being part of a creative community.

TAFE SA’s arts and design courses offer intensive, practical learning across a range of disciplines for both hobbyists and aspiring professionals. From acting and dancing to graphic design, digital media and sound production, to ceramic and jewellery studio practice, all courses are delivered by working professionals.

So, let’s take a look at a few course options.

Born for the stage?

Coordinator and Lecturer, Catherine “Kit” Withers says that anyone can enrol in TAFE SA’s Discover Acting short course – an eight-week program that will be rolled out with two starting dates in Semester 2, so there’s no excuse to miss it.

The course is presented across four terms – each with a different focus – so you can take just one, or press on and build your foundation skills in your own timeframe to suit your goals.

Withers explains: ‘With the course offering a diverse range of topics, students at ACArts have the opportunity to develop a well-rounded skill set in acting. They benefit not only from exposure to our teachers – who are industry professionals such as directors, performers and teachers – but also from the supportive community fostered within our institution.’

You’ll gain technical skills and hands-on experience in areas such as improvisation, movement, acting, voice and auditions. Withers continues: ‘The Discover Acting short course serves as an excellent foundation for students looking to pursue further studies in acting, such as the Advanced Diploma in Acting offered by TAFE SA. ‘Moreover, the fact that many of our graduates began their journey in Discover Acting and have now found success in the performing arts industry is a testament to the skills, knowledge and confidence they gained through their participation in Discover Acting,’ Withers tells ArtsHub.

Woman working on pottery wheel
Discover TAFE SA’s ceramic studio. Photo: Juan Van Staden.

For those wanting a textural connection

A perennial favourite for students is the Wheel Throwing – Introduction short course, which lecturer Phil Hart has been teaching for 10 years. He tells ArtsHub: ‘Teaching by practising artists is a must.’

Hart continues: ‘It’s that moment when you see somebody “get it” that is truly rewarding for them, and me,’ adding, ‘we’re all here to have fun first, and also learn skills and make some things.’

The eight-week course has three enrolment dates in Semester 2, and there are no prerequisites. The course covers wheel techniques, altering thrown forms to additions, such as handles and lids, as well as scaling your designs for production of editions/sets.

Hart explains: ‘Ceramics/pottery is a highly technical area and that information is communicable by skilled professionals, [along with] aesthetic and conceptual ideas, historical information and a contextual overview of current trends and practices.’

While Hart says a keen interest and a passion for the medium is essential, ‘the skills taught are an introduction to the myriad techniques developed by clay-working civilisations over tens of thousands of years,’ adding that it’s up to students to take the next step.

Hart has seen a rise in interest in ceramic classes and experiences and believes this ‘is directly related to societal use of technology’.

‘Folks just want to get out from under that keyboard and make something tactile and real with their own hands,’ he says.

Lecturer Jo Crawford joins Hart in delivering the Semester 2 offerings.

Timeless jewellery skills with a contemporary flair

A new short course offered by TAFE SA this year is Introduction to Enamelling on Jewellery, delivered by jeweller Leslie Matthews.

She explains: ‘The course is an introduction to learning the craft of vitreous enamelling,’ adding that students will learn ‘the fundamentals of enamelling for jewellery making, decorative finishes and basic design principles’.

The course is very hands-on, as Matthews explains, ‘Participants will receive step-by-step guidance in designing and creating contemporary jewellery pieces, such as a neckpiece and brooch utilising coloured enamels and technical findings.’

Some basic jewellery skills and/or technical knowledge in the field is preferred.

‘It has been observed by the jewellery lecturers at the Adelaide College of the Arts, and some TAFE SA jewellery short course participants, that undertaking these courses has given students the opportunity to progress to either the Certificate IV Visual Arts or the Dip/Adv Dip Visual Arts, as a direct result of completing a course,’ Matthews tells ArtsHub.

She adds that while practical knowledge and technical skills are accrued over the course, it also ‘encourages analytical reflection on the creative process,’ which is key to a professional studio practice.

Key Diary Dates

Find out more about the full range of  TAFE SA’s Arts and Design short courses.

Gina Fairley is ArtsHub's National Visual Arts Editor. For a decade she worked as a freelance writer and curator across Southeast Asia and was previously the Regional Contributing Editor for Hong Kong based magazines Asian Art News and World Sculpture News. Prior to writing she worked as an arts manager in America and Australia for 14 years, including the regional gallery, biennale and commercial sectors. She is based in Mittagong, regional NSW. Twitter: @ginafairley Instagram: fairleygina