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Fine Arts & Design

Explore Fine Arts at NIC

The Comox Valley is a vibrant arts community with many annual shows and festivals to support the talented potters. jewellers, artisans and designers honing their craft in NIC’s Fine Arts & Design programs.

This year, NIC faculty member and master potter, Gordon Hutchens is featured as guest artist at the annual Filberg Festival. His work with the Anagama kiln is featured in the following video, highlighting one of the amazing learning opportunities available to fine arts students:

View our other fine arts and design videos which highlight learning experiences available to fine arts students:

Register Now To Study With Gordon Hutchens at NIC


This studio course explores clay as an expressive medium for utilitarian and aesthetic purposes. It covers the techniques of hand construction and an introduction to the potter's wheel as well as various glazing and decorating methods.


Clay will be explored as an expressive and functional medium, relating to 20th century ideas and concepts. The forming techniques employed will include: throwing, slip casting, press molding, coil and slab construction. Surface enrichment and colour will be developed using slips, terra sigillata, and glazing techniques. Firing processes will include electric kilns, pit firing, raku and high fire reduction.


This course is a continuation of FIN 235. It is intended to expand on the concepts and techniques explored in FIN 235.

Gordon's course was a wonderful experience. Though I had been potting for 14 years at the time of the course, I learned so much from his incredible depth of knowledge. He brings a lifetime of pottery to his students and is a gifted teacher as well as an extraordinary potter.
Katy Fogg, Fine Arts Student and owner of Living Earth Pottery

 Coast to Coast Fine Arts Education

Coast to Coast Fine Arts Education

Tyler Cannon travelled from Comox to Halifax to follow his love of printmaking across Canada.

The Fine Arts diploma graduate is studying printmaking at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD University), one of Canada’s oldest independent fine arts schools. Read more about Tyler's story. pdf

Great Resources

In the Shadbolt Studios, a modern, 7,510 sq. ft building which contains separate ceramics, painting, and sculpture studios, fine arts students enjoy access to a variety of tools and materials. 

NIC is one of the only colleges in Canada to provide a commercial-quality silk screen press for student learning. In addition to hinge top table presses, the screen press allows students to gain hands-on experience employers value. Take a virtual tour online.    

	Professional Potter Advanced Diploma

Professional Potter Advanced Diploma

Take your pottery design and production skills to the next level with NIC’s new Professional Potter advanced diploma.

Study full time over 10 months with noted international artists such as Tony Clennell, Gordon Hutchens, and Alan Burgess. Study in NIC’s 7,510 sq. ft studios, access a wide range of kilns, and gain valuable business skills needed to take your work to market. Plus, you'll complete a working internship at Medalta International or with a practicing professional potter. 

Read more in this article from Clay Times. pdf 

See and Be Seen

Join a supportive community of artists who show their work at professional venues in the Comox Valley. NIC’s fine arts students regularly join exhibits at Courtenay’s Muir Gallery, the Potters Place Gallery, as well as the Comox Valley Art Gallery and Courtenay and District Museum, which host annual exhibits for students in the Fine Arts diploma and Professional Photography programs.

Unique Experiences

Each year, ceramics students from NIC's Fine Arts diploma and Professional Potter advanced diploma help fire Gordon Hutchens' Tozan Anagama Kiln, one of only four that exist in the world. Unlike modern commercial kilns, the Tozan Anagama’s intense wood fire-driven heat produces one-of-a-kind creations. The intensive process requires the help of many people over several days, and students gain a complete, hands-on understanding of ceramic firing, from concept to creation.