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Professional Potter Advanced Diploma

10-month advanced diploma

Where: Comox Valley
Starts: May 2015
  • Develop advanced-level design skills and production techniques,
    plus the business education you’ll need to market your work effectively. 
  • Learn in our 7,510-ft2 fully equipped Shadolt Studio with an excellent range of kilns.
  • Complete an internship with a practicing professional potter
    OR apply for a residency at Medalta International in Alberta.

Career possibilities: Graduates will possess the advanced skills, industry knowledge, and business expertise needed to become practicing professional potters with their own studio or workshop-based businesses.

Why Choose North Island College?

  • Applied learning, advanced techniques. Develop advanced-level design skills and production techniques PLUS the business education you’ll need to market your work effectively.
  • Fully equipped facilities. Learn in our 7,510-ft2 fully equipped Shadbolt Studio with an excellent range of electric and gas-fired kilns. Gain access to a Tozan-style Anagama wood-fired kiln, one of only three in existence in North America.
  • Master potters, qualified instructors. Your instructors are internationally known, practicing professional potters who have extensive knowledge and expertise to share.
  • Watch our NIC ceramics video.
    Get an exclusive tour, meet instructors, learn more.

Program Highlights

The ten-month Professional Potter advanced diploma is designed for individuals who want to establish their own studio or workshop-based business and make a living as a practicing professional potter. The program allows students to progressively develop their design and production skills, while integrating the technical knowledge of clays, glazes, and firing processes. Students also learn how to analyze and evaluate their design and production choices in order to optimize productivity, produce work of quality and character, develop a marketing plan for the work, and more.

During the first term, students are immersed in studio practice. A series of short, intensive courses allow students to progressively master fundamental to advanced elements of Throwing for Production, Design and Practice, Clay Technology, Surface Enrichment techniques, Kilns and Firing technology, Mold Making, and Hand-building Techniques for Production. In this term students will focus on technical skills, best practices, and defining their production preferences and business direction.

In the second term, students will continue to develop their design, making processes, and technical skills, and also begin producing work aimed for the market and portfolio development. Business courses provide a detailed range of business skills specific to planning, maintaining, and marketing a pottery business. Topics include market research, developing a business plan, legal issues, bookkeeping and accounting procedures, and marketing strategy as they apply to a pottery business. A digital media course also gives students enough digital photography and computer skills to develop, manage and maintain their own website.

In FIN-348 Kilns and Firing technology IV, a highlight of the second term, students will spend three days on Denman Island, BC, firing a Tozan-style Anagama wood-fired kiln, one of only three in existence in North America.

Finally, students will complete a mandatory two-month practicum with two options:

  1. An approved internship with a practicing professional potter, which will be structured as either volunteer or paid and give the student invaluable experience.
  2. Or, apply for a two-month residency at the Medalta International Residency Program in Medicine Hat, Alberta. Students taking this option would have the opportunity to begin developing their work and testing out markets. Residency fees apply.

Admission Requirements

  1. A portfolio of recent work (minimum of 10 pieces).
  2. A two year Diploma in Art & Design with a ceramics component, or a BFA with a ceramics major who can demonstrate significant pottery skills, or permission of the program coordinator.
  3. A 300-word statement of expectations.
Transfer Options (in and out of program): Although the aim of this program is to graduate students who will enter the work place or go on to establish a workshop based business, efforts will be made to establish transfer options with other educational institutions.

Program Requirements

First Term:

  • FIN-330 Throwing for Production, Design and Practice I
  • FIN-335 Clay Technology I
  • FIN-340 Surface Enrichment techniques I
  • FIN-345 Kilns and Firing technology I
  • FIN-331 Throwing for Production, Design and Practice II
  • FIN-336 Clay Technology II
  • FIN-341 Surface Enrichment techniques II
  • FIN-346 Kiln and Firing technology II
  • FIN-350 Mold Making
  • FIN-355 Hand-building Techniques for Production I rs
  • FIN-337 Clay Technology III
  • FIN-342 Surface Enrichment techniques III
  • FIN-333 Advanced Throwing, large forms

Second Term:

  • FIN-332 Throwing for Production, Design and Practice III
  • FIN-360 Documentation and Digital Media
  • FIN-366 Glaze sciences I
  • FIN-347 Kilns and Firing technology III
  • FIN-356 Hand-building for Production II
  • FIN-362 Business Practices for the Potter
  • FIN-363 Marketing for the Potter
  • FIN-367 Glaze sciences II
  • FIN-348 Kilns and Firing technology IV
  • FIN-370 Portfolio Development
  • FIN-368 Glaze Sciences III
  • FIN-364 Professional Practices

Third Term:

  • FIN-371 Professional Pottery Work Experience Practicum OR FIN-372 Pottery Residency at Medalta

Note: Total 984 hours to complete the Program.  After two terms of courses at North Island College the student will have six months to complete the 240 hours internship with a professional potter (the potter to be approved by NIC) or 240 hours in the Medalta International Residency program.

Completion Requirements

For successful completion of the program, students must achieve a minimum of 70% in all courses and pass FIN 371 or 372.

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