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.
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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:
An approved internship with a practicing professional potter, which will be structured as either volunteer or paid and give the student invaluable experience.
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.
Tuition & Costs Estimate for
Fall 2015, Winter, Spring & Summer 2016
Costs indicated are estimates for a 100% course load per year, unless otherwise noted. Additional fees may also include necessary equipment, supplies or field trips not included in these estimates.
While we do our best to share accurate and timely fee information, changes may occur. For more information, visit tuition page.
For international fees click here.
Learn from the industry's best
Master Potter, Program Coordinator
Alan is a core member of “Fired Up!” Contemporary works in clay, now in their 30th year. He has shown his work across Canada the USA and Europe. He is a self-employed potter in North Wales and later in Comox, BC, where has taught ceramics and sculpture in North Island College's Fine Arts department for more than three decades.
Master Potter, Tozan Anagama Specialist
Gordon operates his studio and rare Tozan Anagama kiln on Denman Island while instructing and exhibiting across Canada, the United States, and Japan. His work appears in many permanent collections including the Bronfman family’s “Claridge Collection” and the Canadian Museum of Civilization.
Internationally Recognized Potter, Pottery Making Blog 2013 Finalist
Tony is a second generation potter with 34 years of experience as a self-employed functional potter. He has a bachelor's degree in business management and a second bachelors degree in education as well as an MFA in ceramics. Tony is a Royal Canadian Academy of the Arts member and author of 55 published ceramics articles. When not in studio, he teaches and conducts workshops internationally.
Vincent is a Whistler-based potter whose work is exhibited worldwide and eagerly sought by art collectors, hotels and collectors of unique practical pottery. He has supported his family as an artist for 20 years and he encourages aspiring apprentices. His one-of-a-kind pots are created through experimentation and his own personal clay recipes.
Master Mould Maker
Russell in Vancouver whose portfolio includes a figurative clock presented to Her Majesty the Queen. He specializes in embossed work, handcarving original models to make moulds for casting porcelain.
Cathi creates salt-fired stoneware at her studio and gallery in the Cowichan Valley. Her highly sought after pieces are inspired by the river and landscape near her Vancouver Island home. Cathi teaches clay at the University of Victoria, and has also taught at Emily Carr University of Art and Design and the Kootenay School of Art as well as workshops and conferences throughout North America, the UK, and Korea.