Professional Potter Advanced Diploma

Gain advanced design, production and business skills to create and market your work effectively. Progressively develop your design and production abilities while integrating sophisticated knowledge of clays, glazes and kiln-firing processes.

Where: Comox Valley
Starts: TBD
Length: 1 year
Tuition: $9,945 approx
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Gordon Hutchens’ course was a wonderful experience. He brings a lifetime of pottery to his students and is a gifted teacher as well as an extraordinary potter.

Katy Fogg, NIC alumni and owner of Living Earth Pottery

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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 FIN-372.

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.

Upgrade with us to meet prerequisites

Upgrade your English, math and science courses for entry into the program of your choice. Succeed with the help of NIC’s supportive instructors. Courses are flexible and start several times a year so you can learn at your own pace. We offer daytime and evening options. Learn more

International Language Requirements

For international language requirements click here.

International students must meet NIC international admission requirements.

Program Highlights

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

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

In the second term, you will continue to develop your design and technical skills throughout the creative process and you will begin  producing work aimed for the market and portfolio development. Business courses provide you with a detailed range of business skills specific to planning, maintaining, and marketing a pottery business. You will learn market research, developing a business plan, legal issues, bookkeeping and accounting procedures and marketing strategy applicable to your pottery business. A digital media course will give you enough digital photography and computer skills to develop, manage and maintain your own website.

In FIN-348 Kilns and Firing technology IV, a highlight of the second term, you 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.

Before completing the program, you 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 you invaluable experience.
  2. Or, apply for a two-month residency at the Medalta International Residency Program in Medicine Hat, Alberta. If you choose this option, you will have the opportunity to begin developing your work and testing out markets. Residency fees apply.

Tuition & Costs Estimate

Costs indicated are estimates for a 100% course load per year, unless otherwise noted. Additional fees may also include necessary equipment, supplies, NIC appointed uniforms, 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 our tuition page.

Domestic Fees

Year 1
Tuition $9,945
NISU Fees $125
Lab Fees $330
Books $1,530
Learner Resource $140
Total $12,070

International Fees

Year 1
Tuition $15,915
NISU Fees $125
Lab Fees $330
Books $1,530
Learner Resource $140
Total $18,040
Additional Costs for International Students include the $100 Application fee (required) and the $250 Accommodation Application Fee (optional).