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
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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

  • FIN-330 Throwing for Production, Design and Practice I
  • FIN-331 Throwing for Production, Design and Practice II
  • FIN-332 Throwing for Production, Design and Practice III
  • FIN-335 Clay Technology I
  • FIN-336 Clay Technology II
  • FIN-337 Clay Technology III
  • FIN-340 Surface Enrichment I
  • FIN-341 Surface Enrichment II
  • FIN-342 Surface Enrichment III
  • FIN-345 Kilns and Firing Technology I
  • FIN-346 Kilns and Firing Technology II
  • FIN-347 Kilns and Firing Technology III
  • FIN-350 Mold Making
  • FIN-355 Hand-building for Production I
  • FIN-356 Hand-building for Production II
  • FIN-360 Documentation and Digital Media for the Potter
  • FIN-362 Business Practices for the Potter
  • FIN-363 Marketing for the Potter
  • FIN-366 Glaze Sciences I
  • FIN-367 Glaze Sciences II
  • FIN-368 Glaze Sciences III

Completion Requirements

This is a cohort-specific program; it designed to be completed with 4 months of full time study. For successful completion of the program, students must complete and pass all courses.

Admission Requirements

  1. A portfolio of recent ceramic work demonstrating significant pottery skills.  A minimum of 10 pieces, produced within the last 5 years.
  2. A Visual Art & Design Diploma with a focus in ceramics, a BFA in ceramics, or permission of the program coordinator.
  3. A 300-word letter of intent.

International Language Requirements

International students must meet NIC international admission requirements.

Consider NIC’s Academic English Language program if you need to gain the skills to speak and understand English in the college environment.

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

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

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

Tuition $10,340
NISU Fees $160
Lab Fees $345
Books $1,530
Learner Resource $180
Total $12,555

This program is tuition refund Category 3.

International Fees

Tuition $16,550
NISU Fees $160
Student Services Fees $1,000
Lab Fees $345
Books $1,530
Learner Resource $180
Total $19,765

Additional costs for International students include the $100 application fee (required).

For more information on tuition costs and refunds refer to International Tuition and Costs.