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About 2018-10-17T12:28:35+00:00
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Brief History

Clay College Stoke opened its doors on September 11th 2017, with a mission to teach practical pottery skills and design to an international standard and to create highly-skilled, self-sufficient and diverse makers.

Over the past decade there has been a decline in ceramics education in the UK and the Ceramic Community is facing a major crisis. Many ceramics departments have closed and remaining courses have a multi-disciplinary approach and production techniques are marginalised in favour of concept and design.

It takes years to train a studio potter. Unfortunately, many art colleges are finding it difficult to offer throwing in any meaningful way, so it is more important than ever for a student wishing to make functional and studio pots to have the opportunity of an apprenticeship with an experienced professional potter.

Clay College Stoke was founded by Lisa Hammond and the Trustees of Adopt a Potter, with the support of the ceramics community, from master potters worldwide to the Stoke ceramic industry.  

Adopt a Potter – Helping the Next Generation

The Adopt a Potter Charitable Trust has been funding one-year apprenticeships since 2009 and was founded by Lisa Hammond with a simple aim: to help graduates to bridge the skills gap between the completion of higher education courses and the setting up and successful running of their own studios, by helping them to develop the necessary practical, technical and business skills.  But the closure of our most important and established ceramic departments and the prioritisation of concept and design to the exclusion of practical skills in the remaining courses, mean that this model is no longer sustainable. Graduates no longer have the skills to go straight into an apprenticeship. At the same time, our master potters will soon be too old to teach. So Clay College aims to help safeguard the future of studio pottery by providing a forum for our aging master craftsmen and women and the best of international makers to pass on their practical wisdom and tangible skills to the next generation.Our aim is to safeguard the future of studio pottery by providing a forum for our aging master craftsmen and women and the best of international makers to pass on their practical wisdom and tangible skills to the next generation of master potters.

Clay College

Clay College is a unique independent college, delivering a two-year full time diploma course, in the heart of the Potteries. It opened its doors on September 11th 2017.

Our Mission:

  • To teach practical pottery techniques to an international standard
  • To develop highly-skilled, self-sufficient and diverse makers
  • To augment and protect the renowned status of British studio ceramics

Our students are taught all aspects of throwing, design, hand-building, decoration, glazing, kiln building and firing, augmented by modules focusing on business, sales and marketing.  Our course is designed to create self-sufficient potters and our graduates will be uniquely qualified to start their careers with sound practical, material, design and business knowledge. The college also provides a forum for world-renowned master potters to pass on their skills, knowledge and techniques to the next generation.

Alongside the two-year course, we provide evening classes for the local community as well as short courses and masterclasses and we intend to engage with local colleges and youth groups to help revive interest in pottery amongst the young.  We are bringing the best of national and international makers to Stoke to share their knowledge and skills. 

Your Support 

As an independent, UK registered charity, we do not receive any public funding, relying on tuition and course fees and support from individuals, trusts, foundations and companies to continue our work.

If you would like to support Clay College and its future development, please help us by buying from the gallery, signing up for a course, becoming a patron or supporting our ongoing fundraising for student bursaries, work within the local community and the artist in residence project.  

Clay College is a recognised trading name for Adopt a Potter, Maze Hill Pottery, The Old Ticket Office, Woodlands Park Road, London, SE10 9XE

Adopt A Potter Registered Charity No. 1130164

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