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Ceramic Certificate Programs

education certificate programs

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#1 ango0211



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Posted 24 January 2014 - 11:52 AM

Hi everyone,


I am a fairly new potter. I've been taking weekly pottery classes at a community rec center for about a year now and it is growing to become a passion of mine that I want to explore further. Right now I work full time at an office job, but I am going to quit come Fall and hopefully look to explore the world of pottery more freely and deeply.


My question is, do you know of any schools out West that offer certificate programs? I don't want a graduate degree or another undergrad degree. That is just too much money right now. What I have found are options for ceramic certificates at community colleges, particularly in Santa Fe, NM and Mendocino, CA. I like the community college option because I do not have a portfolio of any sort and I think applying to these programs would be relatively free of application stresses.


On a side note, I also see this as an opportunity to live in a new place for a year or two (I live on the east coast) while becoming more serious about my pottery education. I'm relatively young so... I want to do this before it gets too "late!"


Are there any other schools that I should know about? 


Thank you!

#2 bciskepottery


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Posted 24 January 2014 - 02:13 PM

One idea you might want to think about is an apprenticeship with an established potter, especially if you are not interested in a degree. You might need to develop a portfolio of work to send around, but it might be worth considering. Some apprenticeships offer a small stipend, in addition to time to work on your own items in exchange for working in the potter's studio.

Look in the classified in Ceramics Monthly, Clay Times, Pottery Making Illustrated, Studio Potter, etc. for leads and ideas.

#3 Stephen Robison

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 02:58 PM

Post Bac degrees are decent, but an MA might also be a route. MFA requires as you said more investment in time and money and are also quite competitive. Residencies are good route too, but again are usually fairly competitive. As far as apprenticeships they vary quite extensively, but can also be a great experience. Taking workshops in the summer is also a fantastic way to grow, as they are often times directed at specific techniques in building, throwing and/or firing. I would not discount Community Colleges, many have fantastic people teaching at them. In WA state where I teach there are two in particular that are fantastic, one is Tacoma Community College and the Other I believe is at Shoreline CC. Doing some research into the work that they do can be fairly telling to their expertise in a certain direction you may be interested in going. For instance the person who is at Tacoma CC is amazing at wood firing and the instructor at Shoreline CC does some amazing work with black slip on white porcelain. Look at El Diablo Valley College on the edge of San Franciso, they have two full time ceramics instructors. Both GREAT, the two there are really great. Mendocino is good too! The idea of a certificate is not quite as relevant as just growing and learning. An AA degree is not needed, but building a good portfolio is and an AA degree or certificate may be a good way to continue your growth. There is no one path to growth. The main thing growth takes is your individual drive, work ethic and a day to day investigation into research that will drive growth in your ideas and your technical ability.  It is not always a book on ceramics, it may be a book on genetic virology and the imagery under the microscope, (thats one of my influences). DVD's and videos from Ceramics Daily, Youtube videos and many other great resources are available to you that were not available to previous generations such as mine. But libraries also are still an amazing source for research, not everything is online or digital! It is a blast, so have fun! 

Head of Ceramics, Central Washington University
Ellensburg WA


CWU offers; BA, BFA, and MFA Degrees, (Post Baccalaureate also available). Images of CWU Ceramics studio can be seen at


#4 JBaymore



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Posted 24 January 2014 - 03:14 PM

 In WA state where I teach there are two in particular that are fantastic, one is Tacoma Community College..........


I second that Rick Mahaffey at Tacoma is a terrific guy.  Nice facility.  Good potential choice.





John Baymore
Immediate Past President; Potters Council
Professor of Ceramics; New Hampshire Insitute of Art


#5 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 10:58 PM

There is one inBC with Tony Clennell among others

#6 S. Dean

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 08:47 AM

Although not out west, you may want to consider the professional crafts program at Haywood Community College. It is located in the NC Mountains about 30 minutes from Asheville. http://www.haywood.e...nal_crafts_clay

#7 clay lover

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 09:13 AM

Check out the program at Haywood. Asheville is a super , artsy, hippy, town, with MANY really good potters.  The area around there is rich in pottery traditions.  If I was moving, I would be running to Asheville.

#8 GEP


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Posted 26 January 2014 - 11:05 AM

This is not out west either, but Hood College in Frederick MD offers a ceramics certificate that can be completed in on year (in addition to their BA and MFA programs).

Mea Rhee
Good Elephant Pottery

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