Continuing Ed

Pottery & Ceramics Courses

In addition to the two certificate offerings, the Professional Pottery program also offers a la carte courses, both for college credit, and through the college's Continuing Education division.

  1. To inquire about registering for individual pottery classes for credit, contact Thomas Koole. Credit courses are offered on the college's semester schedule. Start dates can be found here.

  2. Noncredit offerings are concurrent with credit class offerings. Search for current courses here.

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Instructor's Note to Students

We take the PTC motto seriously at the Pottery Program; “Your goals; our mission” is the premise that defines how we teach classes offered in the Continuing Education program. We recognize that nonacademic students are unique, have very different needs and often less time available to address very specific and personal goals. We want to help you learn what you need, when you need it with a flexibility of scheduling appropriate to working, or otherwise occupied adults with other responsibilities. Whether you are augmenting your skills; looking for a meaningful hobby, seeking professional status or just seeking a means to relax while working with your hands, we will work with you to make your goals reality.

Our Continuing Education classes are offered concurrently with our credit offerings so you can acquire as little or as much in-depth knowledge as you desire while working alongside fellow students with a wide range of experience. Our studios are spacious, well equipped and our tuition is amazingly cost effective. We welcome you to visit, email or call with any questions.


Popular Course Offerings

Edgefield Pottery

This course focuses on pottery making for potters, hobbyists and an introduction for all handmade ceramic artisans. It includes introductions to clay selection and preparation, wheel throwing and trimming, slab and sculptural work. Basic surface decoration, glazing and firing techniques and kiln operation are covered. Focus is determined by student’s interest; the wide range of methods and processes in ceramics are introduced; competence will come with practice. This is an evening class dependent on enrollment minimums to meet.

Introduction to Pottery (PCC 110)

This course focuses on pottery making for potters, sculptors, hand builders and all handmade ceramic artisans. It includes clay selection and preparation, wheel throwing and trimming, slab and sculptural work, pinch and coil and also extrusions, casting and molding methods. Basic surface decoration, glazing and firing techniques and kiln operation are covered. Focus is determined by student’s interest; the wide range of methods and processes in ceramics are introduced; competence will come with practice. 

Functional Pottery I (PCC 111)

This course is the study of the important elements of designing and producing utilitarian pottery, including wall thickness, balance and proportion, surface decoration and glazing and firing techniques.

Contemporary Pottery (PCC 113)

This course is the study of 19th and 20th century potters and artists who have contributed to the contemporary ceramics movement.

Pottery Tool Making (PCC 116)

This course is the study of design concepts and construction techniques for building simple personal studio equipment, including wedging tables, extruder dies, and studio furniture. Basic mold making, including slump molds, slip molds, press molds and multi part molds, is presented in overview. Focus is determined by student needs and interest. This is the ideal course for students wishing to gain experience in a specific technical area of ceramic production, build or fit out their studio or revitalize their studio practice with new techniques.

Glaze Theory & Testing (PCC 132)

This course provides students with the knowledge and skill to identify and test numerous glazes needed to develop a personal glaze inventory.

Decorative Pottery (PCC 212)

This course provides a continuation in the development of the functional skills needed in the professional craft field of clay including limited production and one of a kind pieces with emphasis on forming techniques and surface decoration. Intended to build upon the principles of Clay Design, in this class students focus on refining specific forming techniques guided by a specific esthetic design or look they are focusing on. Form, details, surface and slips before bisque and the subsequent glaze firing are all built around a specific finished appearance of a body of work. Students are expected to have a portfolio of finished designs upon completion of the course. If you are comfortable with your forming abilities and are ready to make that special collection of your work –take this class.

Craft Marketing (PCC 215)

This course is the study of the knowledge and skills required to effectively market a hand crafts enterprise. The design of logos, brochures, websites and related promotional materials will be covered. Additionally the identification of marketable prototypes and  the research involved in marketing specific pieces intended to support your overall practice will be explored. The goal of this class is to have a type or line of work and a marketing plan to start selling it to begin your journey to self support.

Advanced Glaze Testing (PCC 230)

This course is the study of glazes used on pottery. Emphasis is placed on performing glaze tests, analyzing glazes, mixing a variety of glazes, and correcting glaze faults. No matter your skill with glazes there is always room for growth. All levels of glaze development except fundamental are covered in cone 6 electric and cone 10 gas reduction. Additional topics include soda, raku and wood firing with other temperatures and firing methods possible depending upon your interest. Whether you are using commercial glazes, preexisting formulas from other potters or making your own temperature specific glazes we can help you achieve your goals and get better results.

Kiln Design and Construction (PCC 241)

This course is the study of the basic concepts of kiln design and construction. Topics include construction materials, heat sources, kiln furniture, and site selection. This fall we will be doing conversions on old electric kilns to use them for raku, cone 6 gas/wood reduction and working on designs to use them in soda firing as well. We are also looking into building an Anagama style traditional Japanese wood fire kiln –it will be an exciting fall. This will be a fabulous time to enroll if you are interested in different firing methods.

Independent Study

Like to focus on something special? Didn’t see what you need to know mentioned? Contact us and we can design a class that meets your specific needs. An example of an independent study project/class might be setting up a school ceramics program including clay, glazes, firing and studio practice. It is not uncommon for schools to have ceramic facilities without the knowledge of how to effectively use and maintain the tools and facilities. Teachers are taught how to teach; not how to make a ceramics facility work –the school facilities staff don’t know either.

We can offer a class designed around the “nuts and bolts” of making the studio function: what clay and glazes to use for specific age groups; matched to your kiln, how to make your own glazes to stretch your budget; the repair, maintenance and operation of electric kilns and safety issues of a ceramic studio.