Clay College Stoke

To setup a unique independent college where a new generation of studio potters learn practical skills and wisdom from world renowned potters

We did it!

On 29th Mar 2017 we successfully raised £22,215 of £20,000 target with 301 supporters in 56 days

New stretch target

We've reached our target! Thank you so much to everyone who has helped to make this fundraiser such a success. Now we have raised the £20, 000 needed to provide our students with the workshop space, benches, wheels and tools they will need for their classes please continue giving to help us raise money towards the two eletric kilns that we need to buy. As many of our donors have not chosen to select a gift, we still have many great things on offer including tickets to a Dinner Party and an exclusive 'Party Bag' hosted by Kate Malone and Keith Brymer-Jones, from "The Great Pottery Throw Down".

About Us

The Adopt a Potter charity was founded in 2009 to try and secure a future for studio pottery at a time when training opportunites were in decline. The 33 BA (Hons) courses which had been around at the start of the 21st century has now reduced to just seven.

Since 2009, the charity has funded fourteen apprentices, offering them a stipend to take up a one year, full-time apprenticeship with a professional host potter. Having learnt a lot from running the apprenticeship scheme, Adopt a Potter believe it's the right time to expand and develop their remit with the Clay College Stoke project. 

Photo courtesy of Florian Gadsby

Why a Clay College?

Building on the success of the apprenticeship scheme and developing their remit, Adopt a Potter are proposing to open the UK's first skills-based, independent institution to focus on teaching a new generation of potters the essential skills they require to make a living from their craft. Students will be taught by world renowned potters who share a passion for keeping this tradition alive.

Photo courtesy of Florian Gadsby

Clay College Stoke will offer an intensive two year course, 45 weeks per year, for fourteen students. The emphasis will be on core skills and the use of materials covering all aspects of design, throwing, glazing, kiln building and firing together with traditional hand building and decoration, alongside new and innovative ceramic techniques. Students will also learn about marketing their work and developing a business. Our ambition is to empower our students with the skills and knowledge necessary for their creative future.

Alongside the intensive course, Clay College Stoke will offer opportunities for the wider community to engage with studio pottery through a large range of lectures, evening courses, masterclasses and workshops.

Photo courtesy of Micki Schloessingk

Why we need your support?

Adopt a Potter have found the perfect site at the recently restored Middleport Pottery, Stoke-on-Trent from which to run the College. Owned and run by the UK Heritage Building Preservation Trust (UKHBPT), it offers 3,000sqm of teaching space, two kilns and a gallery. However, to secure the lease, recruit staff, build further kilns, modify the building for teaching purposes and to purchase all the equipment will cost just over £200,000, and this is where you come in.

Whether you make a donation or pledge a sum to receive a reward, you are helping us reach our fundraising target. If you want to maximise your pledge, please use gift aid, (if you're eligible) and select the pay by card option as this costs us less than Paypal.

  • A pledge of £10 will enable us to purchase two pot boards towards the 260 required
  • £50 means we can buy a banding wheel for a student
  • By gifting £100 we can buy a selection of trimming tools for our students
  • For £400 we can buy a glaze mixer (we need two)
  • £800 will fund one of fifteen potters wheels we need
  • £1,000 enables us to buy a slab roller
  • £5,000 pays for us to modify and set up the Gallery space for students to showcase their work
  • £10,000 funds one of the kilns we would like to build with the students

For further information regarding the course please visit our website,

Image courtesy of Middleport Pottery

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