Potter-in-Training Programme

Applications Now Open! 

Ever dreamt of becoming a potter? Illyria Pottery offers an exciting opportunity for those keen to train in the operation of a working ceramic studio, learn the craft of clay from a professional potter (Illyria's artist and owner, Katie Coston), and gain experience in art retail.

We've run various iterations of this programme since 2014, when we began an internship with The Ruskin School of Art. The programme has changed shape over the years and has become a truly special offering in Oxford. Many of those who've come along have stayed on with us for a number of seasons and several have opened their own successful studios.

We will be taking new applications in February 2020.  

How it works: 

Generally, each trainee will work one day (7 hours) per week in the shop and pottery studio. Schedules may vary from month to month but will be confirmed during the last week of the month prior.

In exchange, pottery trainees are offered an exclusive benefit – the opportunity to join an in-depth “Masterclass". Tuition is from 5.45-9pm on Monday evenings, and trainees are welcome to continue to use the studio until 10pm to develop their work with clay. Artist and owner, Katie Coston (BA Art Education, MA Three-Dimensional Studio Art), teaches wheel-throwing, handbuilding, glazing, decorating, trimming, handle making, joining techniques, teapot construction, kiln loading, reclaiming of clay, and a wide array of other techniques. Because these sessions are convened weekly, each person receives ample one-to-one tuition and specific guidance is given on individual projects. The structure of the Masterclass is generally based around the university ceramics courses that Katie taugh in the U.S. Sessions guide students through the different stages of making from an initial introduction to clay right through to increasingly advanced finished pieces. This is a unique opportunity, as the Masterclass is the only course that Katie Coston teaches, and these special sessions are exclusively available to trainees. All supplies such as clay, slip, glazes, etc. and space in the kiln for both bisque and glaze firings are included. Space in Katie's newly built, outdoor raku kiln is also on offer.