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After a summer hiatus, the professional pottery program at Piedmont Technical College’s Edgefield Campus reopened Tuesday with an open house to welcome its new instructor. Enrollment is now open for any interested student and there is no deadline for admission.
Thomas Koole came to Piedmont Tech on August 1 and has hit the ground running.
“I’m excited about the possibilities for this program,” he said. “There’s much work to be done to bring this program to the level of prominence that it deserves, and I look forward to getting started.”
Koole holds a BFA in Printmaking, Drawing and Ceramics from Calvin College in Michigan, and an interdisciplinary MFA from the Mason Gross School of Art at Rutgers University. He has 17 years of teaching experience, and has managed and taught at Union Square Ceramic Center in New York City. Since 2005, he’s been an instructor at Chambers Street Pottery in New York City, teaching Introductory and Advanced Ceramics. During that time, he’s also taught Ceramics and 3D Design at Dowling College, and Drawing at SUNY Westchester Community College.
Koole brings his own unique perspective to the program. He wants to change the belief that pottery, as an art form, is only for the wealthy and the retired.
“The misconception is that pottery is art elitism and I want to get that connection broken.”
Koole said he also wants to show that there are many ways people can earn a living through pottery and other methods using clay.
“I like the idea that the program is being taught so that you have a career that is fulfilling and puts food on the table,” he said.
“We’re committed to the success of the pottery program in Edgefield,” said Dr. Ray Brooks, president of PTC. “We’re thrilled to have Thomas Koole on board, and we look forward to working together to solidify the program’s reputation and to reinforce the legacy of Edgefield Pottery and the area’s importance in the arts community.”
In addition to the curriculum program, a variety of pottery classes are now available through Continuing Education to increase accessibility to the program for those with a casual interest, and for advanced students who’d like additional instruction.
For more information on the program or to register for fall classes, call the Edgefield County Campus at (803) 637-5388.