Stephen Shapes His Ceramics Skills at SERC

0 min read

22 May 2024

Picture of SERC student Stephen McCullough

Level 3 Foundation Diploma in Ceramics student Stephen McCullough, from Donaghadee, has found a new passion for Ceramics while studying at South Eastern Regional College (SERC). 

Stephen worked as an academic biomedical scientist at Queens University Belfast for nearly 40 years before retiring. After retiring, he felt like he wanted to pursue something completely new, and so did research online on part-time courses near him. He enrolled at SERC Bangor Campus initially on the Leisure Creative Ceramics course, which sparked a passion in him to continue studying at SERC after completing that course. He went on to complete the Level 2 Certificate in Creative Techniques in 3D course and now Stephen is currently completing his Level 3 Foundation Diploma in Ceramics at SERC.  

On his current course, Stephen said, “I think my favourite part of the course is the hands-on experience you get in the workshop; you learn a lot about practical skills and can put those practical skills to the test in class to become even better at them. At the end of each class, you tend to produce something, a mug, a bowl, a jug, and that's the fun creative part of it. You can really see the fruits of your labour and very quickly too – it’s not long until you make something worthwhile.  

“In class we learn a lot about clay and how to hand build with it, as well as how to throw pots on a pottery wheel. We also learn how to decorate what we make with carving tools, how to glaze, and how to fire what you have made in kilns with different firing temperatures. I’d definitely like to continue making ceramics after this course and potentially sell them as well as exhibit them. It's a very relaxing course, but also challenging in a very different way to what I was used to while working.”  

Stephen concludes, “If you are thinking of coming to SERC to do this Ceramics course, get your application in as soon as you can, it’s a very popular course that I would highly recommend. The tutors are extremely helpful and very supportive – they are enthusiastic about what they do and that transfers to the students. I’ve found it to be an excellent course and really good fun."

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