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The Academy team

Taz Pollard MA Tutor at The Ceramics Academy

Taz Pollard MA

Tutor/Technician/Person who pays the bills ;)

Taz teaches three of our general pottery classes; Tuesday & Thursday evenings and Wednesday mornings plus one-off workshops and masterclasses.

‘I have been teaching pottery for over twenty years from beginner right through to degree level. I was lucky enough to train at both Cardiff and Bath Universities for my BA (Hons) and MA and Plymouth for my PGCE. I started my career as a thrower but have moved on to large-scale coil-thrown work in recent years. My work has been exhibited around the world picking up the odd award along the way. I have been running The Ceramics Academy for the last 9 years. Teaching is my absolute passion and providing a safe and supportive place for people to be is paramount. I love it!’

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Stephanie Buttle BA (Hons)
Ceramics/Design 1st CSM


Steph teaches our Monday evening general pottery class and masterclasses.

Since graduating from Central Saint Martins in 2015, Steph has worked as an artist, maker and educator. Her teaching experience includes ceramic tutor and visiting artist posts at Morley college London and CSM. Her teaching style and art practice are influenced by an eclectic artistic life as a former dancer, actress and film maker, these experiences bring a dynamic experimental approach to her teaching, whilst still supporting the required technical skills needed for beginner students through to those who are developing a more advanced artistic enquiry. Although her particular expertise is in wheel-throwing she has wide ranging skills in all surface and process techniques.

Steph has exhibited her work internationally including shows at Hauser & Wirth and Messums, Artist in residence include 2019 British ceramic biennial. 

Steph moved to North Devon recently from London and Finland and is delighted to become a new member of the thriving team at the Academy.

What is Joy? The creation born of discovery, (Frida Kahlo 1907-1954) 

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Ruth Thurbon


Ruth teaches our Saturday taster workshops and one-off workshops.

'I studied in Fine Art and Furniture Design in York, so studios of any description are my happy place. I've worked as a street artist, photographer and Interior designer amongst other creative roles.     My passion for all art is limitless but ceramics has my heart now. Anything from sculping to throwing I love it all and the freedom and endless possibilities of what you can do with clay is so exciting. Teaching has been an ambition of mine so I'm very excited to be a part of the Ceramics Academy team!'

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Sarah Bunyard

Business Manager/Technician

Sarah is one of our technicians and the Business Manager. 

‘I really enjoy working at the academy and the variety that the two different roles bring. The natural organiser in me is balanced out through being creative! I fell in love with clay when I started lessons with Taz and now make from my small home studio. I currently make stoneware birds which are finished in a variety of designs using slip and transfers for underglaze decoration.’

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Sarah painting Ceramic Pottery Birds
Jo holding a Pot athe The Ceramics Academy

Jo Blake

Apprentice Technician/Social Media Marketer

Jo is our first Apprentice Technician, which she is doing alongside a Level 3 Diploma in Digital Marketing. Jo will also be running Children’s workshops for 7 - 13 yr old's, drop-in pottery and chat sessions on Friday mornings.

She is also an artist, children’s book author and illustrator, writing stories to promote social, and emotional learning. From a young age, Jo has loved being creative as a way of expressing herself. With bold colours and photo-realistic pet portraits - she hopes to help people feel those big emotions often masked to fit in and inspire others to take up a creative hobby to promote mental health.

You can see Jo’s art at

Artist Jo Blake painting
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