The Arts



Robin Hopper


Robin Hopper

Pottery, Teaching, Writing, Gardening
'Chosin Pottery

1939 - 2017

April 6, 2017
Today we lost a friend, teacher, artist. I will always remember Robin's sly grin and wicked sense of humour. Read the obituary/tribute in the Times Colonist.
December 30, 2016
Robin Hopper has been named to the Order of Canada, congratulations Robin!

Pottery by Robin Hopper

Robin Hopper was an internationally known potter, teacher, author, garden designer and arts activist. He taught throughout Canada, and in England, U.S.A., Australia, New Zealand, China, Korea, Japan and Israel. His ceramic work is in public, corporate and private collections throughout the world. He was born in England in 1939, and trained there at Croydon College of Art (1956-1961). He developed studios in both England and Canada, where he immigrated in 1968. After two years teaching in Toronto at Central Technical School, he set up and headed the Ceramics and Glass Department at Georgian College, Barrie, Ontario. In 1972 he resigned from teaching to devote full energies to his work in ceramics. 1977 included relocation to Victoria, B.C., Canada, and becoming the first recipient of the Bronfman Award, Canada's most prestigious annual award in the crafts. He is an honourary member of NCECA. He wrote many articles in major international ceramics publications. He is the Founding President Emeritus of the Metchosin International Summer School of the Arts.

Robin has written six books, three as a considered trilogy and three to augment.

Books by Robin Hopper
  • Functional Pottery: Form and Aesthetics in Pots of Purpose
  • Making Marks: Discovering the Ceramic Surface
  • The Ceramic Spectrum: A Simplified Approach to Glaze and Color Development
  • Stayin' Alive: Survival Tactics for the Visual Artist
  • Robin Hopper Ceramics: A Lifetime of Works, Ideas and Teachings
  • Clay and Glazes for the Potter
    an updated version of Daniel Rhodes' seminal book of the 1950's - no longer in print

Several of Robin's books are now being published by which is an online community serving active potters and ceramic artists worldwide. Four of the books made it into the top five in a recent reader survey of favourite ceramics books in Pottery Making Illustrated, USA. For more information on his books please go to his Books and Videos page.

Videos by Robin Hopper

In 1993 he developed a series of six educational videos on ceramic decoration processes titled "Making Marks", based on research material for a book of the same title. In 1994, a second series of five videos on design and aesthetics was produced, titled "Form and Function", and based on his second book "Functional Pottery". Since then he has made "Beginning to Throw on the Potter's Wheel", and "Advanced Throwing". Robin's work in ceramics over a 50 year period includes a great deal of ceramic historical and technical research, and an ongoing studio involvement with one-of-a-kind art works, primarily in porcelain and now his new interest in the area of glaze paintings. One of Robin's videos was used in the 2002 movie Showtime with Robert de Niro learning pottery watching Robin in the video. His latest video is "Robin Hopper: Inspiration and Interpretation".

Garden and eBook by Robin Hopper

Next to ceramics, good living and travel, his other life-long passion is gardening, particularly the research into and love of Oriental gardens. His "Anglojapanadian Garden" at 'Chosin Pottery has been featured in books, several television programs and many magazines. Robin has just written a new eBook called "A Potter's Garden - An Artist's Approach to Creative Garden-Making". This book illustrates his award-winning garden and the influences and inspiration that it has had on his pottery. It is the story of a very personal garden and its development through the eyes and mind of an artist. It is about creative garden-making. It can be downloaded at Smashwords.

Since 1984, he and his wife, Judi Dyelle, have operated 'Chosin Pottery Inc., outside of Victoria in Metchosin, B.C., Canada.

Background image and photo by Judi Dyelle

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