A father and son duo who have been studying the same course at Newcastle College, graduated on the same day and were congratulated by an eminent guest speaker who flew in especially from New York.
Geoff Calder, 59 from Cambo, Northumberland, and his son Matt Calder, 32 and from Ashington, having been studying the same Ceramics Foundation Degree for the last two years and graduated together at the Civic Centre in Newcastle this week.
After the training they received, the pair have gone on to set up their own pottery business, Calder Ceramics, at the Kirkharle Courtyard in Northumberland, just off the A68, 20 miles north of Newcastle. They set up the studio just over a year ago whilst continuing to study and the fruits of their labours were rewarded at the college's Graduation ceremony, which enjoyed blazing summer sunshine.
Geoff said: “The training at Newcastle College has been of the highest standard. The course is perfect for anyone looking to work as a self-employed potter/ceramicist or progress to a higher level of education.
“We not only learned the practical and technical side to potting but also gained experience of the ceramics business through work placements, exhibiting work in galleries and attending numerous national ceramics events where we exhibited and sold work.”
On hand to congratulate the pair was a returning ex-student and successful creative business-man who has set up a world-renowned agency in London, All of US.
Simon ‘Sanky’ Sankaraya, originally from Jesmond and who studied a Design BTEC at Newcastle College, has gone onto world fame and returned as a guest speaker at the ceremony. Sanky, who flew in from New York, congratulated the pair for their graduation and business success.
Matt said: “The College staff gave us a great deal of help with business planning, advice on purchase of equipment and marketing our work. We now make and sell our own ceramics from our gallery at the studio and do training both at Kirkharle and in local community centres.
“We've sold work at two major ceramics events this year and have plans to attend Potfest in the Pens in Penrith this August.”