Robin Hopper throwing a pot.
Robin Hopper trimming a parabolic bottle.

Robin Hopper passed away in 2017. He 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.

Robin 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. Just before his passing he received the Order of Canada, a wonderful recognition of all that he had done for the arts. He was an honourary member of NCECA.

As well as being a renowned ceramist he is the author of “
The Ceramic Spectrum”, “Functional Pottery”, “Staying Alive”, “Making Marks”, a revised edition of Daniel Rhodes' "Clay and Glazes for the Potter", and his autobiography, “Robin Hopper Ceramics”. For more information on his books please go to the Books and Videos page. He wrote many articles in major international ceramics publications. He was the Founding President Emeritus of the Metchosin International Summer School of the Arts.

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 made “Beginning to Throw on the Potter's Wheel”, and “Advanced Throwing”. The videos are now DVDs and are commercially available through PotteryVideos.com or from our own showroom.

Robin’s work in ceramics over a 55 year period included 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 his last area of interest was with
glaze paintings.

Next to ceramics, good living and travel, his other life-long passion was 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 wrote an 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 is $9.99 US and can be downloaded at
Smashwords. Note: for optimal image-viewing, the book is best viewed as a PDF.