North Island College Artists Join Filberg Festival, Nautical Days

Artists, artisans and craftspeople will be out in force at the Filberg Festival and Nautical Days in Comox this BC Day long weekend, with a selection of diverse offerings from their workshops, kilns and studios.

Included in the list is NIC professional pottery instructor Gordon Hutchens, who will travel from Denman Island to showcase pottery from his rare Tozan Anagama wood-fired kiln, as well as crystalline pottery made from a programmable kiln.

Hutchens said festivals like Filberg and Nautical Days offer a valuable showcase for new and experienced artists alike, adding past students have benefited from the opportunity to meet patrons directly.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity to have direct contact with customers in a beautiful venue, as well as a way to make a living,” said Hutchens. “Festivals like these are a great opportunity for artists.”

Kyle Miller, a graduate from NIC’s Joinery/Cabinetmaking Foundation program, will also be at the Filberg Festival under the name TGT Studios, along with wood-based furniture and art made specifically for the festival.

The Port Alberni-based artist sells and ships most of his furniture, art and custom work by commission to customers around the world, including the US, France, Luxembourg and parts of Asia, to name a few examples. His work includes a customized mic stand for rapper T-Pain.

Debuting a collection of items for sale at the Filberg Festival is an exciting exception to how Miller usually connects with customers. “It gives the people an exclusive opportunity to see the work – this is sort of giving the local market first crack at it,” he said.

The Filberg will also feature NIC Metal Jewellery Design instructor Cheryl Jacobs (Cheryl Jacobs Designs) and program graduate Tammy Cashato of Cashato Designs, who will be showcasing their earrings, pendants, bracelets and more. Nautical Days will be home to fellow NIC Metal Jewellery Design graduate and instructor Ernie Smith’s Aboriginal artwork.

Katy Fogg, owner of Living Earth Pottery, will also be at Nautical Days to display her work to patrons. The long-time professional potter also studied under Hutchens at NIC.

“Gordon's course was a wonderful experience,” she said. “Though I had been potting for 14 years at the time of the course, I learned so much from his incredible depth of knowledge. He brings a lifetime of pottery to his students and is a gifted teacher as well as an extraordinary potter.”

Comox Nautical Days celebrates its 60th anniversary this year and runs from August 4-6 in Marina Park in downtown Comox.

The Filberg Festival, an annual fundraiser for the Filberg Heritage Lodge & Park, begins Friday, August 3 and runs until August 6. The festival features 130 artisans offering metalwork, pottery, paintings, specialty foods and more.

For more on the festivals, visit and For more information on NIC fine art and design, joinery or metal jewellery courses and programs visit