The study of Ceramics should involve more than simply the development of skills and acquiring techniques. The advancement of ceramic art takes place through the integration of technical and the intellectual discipline of analyzing and criticizing art. Our program provides a studio experience that spans across theoretical and critical awareness relating aesthetic, cultural, and historical viewpoints to the artistic process.
Course offerings incorporate a variety of traditional and contemporary approaches that include: function, the vessel, sculptural, architectural, experimental, mixed media, digital, and installation. We provide a broad experimental study of ceramics in our extensive facility. Clay body and glaze research is offered at every level of study. This information is applied to a complete array of firing processes that include: earthenware, raku, sagger, mid-range, stoneware, soda, and wood. Working methods are developed individually, and are often combined. These include: handbuilding, extrusion, slipcasting, life casting, and the wheel. Students are encouraged to explore approaches, techniques, and working methods from a personal perspective as a vehicle for addressing contemporary art issues in Ceramics.
Ceramics facilities feature two updraft gas kilns, four downdraft gas kilns, ten electric programmable kilns, two wood fire kilns, and a Raku kiln. Beginning level ceramic courses are set in a shared and sizable studio space while upper level undergraduate and graduate students are assigned individual spaces.
These studios have easy access to other resources housed within the Kresge Art Center including: a well-equipped woodshop, the visual resource library, two digital labs, two exhibition galleries, two installation project spaces, and the Form from Thought digital fabrication lab. In addition, technical support and professional staffing is available to facilitate use of these resources.
Successful graduates have exhibited their work nationally and internationally as practicing artists. They have also worked as educators, curators, held positions in galleries and museums, and various art related industries.