We believe clay is a means of expression, a tool for communication and a conduit for critical thinking. The Ceramics program is an engaged community of undergraduate and graduate students, technical staff and faculty who promote excellence in the field. Students work with the oldest of materials while practicing contemporary methods of fine art, craft, and design. The program offers knowledge, aesthetics, technical approaches and invention through hands-on experiences with raw materials and technical processes. Throughout the course of study, students learn the role of Ceramics within the history of art, design, and culture while pushing the boundaries of the medium.
Students in the Ceramics program have active contact with the faculty and technical staff who provide critical and rigorous mentorship, encourage inter-disciplinary exploration and engage students in professional practices. Outside of the classroom, students participate in the student organization, the Clay Guild, who sponsors visiting artist workshops, gallery exhibitions, ceramic art sales and annual travel to the conference sponsored by the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts.
Throughout the curriculum, students have regular access to materials, equipment, and library resources related to the study of ceramics. All students engage in the preparation of clay bodies and glazes, kiln stacking procedures, firing processes (electric, gas, wood, raku, primitive and soda) and surface techniques. The studio environment is one where vessel aesthetics – form and surface design – are taught along with ceramic sculpture – including hand-forming, wheel-throwing, and mold-making.
The Ceramics minor is designed to encourage students from all areas of the university to explore working creatively with clay. Students pursuing the BFA complete a final project related to an exhibition of original and focused work. The MFA program integrates creative research, contemporary theory, and practice culminating in a thesis exhibition.