The Ceramics program is dedicated to the idea that a student’s future success is dependent on creative excellence, strong technical skills and a good basic liberal arts education.
Courses are designed to enable students to build technical skills, to provide exposure to contemporary methods of working in clay, to develop critical thinking skills, and to encourage students to develop a personal direction in the medium. Courses address contemporary issues and promote an atmosphere that is balanced between conceptual development and material exploration. Specific ceramics courses dedicated to wheel throwing and handbuilding are the foundation of the program. Special topics courses in glaze calculation, mold making, sculptural form, and vessels are also offered. In addition to courses within the program, ceramics students are encouraged to investigate the breadth of offerings in the School of the Arts. The University offers an MFA in Fine Arts with a concentration in Ceramics; this program entails a minimum of two years of intensive studio work. Graduate students are expected to demonstrate a serious dedication to their work and to the development of mature ideas and forms of expression.
The University offers an MFA in Fine Arts with a concentration in Ceramics. The Ceramics MFA program entails a minimum of two years of intensive artistic research and production. Graduate students are expected to demonstrate persistent curiosity, the willingness to take risks, and a serious dedication to their work and to the development of mature ideas and forms of expression. We encourage a deep exploration of ideas through a variety of techniques and materials while emphasizing the realization of your individual goals. Applicants of considerable diversity, from vessel makers to mixed media installation artists, are encouraged to apply.
Students have access to a wide range of equipment that allows for creative exploration in many forms, media, and scale. The Ceramics department is a well equipped area that includes: 11 electric kilns and 2 gas car kilns that are 35 cu. ft and 60 cu. ft, a plaster room with state of the art ventilation, fully equipped handbuilding and wheel rooms, a large raw material inventory, 3 clay mixers (2 Soldner, 1 Bluebird), 2 slab rollers, 2 manual and one pneumatic extruders, 1 casting slip mixer, a spray booth, and a two tier ball mill.
The Clay program is small and select and expectations are high. Up to six ceramic graduate students work in their own private studios and also have access to a large communal project space that is only open to graduate students within the Ceramics Department. The work that is made each semester is presented in our gallery space where formal critiques with your faculty and peers from the entire Craft and Material Studies Department take place. Our diverse and accomplished faculty offer direction that encourages the graduate students to create work that challenges the notions of Contemporary Ceramics and the Art World beyond clay. Each semester you will meet with your selected faculty committee to present your work for candidacy review. Once candidacy is attained, the MFA processes concludes with your thesis exhibition.
The Ceramics program occupies 8000 sq. ft. in three large studios, a large kiln room, plaster room, glaze room, a glaze mixing room, and a clay mixing room, all with state-of-the-art ventilation and air handling equipment.
The Advanced and Graduate studio contains spaces for advanced students and six private spaces for graduate students. The handbuilding studio is equipped with:
- one 20″ slab roller
- one 36″ slab roller
- two manual extruders
- one pneumatic extruder
- eight large canvas-covered tables
- a low-fire glazing area
- and shelving space
The throwing studio is equipped with:
- 16 electric Shimpo Whisper wheels
- 3 large plaster wedging tables
- 14 canvas-covered tables
- and shelving area
The plaster room is equipped with:
- a state-of-the-art ventilation system for mixing
- a solid granite mold table
- mold drying racks
- and 1 casting slip mixer
The glaze room is set up for high-fire glazing and is equipped with a glaze table that holds shop glazes and shelving. The glaze-mixing room is equipped with:
- a spray booth
- a two-tier ball mill
- triple beam and digital scales
- and a ventilated mixing area
The clay mixing room is equipped with:
- 2 large Soldner mixers
- a Bluebird mixer
- dry mix tubs
- and ventilated mixing areas
The kiln room is equipped with 11 electric kilns:
- all of which are computer controlled
- 3 electric test kilns
- 35 cu. ft. and 60 cu. ft. Bailey gas car kilns with oxygen probes