The ceramics major prepares students to produce work of professional competence in various clay media. The program focuses on mastery of relevant technical skills and creative expression with a strong emphasis on concept, craftsmanship, design and aesthetics (B.F.A. or B.S. degrees)
The ceramics facilities includes a 10,000 square foot studio space with three primary classrooms/studios, a clay mixing room, a glaze mixing room, clay storage room, a photo area, two indoor kiln rooms, and an outdoor kiln area with raku, pit, soda and wood-fire kilns. All indoor areas utilize state of the art electrostatic or hepa ventilation. Additional equipment: Bailey slab roller and extruder, Bluebird clay mixer, Peter Pugger clay mixer, plaster mold making equipment, various finishing grinders, tile saws, band saw, drill press, sandblaster, two spray booths, electric drying cabinets, ball mill, gram scales, electronic scale, etc.
Ceramics Program Philosophy
One of the primary aims of the ceramics program is to challenge the art/design student to think creatively, both critically and self critically; to inquire, create, learn, and grow in a quest for personal expression within the field of visual art/design. A second goal is to provide an energetic atmosphere that will enable the art/design student to develop to the fullest of their creative intellect and potential. This includes expanding and broadening their skills and discipline, strengthening their confidence in their abilities, and developing problem solving capabilities. Excellence and the commitment to excellence is instilled in the students ‑ not to accept the "standard solution" but to seek to go beyond, to take risks.
Another goal is to instill in the students the verbal/visual vocabulary of the artist/designer, and how to use this vocabulary to translate their ideas and feelings into a synonymous
three-dimensional form that reflects these ideas and feelings. This development is rooted in a strong foundation of the fundamental techniques which are necessary for personal experimentation and investigation of clay as an individual statement.
The program seeks to give the student these basic principles, not merely standard technical solutions, so that he/she has the training, judgment, and flexibility to perform competently in the field. Thus, the ceramics program has a twofold aim: to acquaint the student with the technological knowledge necessary; and to challenge the student to seek their individual identity as a visual designer/artist, whether it be functional or sculptural ceramics.
In trying to foster an atmosphere of learning in the studio and in the program the studio is open seven days a week, allowing virtually unlimited access to the facilities during the academic year.