The Ceramics area focuses on the study of traditional formation processes within an atmosphere that promotes material exploration and experimentation. Students are encouraged to develop expertise with both the elements of craftsmanship and developing a strong conceptual voice within one’s work. Critical inquiry of materials and methods is promoted as well as an encouragement for interdisciplinary practice. An understanding of ceramics history and it’s relationship to contemporary technologies creates a foundation for creating in the Ceramics studio. Students also have the ability to join Keramos, a student ceramics club which promotes a deeper interest in the medium through activities including; Empty Bowls, annual student ceramic sales and trips to ceramic workshops and conferences.
The Ceramics facility consists of over 7,700 square feet with separate hand-building, wheel throwing, slip casting, mould making and glazing areas. The studio has separate clay mixing, raw materials storage, glaze mixing and kiln rooms. Graduate and advanced undergraduate ceramics majors are allotted private studio space to work on and store projects. The entire studio is outfitted with modern ventilation and air-cleaning filtration systems. The kiln room features a 31-cubic foot Bailey car kiln, a 24-cubic foot Olympic car kiln, 8 electric kilns, including a new Olympic glass casting kiln; test kilns, and two new 9-cubic foot Skutt kilns. The department also maintains a glaze database and a ceramics library filled with books and magazines for student research.