Ceramics

Ceramics

The focus of the Ceramics department is to challenge the students intellectually by providing an opportunity for a unique art-making experience with an emphasis on contemporary sculpture. The goal is to encourage and guide the maturation of the each student's unique aesthetic sensibilities as they strive to understand and define their place in the world.

Courses Offered:

Beginning ceramics is a course designed to explore ceramics as a medium in which to create contemporary sculpture in conjunction with an understanding of ceramic history. Students must first learn the basic fundamentals of clay and glazing at both high and low fire temperatures to gain a solid foundation to build upon. Students are taught various handbuilding and glazing techniques along with alternative ceramic finishes. Assignments are designed to challenge the student's technical proficiency as well as aesthetic and conceptual ideas. With every assignment, more freedom is given to produce work personal to the student in the direction they wish to pursue. Through lectures, critiques, demonstrations and hands on experience, each student will foster a deeper appreciation of the ceramic medium as it relates to history, utility, and pop culture.
Intermediate Ceramics introduces students to additional ceramic techniques such as mold-making, slip-casting, and press molding with and emphasis on contemporary sculpture. In addition students learn how to make their own clay bodies and glazes as well as how to fire their own kilns. The ceramics studio offers raku, gas, electric, and computerized kilns.
Students are encouraged to experiment and take risks as errors are useful problem solving methods. Loose assignments are given with expectation that the student will bring their own ideas to the table to expand upon the projects.
Advanced Ceramics initiate their own projects guided by critical evaluation and technical advice and assistance.

Facility

Kilns
  • 3 Skutt Electric Kilns (computerized with a 7 cubic-foot chamber)
  • 1 Skutt Electric Test Kiln (with a .8 cubic-foot chamber)
  • 1 Fire Master Electric Kiln (with a 7 cubic-foot chamber)
  • 1 Fire Master Electric Kiln (with a 6.5 cubic-foot chamber)
  • 1 West Coast Gas Kiln (with a 14 cubic-foot chamber)
  • 1 Alpine Gas Kiln (with a 9 cubic-foot chamber)
  • 1 Raku Kiln (with a 7 cubic-foot chamber)
Pug Mills and Clay Mixers
  • 2 Walker Pug Mills
  • 1 Bluebird Clay Mixer
  • 1 Slipmaster Slip Mixer
  • 1 Studio Star Slip Casting Table
Miscellaneous
  • 2 Walker Pug Mills
  • 1 Bluebird Clay Mixer
  • 1 Slipmaster Slip Mixer
  • 1 Studio Star Slip Casting Table
Classroom Activity

This is the main activity center of our facility and is usually buzzing with students working on their projects. The classroom is broken up into two connecting rooms, one for the beginning ceramics course and the other of the intermediate/advance students. This allows students full access at any time without interrupting classes in session. Cabinetry lines the walls allowing most students their own personal cabinet to keep their work and tools. There are wedging tables and large work tables to spread out on. These rooms also contain 4 electric wheels, 1 slab roller as well as an extruder.

Chemical and Glaze Room

This is the main activity center of our facility and is usually buzzing with students working on their projects. The classroom is broken up into two connecting rooms, one for the beginning ceramics course and the other of the intermediate/advance students. This allows students full access at any time without interrupting classes in session. Cabinetry lines the walls allowing most students their own personal cabinet to keep their work and tools. There are wedging tables and large work tables to spread out on. These rooms also contain 4 electric wheels, 1 slab roller as well as an extruder.

Clay Room

This room includes two pug mills, 1 commercial slip-casting table, 1 slip-casting mixer and a small counter top to work on while slip-casting. The clay mixer is just outside the door for easy access.

Kiln Room

The kiln room contains 3 computerized Skutt kilns, 1 large Fire Master kiln, and one small Skutt kiln for testing glazes and clay bodies. Shelves line one wall of this room for storage of greenware that is ready to fire.

Patio

The patio space is large (69 Sq feet) and is partially hooded and vented. There are 2 fully functioning gas kilns as well as a raku kiln, and an additional electric kiln. The West Coast Gas Kiln easily accommodates large scale work that does not fit into "conventional" kilns as its interior dimensions are (L)6.25' x (W)3' x (H)5'. Shelving lines the wall for stockpiling necessary chemicals. There are work tables in this area for the production of plaster molds. There are no salt, soda, nor wood firing kilns .