Studio Art

Ceramics

several people working on pottery wheels

Objective

The ceramics program at UA imbues students with the technical skills necessary to develop their own unique aesthetic awareness while engaging in the critical discourse associated with contemporary ceramic art.

Overview

The undergraduate ceramics program offers a BA and a BFA degree and is designed to promote a balance between material inquiry and intellectual development. Beginning classes address both hand-building and wheel-throwing techniques through structured content-rich assignments. Intermediate and advanced courses cover slip-casting, mold making, glaze calculation, kiln firing, and digital processes. Students are encouraged to experiment with the medium and to explore new approaches outlined in precursory research proposals. The interdisciplinary nature of the art program at UA allows for conversation between disciplines, and ceramics students are encouraged to explore multiple materials that inform and enhance their ceramic research.

The University also offers an MFA degree with a concentration in ceramics; this program entails a minimum of three 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.

Recent undergraduates have gone on to attend programs at Penn State University, University of Florida, Southern Illinois University – Carbondale, Illinois State University, Indiana University Southeast, University of Montana, and Ball State University. Recent MFA graduates have gone on to attend programs at Louisiana State University and complete artist residencies across the country.

Career OpportunitiesGraduate student Nasrin Iravani working on a ceramics piece for her MA exhibition, 2019. Image courtesy of the artist.

  • Studio Artist
  • Studio Potter
  • Pottery Apprentice/Assistant
  • Artist Apprentice/Assistant
  • Ceramic Laboratory Technician
  • Instructor in Ceramics
  • Professor of Ceramics
  • Ceramic Materials Sales/Distribution
  • Ceramic Engineering and Ceramic Industry positions

Facilities

The department’s ceramics area is a large, fully equipped facility with a complete inventory of clay and glaze materials. Ceramics has an interior workspace of 7,000 square feet with graduate and undergraduate majors studio space available. The 900 square foot kiln facility is comprised of a 16-cubic-foot Skutt front-load electric kiln, five Skutt top-load electric kilns (digital), a 20-cubic-foot Laguna downdraft gas kiln, a nine-cubic-foot Laguna downdraft gas kiln, a Skutt test kiln, a 40-cubic-foot Geil downdraft gas kiln, and a raku kiln. There is a Solder professional mixer, as well as three Bluebird de-air pug mills, a hammer mill and a tile saw. Wheels include eight Shimpo Whisper electric wheels, two Brent Pottery kick wheels, six Pacifica electric wheels, and two Brent electric wheels, as well as two slab rollers and a large ball mill. There are two Delta 3D clay printers, one plastic 3D printer and a vinyl cutter. The studio has an image room for the documentation of artwork, as well as a media center equipped with books, periodicals, a Mac computer and projector.

Contact Us

For information about applying, visit our Prospective Students page or call us at (205) 348-5967. Thinking of a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) major in Ceramics? Here is a sample 4-Year Plan for the BFA in Ceramics.

Ceramics Faculty

UA Ceramics News

Click on this link to read stories about our students and faculty in ceramics.

Meet our graduate students.

Visiting Artists

In February 2016, the ceramics program at UA hosted visiting artist Bryan Czibesz for a two-day workshop where students and faculty worked with him to construct 3D printers from scratch. Listen to our faculty members, Wade MacDonald, and Jamey Grimes, talk about the process.

Ceramic 3D Printing from UA Undergraduate Admissions on Vimeo.

Recent Visiting Artists

Current Graduate Students and Recent Alumni

Click here to see alumni work and read what our alumni have said about the program.

Crimson Clay student organization

Resources for Ceramics and Sculpture: artaxis artists network.

Current Student Work

Sculpture by alumna Sam Joslin

A Conversation with Alumna Artist Sam Joslin

This article is part of our Alumni Spotlight Series, which focuses on UA art alumni who are in the midst of an art career now, whether they are continuing with schooling or have taken their art skills out into the work world. At a glance, a group photo of Sam Joslin’s current ceramic sculptures resembles

New Grad Studios Expand Student Research

This semester, graduate students moved into the new studios, located on Warrior Drive, east of Helen Keller Boulevard on the Partlow campus. The new building expands studio spaces already available to graduate students in the department of art and art history in Woods Hall and the Bureau of Mines buildings. Photos are by senior marketing major

Samantha Joslin, "Bits and Pieces," 2019, Ceramic stoneware and cast aluminum, 4 x 5 x 2 inches

BFA Alumni in Ceramics Accepted to Master’s Programs

The department of art and art history recently got news of four recent BFA alumni in ceramics who are currently completing upper-level programs around the United States.