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

UA Awards Studio and Art History Degrees in 2020-21

The academic year 2020-2021 has been challenging, to say the least, and we’re proud of our graduates for pushing through to earn their degrees. We wish them all the best as they move into the next part of their life journey. Degrees are cumulative over summer and fall 2020, and spring 2021. Bachelor of Arts,

Art Students, Alumna Juried in 44th Montgomery Art Guild Show

UA Department of Art & Art History students and alumna have been juried into the biennial 44th Montgomery Art Guild Museum Exhibition, which runs May 22-August 15, 2021, at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts. Current graduate students Kole Nichols, Kelsey Meadows and Ryan Akers, and alumna Phoebe Burns (BFA 2020) of Huntsville all had

UA Ceramics Professor to Exhibit at Auburn

Assistant Professor Wade MacDonald has a solo exhibition opening at the Biggin Gallery at Auburn University on April 26, 2021. The exhibition features a new series of six mixed-media wall pieces and a series of six mixed-media sculptures; a wall mural with integrated sculptural ceramic components; additional works from 2017-present; and a wall work comprised