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. Thinking of a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) major in Ceramics? Here is a sample 4-Year Plan for the BFA in Ceramics.

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

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

Innovative UA Ceramicist Featured in Podcast, Exhibition

A new podcast, Trade Secret, featuring Assistant Professor Wade MacDonald and two more artists discussing innovations in ceramics, premiers at the end of August. In an episode titled “The Medium,” hosted by artist Adam Chau, MacDonald and artist and educator Jennifer Ling Datchuk discuss the practice of using interdisciplinary strategies for making art with a

Ceramics Professor Pushes New Materials into Traditional Clay

A new international exhibition, Clay+, proposed and juried by Assistant Professor Wade MacDonald, opens on August 6 at the Clay Center of New Orleans. The show will run from August 6 through September 18, 2021. Clay+ features fourteen ceramicists selected by MacDonald who use clay in conjunction with other materials in their respective practices. Although

Oh the Places You’ll Go! Where UA Art & Art History Grads Are Headed This Fall

UA art and art history students have been accepted to prestigious programs around the world: Sommer Hallquist (BA 2018): PhD program in the history of art, Trinity Hall, Cambridge University Serena D’Alessandro (BA 2019): MA program in the history and criticism of art, Florida State University Arielle Gray (BA 2019, major: studio art, minor: art