Taking hands-on learning to the next level.
The ceramics department provides BFA majors with a required foundation level experience with clay. Ceramics and sculpture provide 3D options for BA and BS students. Basic techniques in wheel-throwing, hand-building, extruding and mold-making techniques are explored.
Advanced classes are non-sequential with each focusing on a specific set of techniques. These provide either the required courses for those concentrating in ceramics, or art elective options for BFA majors concentrating elsewhere. Advanced offerings include wheel-throwing, hand-building, mold-making, alternative processes and atmosphere firing approaches culminating with the portfolio class for BFA majors concentrating in ceramics.
Ceramic study at UM is special for a variety of reasons. Among these is the availability of several atmosphere firing kilns including the 40-foot wood-fire anagama kiln. Fired once or twice a year, the kiln fires for 100 hours and consumes up to 14 cords of split wood.
Along with yielding outstanding results, the kiln has gathered a team of visiting professionals who lead stoking shifts composed of UM art students. It is one of the most comprehensive such experiences for undergraduates in the country. With raku, glaze, salt kilns in addition to the two wood kilns, students leave UM conversant with every major way to fabricate and fire ceramics.