Ceramics students investigate the medium of clay from utilitarian and sculptural points of view. Projects involve creating useful art, such as platters and cups, as well as sculpture such as portrait busts. The study of historic and contemporary art and craft provide stimuli for the development of the student’s personal artistic expression. Students use terra cotta, porcelain and stoneware clays and fire in various types of kilns including wood, salt, soda, gas, and electric.
After nearly fifty years in one campus location, Eastern Michigan University Ceramics has moved to a renovated facility next door to the Sculpture Building on the northwestern edge of campus. The new facility has more space, more rooms, more shelving, and more light. The move puts the Ceramics studio nearer to its outdoor kiln yard (behind the Sculpture building) which includes a newly built soda kiln, along with existing salt and wood kilns.
The studio includes a large room for hand building (with plenty of storage for student work), a throwing area with more than a dozen wheels, a large glaze room with new spray booth, a kiln room with electric kilns and a Geil gas kiln, a separate clay making area with mixers and supplies, a large room for graduate students, an office/library, and a photo set up.
ARTS 103 Ceramics for Nonmajors
A hands-on approach to provide students with the opportunity to develop skills and aesthetic understanding in forming, glazing and kiln stacking. The emphasis in this beginning course is on hand building forms; however, the use of the potter’s wheel will be introduced the latter part of the semester. (Formerly ART 166)
ARTS 225 Beginning Ceramics
Beginning ceramics emphasizes hand-building techniques using earthenware and stoneware clays. The focus includes sculptural and utilitarian form; portrait busts, storage jars, platters, and cups are some of the assignments. Students learn to build forms using slabs, molds, modeling, and extruding techniques; alter surfaces, apply slips and glazes, and fire in electric and gas kilns. (Formerly ART 307)
Prereq: ARTS 122, and department permission
ARTS 325 Intermediate Ceramics I
Further experiences in handbuilding with clay, in addition to beginning throwing on the wheel. A continuation of both sculptural and utilitarian ceramic assignments with an emphasis on craftsmanship; more work done at stoneware temperatures. (Formerly ART 308)
Prereq: ARTS 225, ARTS 290, passed foundation review, and department permission
ARTS 326 Intermediate Ceramics II
Continuing exploration of the clay medium with more emphasis on larger scale and increasingly complex sculptural and utilitarian forms. Alternative firing techniques are available—salt, wood, and soda firings. Throwing is included. Introduction to glaze and clay testing methods. (Formerly ART 407)
Prereq: ARTS 325 and department permission
ARTS 425 Advanced Ceramics I
Emphasis is placed on the development of personal style. The student will concentrate on sculptural or utilitarian work, handbuilt or thrown. Further training in glaze and clay development. Emphasis is on individual style, production techniques, studio management and exhibition programs.
Prereq: ARTS 326 and department permission
ARTS 426 Advanced Ceramics II
Further emphasis is placed on the development of personal style with choices made: will the student concentrate on sculptural or utilitarian work, handbuilt or thrown? Further training in glaze and clay development. The summation of the undergraduate ceramics program; emphasis on individual style, production techniques, studio management and exhibition programs.
Prereq: ARTS 425 and department permission; Co-reqs: 490W
ARTS 490W Capstone
This course is taken in conjunction with the last course in each student’s area of concentration. It is designed as the culminating learning experience for students in the BFA curriculum and will help provide direction for their future professional careers. The course will focus on preparation for a required senior exhibition, the development of a professional portfolio, and the creation necessary written documents to support one’s professional career. This course fulfills the General Education Writing Intensive requirement.
Prereq: must be enrolled in final area of concentration and department permission