In the studio arts ceramics intensive, you may pursue study in pottery, sculpture, tile mosaics, or in some cases, other areas of interest. You work in new and traditional techniques with a diverse faculty of working, professional ceramists.
Across all studios, our overriding objective is to cultivate and enrich curiosities. We ask you to become comfortable with the uncertainties of risk while exercising the freedom of exploring what you don’t know, embracing the “what if” quotient. We want you to become an innovator and practitioner of change in your respective studio while being cognizant of—and a willing advocate of—tradition. Teaching to the unapologetically functional vessel through to conceptually framed inquires, the faculty encourages an open dialogue with other disciplines. This has been the underlying strength of our program through much of its 115-year history.
Our facilities and resources encourage and accommodate experimentation with a variety of traditional and non-traditional approaches. Firing techniques supported in the program include high-fire reduction, oxidation, salt glazing, wood, soda, pit, and raku. We also support an Anagama kiln.
Ceramic art has deep roots in the Syracuse community. The Everson Museum of Art boasts one of the most comprehensive holdings of American ceramic art in the nation, including work by Syracuse potter Adelaide Alsop Robineau, who is today considered one of the country's finest ceramists. In 1932, the museum established the Ceramic National exhibitions in her memory.
We have an active and varied visiting artist program, a history of curating exhibitions, and an expectation for our graduates of participation in the field on the national and international levels.
Ceramics at VPA is nationally recognized for excellence; it was ranked no. 16 among the top 20 ceramics programs in the nation by U.S. News & World Report as part of its 2013 specialty rankings for Best Graduate Schools in Fine Arts.
The 12,500-square-foot ceramics facility is housed in the Comstock Art Facility (ComArt), which is also home to art education, jewelry and metalsmithing, print media and graphic art, and sculpture. Our extensive ceramics facilities were recently renovated and upgraded. They include:
Dedicated Spaces/Studio Configurations
B.F.A. majors studio
Private graduate studios (200 sq. ft., wireless)
Materials room (forklift, loading dock accessible)
Claymaking room (Soldner, 500 lb. dough mixer, two Bluebird mixers, three Bailey pugmills)
Dry glaze lab (HVAC system)
Wet glaze lab (walk-in spray booth)
Resource room (computers, monitors, periodicals, etc.)
Throwing studio/classroom (20 wheels)
Sculpture studio/classroom (two slabrollers, extruder)
Full-color decal printer
Covington diamond bit grinder
Outdoor and Indoor Kiln Facilities
Geil gas kiln (50 cu. ft.)
Blaauw gas kiln (50 cu. ft.)
Bailey gas kiln (100 cu. ft.)
Six electric kilns
Two glass kilns
Three raku kilns
Gas kiln (25 cu. ft.)
Throughout the year the School of Art welcomes numerous nationally and internationally known visiting artists to campus. Spanning the disciplines, these artists, designers, and educators, some of whom are alumni, give presentations and lectures and often critique student work. They are a critical component of your artistic growth.
Artists who have visited for ceramics include Richard Aerni, Christa Assad, Marek Cecula, Chandra DeBuse, Thaddeus Erdahl, Tommy Frank, Julia Galloway, Andrea Gill, Giselle Hicks '01, Wayne Higby, Ayumi Horie, Roxanne Jackson, Doug Jeck, John Jessiman, Simon Levin, Matt Long, Allegheny Meadows, Malcolm Mobutu-Smith, Kevin Snipes, Steve Montgomery, Kristen Morgin, Suzanne Ramljak, Jeanne Quinn, Bobby Silverman, Chris Staley, Beth Cavener Stichter, Jack Troy, and Kukuli Velarde.
Shaped Clay Society
The Shaped Clay Society is a student-run organization of undergraduate and graduate ceramics students. Through various fund-raising activities—including a popular mug sale on campus—the group is able to increase educational opportunities, such as bringing visiting artists to campus, or support a local organization, such as Empty Bowls benefits for the Interreligious Food Consortium of Central New York.