Our ceramics intensive helps you become a professional ceramist. We encourage you to explore several directions: pottery, sculpture, tile mosaics, and other areas as you focus on the specialty that interests you most.
Early studio courses focus on methods of hand building, wheel throwing, and mold work, as well as basic glaze chemistry and application. You also learn to use decorative techniques, kiln firing, and studio maintenance. As you become more advanced, you will use traditional and experimental techniques for production pieces and individual works of art. At this level, you will mix your own glazes, clays, and slips and fire your own kilns.
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 110-year history.
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.
Many of our graduates have become studio ceramists, teachers at both the high school and college level, or have pursued other avenues such as designing and working in industry or occupational therapy, or managing cooperative ceramic studios.
The 12,500-square-foot ceramics facility is housed in the Comstock Art Facility (ComArt), which is home to the School of Art's programs in art education and studio arts. 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)
- Critique gallery
- Claymaking room (Soldner, 500 lb. dough mixer, two Bluebird mixers, three Bailey pugmills)
- Mold/plaster room
- 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
- Anagama kiln
- Train kiln
- Salt kiln
- Soda kiln
- 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, 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 ceramics undergraduate and graduate 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.