B.F.A. with an emphasis in Ceramics

  • students working in a ceramics studio
  • ceramic bowls on a table
  • student sitting in front of his work
  • fire blooming from a kiln
  • student smoothing out a vase

Video of _GMmTmYIsSU
The Ceramics Area provides students with the foundational discipline and professional skills to succeed in their careers as artists, craftspersons and designers. Students are introduced to all facets of professional practice within the ceramic arts. This includes hand building, wheel throwing, slip casting and mold making, clay and glaze formulation, as well as firing and studio management. The ceramic curriculum enables students to explore the use of clay and related tools and materials in support of their art and design practice, while initiating dialog with issues of utility, aesthetic expression and diverse contemporary topics. The curriculum challenges students to think critically about their work and the work of others, and to articulate informed ideas in order to advance their understanding of a broad variety of methodologies, including contemporary and emerging technologies.

CURRICULUM: Bachelor of fine arts WITH AN EMPHASIS IN Ceramics (B.F.A.)

Basic studies requirement—12 credits

  • 1040 Object Drawing*
  • 1050 Drawing Studio*
  • 1070 Form and Surface*
  • 1080 Form and Space*

*Prerequisites for all studio art and art education majors and minors

Writing—3 credits

  • 3250 Writing About Art

Art history—12 credits

  • 2200 History of Art
  • 2210 History of Art
  • Art history elective 3000-4000 level
  • Art history elective 3000-4000 level

Ceramics emphasis requirement—21 credits

  • 2300 Ceramics I
  • 3300 Ceramics II
  • 5300 Ceramics Workshop (15 hrs.)

Art studio electives—34 credits

  • Three hours of non-western art history, and all art education credits, may be applied to the elective requirement.

Graduation presentation—3 credits

  • 4930 Graduation Preparation

Summary of Bachelor of Fine Arts with an emphasis in ceramics

  • Art Major—85 credits
  • General Education—37 credits
  • Total Credit Hours—122 credits

Students should consult the WMU catalog for the ceramics program course descriptions and requirements.

WMU Catalog

Portfolio reviews

Portfolio reviews for admission into the B.F.A. program with an emphasis in ceramics will be held in the second week of November and March.

Faculty

Technician

Facilities

The 8,000 sq. ft. studio, supervised by a full-time technician, includes: wheel throwing and hand building areas, a well-stocked glaze lab with spray booth, plaster lab and private studio spaces for BFA majors. 

Wheels

  • 20 Shimpo "Whisper" electric wheels

Indoor kilns

  • 4 computer-controlled Cone Art electric kilns 
  • 32 cu. ft. gas-fired downdraft kiln
  • 90 cu. ft. gas-fired downdraft car kiln
  • 180 cu. ft. gas-fired downdraft car kiln

Outdoor kilns

  • 300 cu. ft. wood-fired barrel-arched anagama kiln
  • 80 cu. ft. gas-fired downdraft salt kiln
  • 6 cu. feet gas-fired drum/cantilevered raku kiln
  • 40 cu. ft gas-fired updraft kiln

Select equipment

  • 30 Pottery Wheels
  • Two Brent Slab-Rollers
  • Laguna Spray Booth 
  • Soldner and Bluebird Clay Mixers
  • Bluebird Pugmill

Student Group

The goal of the Ceramics Guild at Western Michigan University is to provide a supportive environment to raise student's knowledge and appreciation for ceramic art, as well as interact with the local and national ceramics community.

Student Work

 Artwork by ceramics student Genevieve Vanzandt
Genevieve VanZandt