The ceramics program at the University of Minnesota, Morris offers rigorous instruction in both low-fire and high-fire ceramic techniques. Ceramics can be selected to fulfill either the major or minor media requirements in studio art. Students must request permission for this option from the studio art coordinator before their junior year; review the major requirements for more details.
The ceramics program at the University of Minnesota, Morris emphasizes:
- functional pottery that simultaneously respects tradition and asserts its relevance in the 21st century;
- safe technique;
- reused, recycled, or locally gathered materials including clay, fuel, glaze and kiln-building material;
- familiarity with ceramic and general art history.
Beginning coursework stresses proficiency in all basic hand-building and throwing techniques along with a working knowledge of clay types and clay bodies, basic glaze chemistry, and kiln design and firing theory.
Advanced students are expected to work toward higher standards of technique and personal aesthetic expression. The focus in advanced coursework varies each semester, and includes topics such as dinnerware, cylinder-based pots, non-glaze decorative techniques, and tilemaking. Students typically work with high-fire stoneware or porcelain, although earthenware clay and glazes are available if it fits the focus of the class.
Features of the ceramics studio include:
- Ample workspace with canvas-covered tables and dampbox, glazing table, and shelving for greenware, bisqueware, and glazeware;
- numerous cone 10 slips and glazes, including ash glazes and local slip glazes;
- a variety of press and hump molds made from plaster or bisqueware;
- brent slabroller and wall-mounted extruder;
- glaze spraybooth;
- seven potter’s wheels, including both kick and electric wheels by Lockerbie, Brent, and Creative Industries;
- 10-cubic foot Skutt electric kiln;
- 24-cubic foot updraft Alpine gas-fired kiln;
- an outdoor firing area features a 75- cubic foot single-chamber woodkiln;
- facilities for alternative firing methods, such as sawdust firing.