Art - Ceramics

Anderson University's South Carolina School of the Arts offers a Bachelor of Arts in Art with a Concentration in Ceramics. This hands-on, studio program trains students to become practicing artists or craftspeople and to prepare for graduate programs in art and other fields.

Essential preparation

Students learn to express themselves through projects, such as both utilitarian and artistic pottery and ceramic sculptures. Working with clay and kiln firing practices—with both electric and gas kilns—also is central to the Ceramics program.

Foundations and Ceramics

All freshmen art students complete a first-year sequence of team-taught foundation courses that cover principles of design, problem solving, and project management skills. They also learn ideation (the process of forming ideas or images) and conceptual development.

At the start of their sophomore year, students branch into the Ceramics coursework, which includes Wheelthrowing, Handbuilding, and Ceramics Studio Practices. Handbuilding consists of construction building techniques with clay. Students practice coil-building techniques, slab construction, tile work, and using extruded forms. All these skills can be used to create pinch pots (pottery made by "pinching" the clay with one hand while rotating it with the other hand), large vessels, sculptures, platters, plates, tiles, trays, cups, bowls, and more. The Ceramics Studio Practices class covers kiln design and construction, health and safety, and advanced glaze chemistry, which involves learning aspects of clay and glaze materials and chemistry to test, explore and create glazes and surface techniques in different kilns.

Advanced coursework and Christian influence

An orchestrated set of courses helps students cultivate a highly developed, sophisticated body of work, which can prepare them for graduate school. If your goal is to enter the workforce, a carefully chosen minor can bolster your resume. For example, someone interested in art therapy might minor in psychology while someone interested in working for an arts organization might minor in business. Through the Ceramics curriculum, you'll learn to develop a unique, personal style and professional level of craftsmanship, as well as explore advanced surface decoration and forming techniques, such as slip-trailing (applying lines of liquefied clay, or slip, to a clay surface using a fine-pointed dispenser) and sgrafitto (applying two successive layers of contrasting slip to an unfired ceramic body and then scratching it to produce an outline drawing). You'll spend time working with faculty and other students in studio sessions, fostering a sense of community. The Department of Art and Design is a small, nurturing, Christian environment where students have the opportunity to discover, cultivate and develop their artistic capabilities under personalized direction from their professors.

Opportunities to blossom

As they hone their skills and gain confidence, students are encouraged to participate in local, regional, and national exhibitions and competitions. These experiences help them grow and excel as artists.

Outstanding faculty

South Carolina School of the Arts professors are working artists who exhibit their work in solo, group, juried, and invitational exhibitions throughout the country and who write about the craft for publications such as Ceramics Monthly magazine, the foremost periodical on ceramic art in the U.S.

Your future as a ceramics artist

Graduates of our program have become full-time artists while others use the training to pursue ceramics as an avocation. Others have used the program to prepare to run their own businesses, work for arts organizations and museums, and enter graduate programs in art and psychology. For more information about studying ceramics at Anderson University, contact Dr. Jo Carol Mitchell-Rogers, Chair of the Department of Art and Design, at scschoolofthearts@andersonuniversity.edu or (800) 542-3594.