The Magic of ClayBy West Virginia University College of Creative Arts Mar 13, 2013 10:48PM UTC
Erica Passage is a graduate student working toward an MFA in ceramics at West Virginia University’s College of Creative Arts. She creates pots with intricate layering comprised of drawings, glazes and screen printing.
WVU Ceramics Area is committed to fostering an environment where the students may maximize their learning experience. Whether it is technical or conceptual, sculptural, or functional, the WVU Faculty work for the development of a course of study for our students that promote the competence of idea development and the technical means to accomplish it. WVU Ceramics emphasizes the development in technical expertise, design and conceptual approaches as a means to expand the students’ aesthetic vocabulary. Our goal is to help our students gain insight into their professional approach and commitment in their active pursuit of process and self-discovery as artists.
The ceramics studio has more than six thousand square feet of studio space, thirty pottery wheels, five large electric kilns, two professional clay mixers, two pug mills, two hand extruders, a large Brent slab roller, and jigger-jolly equipment allow students to be well-equipped, and also enable advanced students to experience running a pottery studio in a production methods class. In addition to indoor kilns, an eighteen hundred-square-foot kiln area is equipped with reduction, wood, and salt/soda kilns that are designed and constructed as needed by faculty and staff, with student participation. This encourages and accommodates work in a wide range of firing temperatures and techniques.
The WVU Ceramics Area has offered a comprehensive summer study program at Jingdezhen since 1995, and in 2004, it expanded the partnership to include a fall semester program that provides advanced undergraduate, graduate and professional-level studies in ceramics, including basic language, culture and Chinese ceramic art history.
The unique relationship allows for those who participate in the program see first hand the historic connections of western ceramics to its roots in China and the preservation of ancient process and techniques. The unique linkage with the famed Pottery Workshop, we have teamed to offer a study and travel program in the Peoples Republic of China where students have the opportunity to study with some of China’s most prominent teachers and ceramic artists.