Workspaces and Tools

The Ceramics studios are well equipped and professional. The department has gas kilns and electric kilns of various sizes, from test kiln to large-scale, and offers instruction in their use. All Ceramics majors can schedule access to these kilns for their work. The department has a large and completely stocked raw materials room with a glaze spray booth and a room dedicated to the use of plaster for molds, as well as a jigger wheel, ram press, pug mill, clay mixers and a blunger for slip. Also, there is a large slab roller, an extruder and a specialized wet sander/grinder.

Computers are used extensively. Photoshop and Illustrator are available for image making while other software is devoted to glaze calculation and kiln calibration. Decals are printed on a laser printer. A full-time technician is on hand to keep all of this in excellent running order and available to our students. Undergraduate and graduate studios emphasize private home spaces and communal work areas with ample storage racks and worktables.

Kiln room

  • two programmable automatic firing gas car kilns, remote computer monitoring; 57 and 88 cu ft 
  • downdraft gas brick kiln with natural draft burners, 20 cu ft 
  • downdraft gas brick kiln with forced air burners, 50 cu ft 
  • front-loading programmable automatic firing electric kiln, remote computer monitoring, 24 cu ft 
  • portable gas kiln for Raku firing 
  • four electric test kilns

Raw materials lab 

  • two-station spray booth 
  • 30-gallon pneumatic blunger 
  • ball mill 
  • air filtration system 
  • double-station sink 
  • raw materials storage 
  • database computer station with printer 
  • glaze calculation program (Hyperglaze)

Clay mixing/grinding room

  • three large-capacity drum mixers 
  • Muller grinding mixer 
  • Pug mill/mixer with vacuum de-airing chamber 
  • 25-gallon electric slipmixer 
  • 30-ton high-speed pneumatic/hydraulic (RAM method) mold/die press 
  • air filtration safety system

Plaster work room 

  • stainless-surfaced work tables 
  • heated forced-air drying cabinet for plaster molds 
  • large-capacity pound scales 
  • jiggering wheel 
  • extruder system 
  • double-station sinks 
  • air filtration safety system

Classroom and studio facilities 

  • two multi-purpose studios for handbuilding and wheel techniques 
  • 30 electric wheels 
  • home studio space for juniors, seniors and graduate students 
  • 36" slab roller 
  • double-station sinks

Computer resources 

  • networked computer workstations, Macintosh 
  • dedicated PC to monitor firing programs in kiln room 
  • flatbed scanner 
  • slide scanner 
  • firewire CDR 
  • laser printer

Additional facilities 

  • digital camera 
  • light table for slide viewing 
  • product photography studio 
  • photo strobe system for 3-D portfolio photography