Ceramics

Ceramics Fundamentals

The ceramics program at the Mary Schiller Myers School of Art is assembled on the belief that students can learn through doing: assembling hand-skills through practice, thinking through sketching and growing as artists by undertaking rigorous driven practice. 

Education pioneer John Dewey wrote in Art as Experience, “we do not learn from experiences, we truly learn by reflecting on our experiences.” In keeping with this thinking, the curriculum at the Myers School of Art explores the history of ceramics and uses that knowledge to consider the future of the medium. Clay and ceramics as a material have developed alongside humanity since the earliest periods of civilization. In that time knowledge has been passed on through demonstration, practical instruction and the exchange that comes with the discussion of novel ideas.

The program at the Myers School of Art explores art making by considering the historical and cultural meaning of ceramic materials, as well as examining the importance of objects. Students are asked to draw on their personal experience with the world of things and then consider new possibility and uses for such items. In support of the creation of individual work, we include lectures, demonstrations, hands-on experiences and experimentation which allow students to develop the knowledge of processes and the skills necessary to production of their ceramic works.

Purpose

The ceramics program at the University of Akron’s Myers School of Art offers a comprehensive forward-thinking undergraduate education, which will prepare students for work as visual artists and independent thinkers. The program is structured so students may consider careers in ceramics, or further graduate education in the visual arts at the countries leading Master’s of Fine Arts Programs.

The program aims to offer students a wide range of ceramic techniques and firing methods. The ceramics program at the Myers School of Art provides the highest quality of instruction and support to facilitate students learning and the development of their personal artistic voice.

Goals

Students majoring in Ceramics at the University of Akron will develop:

  • Skills for a useful future in the field of fine art.
  • A focused understanding of the contemporary continuum of clay.
  • Knowledge of the historical uses, importance and aesthetics of ceramics.
  • A tactile understanding of clay materials and their potential.
  • Develop a set of problem-solving skills, methods of critical thinking, ideation and the ability to talk about artwork.
  • Reflective ways to self-evaluate and consider developing their own artwork.
  • Develop the ability to transfer tactile skills to other media while figuring out how to draw in skills from other areas.
  • The ability to operate and control a wide range of ceramics’ firing temperatures and atmospheres in various kilns including: bisque, glaze, oxidation, reduction, salt firing, and raku firing.
  • Skills of building ceramic forms by hand, on a potter’s wheel, by slipcasting and employing digital technology.
  • Knowledge about the formulation of clay bodies, glazes and ceramics coatings for the widest range of color choices.
  • Synthesize periodic assignments, and individual ideas into a unique voice and style of producing individual ceramic artwork.

Ceramics Faculty

Drew Ippoliti

Drew Ippoliti
Title: Assistant Professor of Instruction, Coordinator of Ceramics
Dept/Program: Ceramics
Phone: 330-972-5967
Email: aippoliti@uakron.edu


Distinctions

Students at University of Akron are presented with a broad range of skills and opportunities to develop their personal voice while pursuing a BFA in Ceramics, including:

  • 24-hour studio access
  • Large open studio spaces programmed to facilitate collaboration and a sense of community.
  • More than 15 kilns able to fire in the widest range of oxidation, reduction, salt / soda atmosphere, as well as raku and smoke firing.
  • A highly functional fully stocked glaze laboratory.
  • Clay making facilities replete with a wide range of clay types.
  • Access to cutting edge technology like 3D stereolithographic printing, decal printers, vinyl cutters and a laser cutter.
  • Access to a wide range of exhibition opportunities.
  • Assistance finding and developing grant proposals.
  • Opportunities to develop an understanding in the social aspects of the world's oldest three-dimensional material.

Sample Curriculum: 

Ceramics Facilities