Ceramics

Ceramics

An ancient art open to innovation, ceramics gives you a broad vision for craft, technology and invention. Intellectual curiosity and a passion for process are the essential tools for this major.

As you pursue the ceramics major, you will be grounded in conceptual issues and techniques of forming and firing, including sculptural building, throwing on a potter’s wheel, mold-making and slip-casting. You also will work with a wide range of clay bodies, glazes and kilns, all with an emphasis on professional practice that prepares you for a career in the arts. Glass has recently been introduced into the elective course offerings, and you will have opportunities to explore ways that glass and clay can be integrated in utilitarian and sculptural objects. Faculty encourage risk-taking as you master technique, inventing and blending processes as you define and create a body of work for exhibition.

An internship is required for ceramics majors, and students have had exciting experiences working as studio assistants for local, regional and international artists and in a variety of capacities in art centers, galleries and museums.

Ceramics department blog

Richard J. Stern Ceramics Building Renovation

The "old kiln room" is being tranformed this summer to provide for:

  • High-performing plaster lab
  • Expanded glaze room
  • Mezzanine clean space for resource room, faculty offices and digital studio containing 3-D printers
  • Soundproof room with essential equipment improving safety, decibel level and air quality in the building

The renovation will have a campus-wide impact increasing the availability of elective courses for non-ceramics majors, encouraging interdisciplinary thinking and learning. For ceramics majors, the expanded coursework in industrial and digital methods will provide material knowedge and design skills to prepare them for diverse career paths.




Studio Nong: An International Sculptural Collective and Residency Program – July 20-Aug. 30, 2015

Beginning in mid-July, four Southern Chinese sculptors will join their four American counterparts in the United States to spend six weeks working together in the Studio Nong International Sculpture Collective and Residency Program.

Zhenhai He, Bangmin Nong, Shanwu Huang and Jigang Qin, artists and educators from the GuangXi Arts Institute, Nanning in the GuangXi Provence of Southern China, will be recreating the working environment that was so influential and productive for the groups inaugural residency at the QuinZhou NiXing Pottery Factory in QuinZhou, China in the summer of 2013. 
 
While in the United States, the Chinese professors will work with Jessie Fisher, associate professor of painting at KCAI, Misty Gamble, assistant professor of foundation at the KCAI; Scott Seebart, lecturer in painting, at KCAI and the University of Missouri-Kansas City; and Leandra Urrutia, associate professor of ceramics at the Memphis School of Art.


These eight artists will visit cultural, artistic and educational institutions, working July 20-27 at the Memphis College of Art then moving to their studio base at KCAI July 28-Aug. 30.

Workshops and events happening in the United States, include:

  • A Master Class in Anatomical Approaches and Methodologies from Studio Nong: The Bust with professors Jigang Qin and professor Bangmin Nong — Belger Crane Yard Studios, Kansas City, Mo., Aug. 8, 2015 (lecture to follow)
  • A Master Class in Ancient Traditions and Contemporary Form from Studio Nong: Calligraphy and Mishima with professors Zhenhai He and professor Shanwu Huang — Belger Crane Yard Studios, Kansas City, Mo., Aug. 15, 2015 (lecture to follow)
  • Studio Nong Residency and Collective: Master Sculptors from the Guangxi Arts Institute, Current Perspectives Lecture Series — KCAI campus, Epperson Auditorium, Kansas City, Mo., Aug. 27, 2015
  • SunSet|SunRise: Work from Studio Nong — Belger Crane Yard Studios, Aug. 28 - Sept. 18, 2015  
  • SunSet|SunRise: Work from Studio Nong — Hyde Gallery, Memphis College of Art, Memphis, Tenn., Jan. 8- Feb. 13, 2016
  • SunSet|SunRise: Work from Studio Nong, Weinberger Fine Art — Kansas City, Mo., NCECA, March 2016

Cultural events will continue throughout the upcoming year in Kansas City with an exhibition in the Crossroads Arts District at Weinberger Fine Art in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the National Conference for the Education of Ceramics Arts (March 16-19, 2016).

This residency would not be possible without the generous support of GAI, MCA, KCAI, Belger Crane Yard Studios, Red Star Studios and the Lighton International Artist Exchange Program (2013 grant).

Ceramics Faculty

  • Cary Esser, professor and chair

    Cary Esser’s sculptures indulge the materiality of ceramics and draw on the history of...Read More
  • George Timock, professor

    George Timock, professor, has a particular interest in double-walled vessels that are raku-fired and inspired by the landscape. His work...Read More
  • Paul Donnelly, assistant professor

    Paul Donnelly, a native of Philadelphia, is a studio potter who uses slip cast and wheel-thrown techniques to create decorative yet...Read More
  • Tom Binger, studio technician and lecturer

    Tom Binger earned a B.F.A. degree from the Kansas City Art Institute. He specializes in the use of ceramic tile and pictorial narrative...Read More
  • Christen Baker, lecturer

    Christen Baker is a graduate of the Kansas City Art Institute, receiving her degree in ceramics. She specializes in porcelain and...Read More
  • Julie Malen, lecturer

    Julie Malen collages photographs with natural fragments and cultural debris in her mixed media installations to create the dizzying...Read More
  • Andrea Martin, lecturer

    Andrea Martin is an artist based in Kansas City, Mo. Her work focuses on issues of contemporary...Read More
  • Casey Whittier, lecturer

    Casey Whittier’s work explores the intersections between nature and imagination, desire and destruction and the overriding issue of...Read More

Samples of Work

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