Ceramics at DAAP
Build a Foundation to Create Something Entirely New
Ceramics at the University of Cincinnati immerses students in the foundations of the discipline with the goal of disrupting convention and exploring the future of ceramics as a broad-based, interdisciplinary practice.
Ceramics is always changing. It’s a plastic medium. At UC, we’ve developed a highly progressive curriculum that is in-step with the exciting ways that contemporary artists, designers, and architects are using ceramics, from hand building and wheel throwing to moldmaking and 3D printing. And as part of UC’s internationally recognized College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning, students in UC’s ceramics program spend their days in an environment of creative and artistic collaboration across disciplines, departments and colleges. Our curriculum moves beyond traditional study to focus on where ceramics fits best in the ideation process, and you’ll build the skills and understanding to work in a multitude of processes and techniques.
Beyond the Wheel
We use ceramics differently at DAAP, looking through a broader lens outside of technique and craft to contemporary art, visual culture, and design. We offer courses in handbuilding, wheel throwing, clay and glaze calculation, tile making, mold making, and object design. Students gain a well-rounded knowledge of the material and how it works, allowing them to experiment with a variety of clays in a variety of temperatures and atmospheres, from terracotta to porcelain.
DAAP students enrolled in ceramics courses have full access to our facilities. All clay and glaze materials are kept in stock to use in our studios—with dedicated labs for mixing both. There is also a workroom for mixing and casting with plaster. You’ll mix your own clay and glazes in our lab, and learn to fire both gas and electric kilns. Our approximately 80 undergraduate students work in open studios each semester and advanced students receive dedicated tables and shelving.
We offer five to six studios during the fall and spring semesters, with additional summer courses.
We have eight electric kilns, and a small test kiln located in the department, with five gas kilns housed in an adjacent gas kiln room.
Artists at Work
DAAP benefits from the University of Cincinnati’s groundbreaking program in experiential learning. UC is the school that invented the co-op—what we call the co-operative education experience where students alternate semesters of classroom study with semesters of real-world, paid work experience.
DAAP ceramics students take advantage of our strong connection to the historic Rookwood Pottery, located in Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine neighborhood. Located just five minutes from DAAP, our students participate in their internship program and several of our graduates have gone on to work at the pottery.
Graduate Studies in Ceramics
The MFA program within the School of Art has two to three ceramic graduate students annually working in 300-square-foot private studios within the department. An interdisciplinary program, students can take a variety of studio and seminar courses within the School of Art and throughout DAAP and the university at large, although it is not required.
Numerous scholarships and travel opportunities are available to DAAP MFA students, as well as graduate assistantships and teaching assistantships both within and outside of ceramics. Graduate students are expected to take a leadership role within the program, while developing their own body of work towards their MFA thesis.
DAAP offers all MFA students unlimited access to technologies within the college such as 3D printing, CNC milling, laser cutting, photo studios and large scale printing, as well as the assistance and programming to use these tools. DAAP has an in-house woodshop with CNC routers and a metal studio attached.
DAAP’s commitment to experiential learning means we encourage our students to think about their next steps, apply to residencies and graduate schools, and to seek positions both within and outside of academia.
Recent graduates of our BFA and MFA programs have gone on to numerous residencies around the world, such as Watershed Center for the Ceramics Arts, Core Clay, Mendocino Art Center, The Pottery Workshop in Jingdezhen, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, Lawrence Arts Center, and the Banff Centre in Alberta, Canada.
Our MFA graduates go on to careers in teaching, with faculty and technical positions in California, Kansas, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Ohio, as well as in industry at the Rookwood Pottery and creative and art departments.