Ceramics at Missouri Southern State University is a comprehensive discipline that develops skills, techniques, and material processes from concept to finished object. Students explore the merging of surface and form with aesthetic interests ranging from vessels to ceramic sculpture. Courses include demonstrations mixed with critiques, informal discussion, and field trips to see regional ceramic exhibitions. Advanced students research contemporary ceramic artists but are encouraged to follow their own creative directions to develop a personal expression with clay.
Students experience all facets of running the studio including clay and glaze mixing and the loading and firing of kilns. Our annual student pottery sale helps students learn about the logistics of selling their work. All of this prepares ceramics students who graduate to enter a graduate program, set up a studio and produce creative work, or to explore other Ceramics related fields while continuing to make personal work.
The teaching studio is fully equipped with work and wedging tables, 15 electric potter's wheels, 30" slab roller, and extruder for working with clay. Students are provided with lockers for storage of tools and materials as well as public shelving and rolling carts for their work. Two Bluebird clay mixers and a vertical pug mill are available for reclaiming and mixing blends of clay allowing exploration in a range of clays including earthenware, stoneware, and porcelain. The fully stocked glaze material lab includes a spray booth and casting slip mixer. Three electric kilns (one computer controlled) are available as well as a Raku and a 35 cubic foot Bailey downdraft natural gas kiln.
Visiting artists are invited to give artist talks and workshops, exposing students to the great range of contemporary ceramics expression. Visiting artists have included: Connor Burns, Fong Choo, Tom Coleman, Tara Dawley, Jeff Garrett, Malcolm Kucharski, Danny Meisinger, and Joe Molinaro. In 2011 we hosted a two day ceramics symposium "A Matter of Scale". These events are all free for students and the public to attend.