Learn to handbuild, throw, slip cast and make molds. Specialized surfaces, like earthenware low temperature majolica, decals, as well as stoneware and porcelain high temperature glazes and atmospheric firings, like gas reduction, salt, and wood are taught as fundamental elements of the curriculum. Both contemporary and historical ceramic and art history is incorporated in studio classes as well as regular group and individual critiques. Advanced classes are not project based allowing students to focus their work and personal explorations while maintaining a vital interactive studio experience with fellow students and faculty with scheduled critiques, readings, discussions, visiting artists and slide lectures. Courses in kilns and clay and glaze formulation broaden student knowledge.
The Interdisciplinary Ceramic Research Center (ICRC) is a new laboratory for individuals and teams across disciplines to experiment with traditional and cutting-edge approaches to the manipulation of clay. In recent years we have seen renewed interest in the potential of ceramics among architects, designers, engineers and artists outside of the traditional ceramic arts. The Center provides interested parties with the opportunity to explore their research with access to specialized equipment in a collaborative work environment.
The ICRC is grounded in the notion that unstructured exchange of ideas can lead to groundbreaking research and creative work. This is best facilitated by offering a flexible workspace; MIT Building 20 or Bell Labs are examples of such shared institutional spaces paving the way for historic discovery and progress. The ICRC is positioned to do for the arts what these examples have done for science and engineering.
Both undergraduate and graduate students have the opportunity to work with and alongside KU professors, technicians, visiting artists, and visiting scholars. The Chamney kilns, an industrial mold press, a CNC router, and a large-scale ceramic 3D printer already establish the ICRC as a leading facility in the United States. Serving as an intersection of ceramic-related research, teaching, and learning, the ICRC places Lawrence and the University of Kansas at the heart of a forward-looking movement in ceramic art.