From the first week of beginning ceramics through the final semester of the advanced course, students are encouraged to use clay and its processes as a means of exploring issues of personal content. The outward form this personal exploration takes varies from individual to individual: it may be an abstract form; a detailed narrative; or a functional vessel. It may be intimate in scale or larger than life. Respect for an individual's chosen path is encouraged whether it is sculpture or pottery.
The importance of craftsmanship and attention to detail is stressed. Ceramics students are expected to become technically proficient in their use of ceramics materials and processes. Students learn not only glaze application but also glaze chemistry and formulation.
Experience with a wide range of firing technologies is one of the strengths of our program. Students learn the flash fire techniques of pit and raku firing; the complexities of reduction stoneware kilns; and the newer technology of computerized electric kilns. Students receive firing instruction both from teachers and advanced students, which creates a strong sense of a learning community. As students progress through the program they are expected to become increasingly responsible for their own firings. The aim of this strategy is to not only develop technical knowledge but also to develop a balance between freedom and individual responsibility.