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“Here’s some clay, let’s see what you can do with it!”

That’s the beginning of the Ceramics program at Western Oregon University, where you’ll learn traditional and contemporary methods of making art with clay.


Not a pottery program, Ceramics at WOU focuses on clay as a sculptural material – and opens doors to the endless possibilities of form, surfaces and concepts.


Contemporary Ceramics is redefining itself and we have the opportunity to particpate in that process, making it one of the most exciting areas to explore.


Choosing Ceramics as an area of focus in the Art Degree Program means you will have three years of intensive courses that include:

  • Making your own clay
  • Developing your own glazes
  • Mold-making
  • Wheel-throwing
  • Handbuilding
  • Tile making
  • Decals, lustres and china paints experience
  • Firing Kilns
  • Experimentation with mixed media and nontraditional ceramic exploration

The ceramic studio facilities encompass two large common rooms, a clay mixing room, a semi-private studio for Advanced and BFA students, an indoor electric kiln area and an outdoor kiln building.


Wheel throwing and handbuilding take place in the largest studio equipped with a Brent slab roller, an extruder and sixteen potter’s wheels.


A separate clay mixing room houses the Soldner professional mixer and a large variety of dry materials that can be used to design nearly any clay body.


The four Skutt electric kilns are located in a shelf-lined room adjacent to the main studio. Basic bisque to cone 10 oxidation firings are possible.


The mold-making studio holds over 200 commercial molds and all of the equipment necessary to create your own molds for experimentation and production.


The outdoor kiln facility currently supports a raku kiln, soda kiln, natural gas reduction kiln and the capability to pit fire.


First Year

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A255 – Introduction to Ceramics: Wheel-Throwing

A256 – Introduction to Ceramics: Handbuilding

Trhough these courses, you will learn to build with clay using coil, pinch, slab and extrusion techniques. We take the opportunity to do low temperature firing methods such as raku, pit, and saggar.


Second Year

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A355 – Intermediate Ceramics: Moldmaking

A356 – Intermediate Ceramics: Print and Tiling

A357 – Intermediate Ceramics: Working Large Scale


Third Year

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A455 – Advanced Ceramics: Contemporary Issues

A456 and A457 – Advanced Ceramics


Professional Preparation

The last two terms of advanced ceramic courses are designed to facilitate your transition from an institutional environment to your professional studio.





Art Department Office Coordinator - Laura Killip

503-838-8340 | or e-mail: killipl@wou.edu  | Location: Campbell Hall 105