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Ceramics Programs At Univ. Mt, Alfred...


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#1 miriam

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 12:21 AM

I'm trying to decide where I want to go to school next year (undergrad). I plan to major in ceramics, with a minor/second major in environmental studies or foreign language. I'm interested in sculptural and functional work, atmospheric firing, and integrating environmental sustainability and ceramics.

Right now I'm mainly thinking about Alfred University and the University of Montana, but I'm also considering Prescott College (which unfortunately doesn't have much of a ceramics program) Warren Wilson, and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts/Tufts.

Everyone keeps telling me to go to Alfred, because its ceramics program has such a high reputation.
Alfred's academic program doesn't interest me too much, though. The University of Montana, on the other hand, has a Wilderness and Civilization program that really appeals to me, and I love Prescott's emphasis on experiential/alternative education.

any advice or information to share?

#2 Stephen Robison

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 09:04 AM

With what you have said I would pick Montana!  Missoula has a great ceramics program!!! Yes Alfred has a strong reputation but so do those two programs and if they offer something for your minor then go for it! I love Bozeman too and would chose it as a town to live in over Missoula. If Montana State in Bozeman also has a program you would be into check it out! Montana State also has a fantastic ceramics program. Some of my favorite people in clay are in MT and they are both in Missoula and Bozeman. If you choose one of those programs I guarantee you will not be sorry!! MT is a great state to live in!! I lived there for two years and LOVED it! 
STEPHEN ROBISON
Head of Ceramics, Central Washington University
Ellensburg WA

http://stiffyguss.blogspot.com/
http://liquidceramics.blogspot.com/
http://teapotspitchers.blogspot.com/
http://woodkilns.blogspot.com/
http://jomonhaniwa.blogspot.com/
http://stephensrobison.blogspot.com/
http://www.flickr.co...ffpottery/sets/

CWU offers; BA, BFA, and MFA Degrees, (Post Baccalaureate also available). Images of CWU Ceramics studio can be seen at

http://www.flickr.co...57623735313670/

#3 miriam

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 11:13 AM

With what you have said I would pick Montana!  Missoula has a great ceramics program!!! Yes Alfred has a strong reputation but so do those two programs and if they offer something for your minor then go for it! I love Bozeman too and would chose it as a town to live in over Missoula. If Montana State in Bozeman also has a program you would be into check it out! Montana State also has a fantastic ceramics program. Some of my favorite people in clay are in MT and they are both in Missoula and Bozeman. If you choose one of those programs I guarantee you will not be sorry!! MT is a great state to live in!! I lived there for two years and LOVED it! 



that's good to hear; thanks!
most people I've talked to have insinuated that it would be kinda stupid to not go to Alfred.

#4 hansen

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Posted 05 May 2010 - 04:35 AM

A graduate degree from Alfred is a serious credential, but undergrad... hmmm...

Foreign language would come in real handy if you branched out into art history or ceramics art history, or museum or critical studies involving ceramics. Or studying ceramics abroad. Linking the language studies to ceramics will be easier than the environmental studies, that maybe might come in third if you are trying to build on strengths.

??? maybe

But it all depends on your sense of direction.
h a n s e n

I'm trying to decide where I want to go to school next year (undergrad). I plan to major in ceramics, with a minor/second major in environmental studies or foreign language. I'm interested in sculptural and functional work, atmospheric firing, and integrating environmental sustainability and ceramics.

Right now I'm mainly thinking about Alfred University and the University of Montana, but I'm also considering Prescott College (which unfortunately doesn't have much of a ceramics program) Warren Wilson, and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts/Tufts.

Everyone keeps telling me to go to Alfred, because its ceramics program has such a high reputation.
Alfred's academic program doesn't interest me too much, though. The University of Montana, on the other hand, has a Wilderness and Civilization program that really appeals to me, and I love Prescott's emphasis on experiential/alternative education.

any advice or information to share?




h a n s e n
Stone House Studio, Alexandria, Virginia

americanpotter.blogspot.com
thesuddenschool.blogspot.com

#5 Chris Campbell

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Posted 05 May 2010 - 06:59 PM

Ok ... I am going to answer from the point of view of a parent who has watched kids go through this and seen how it worked out for them.

Visit as many campuses as you can ...sometimes just walking around & listening on campus will tell you everything about whether you want to be there for four years.
Don't limit yourself... Keep as many options for study open as you reasonably can. You never know what subject is going to catch your interest.

Yes, Alfred is wonderful for ceramics but can be pretty miserable if you should decide you want to focus on something else.
I know a young lady who left because that's all anyone talked about and she liked other subjects too...
And yes, people told her she was crazy to leave but she is much happier in her new school ... Which leads to another point ...
You can bail and go elsewhere if you hate it ... Life is one long learning curve.

Chris Campbell
Contemporary Fine Colored Porcelain
http://www.ccpottery.com/

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TRY ...   FAIL ...  LEARN ...  REPEAT


#6 Stephen Robison

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Posted 18 May 2010 - 10:16 AM

Good points Chris.
STEPHEN ROBISON
Head of Ceramics, Central Washington University
Ellensburg WA

http://stiffyguss.blogspot.com/
http://liquidceramics.blogspot.com/
http://teapotspitchers.blogspot.com/
http://woodkilns.blogspot.com/
http://jomonhaniwa.blogspot.com/
http://stephensrobison.blogspot.com/
http://www.flickr.co...ffpottery/sets/

CWU offers; BA, BFA, and MFA Degrees, (Post Baccalaureate also available). Images of CWU Ceramics studio can be seen at

http://www.flickr.co...57623735313670/

#7 AmeriSwede

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 01:02 AM

Yes, Alfred is wonderful for ceramics but can be pretty miserable if you should decide you want to focus on something else.
... Which leads to another point ...
You can bail and go elsewhere if you hate it ... Life is one long learning curve.




As an Alfred Alumni (MFA-87) but NOT from the ceramics dept., I would like to add that the some of the other areas are of equal
value. My major was in 3D-Glass which I would have to add was (and still is) superlative (IMO). I felt the metals department was also
very well represented, in all aspects. My own ceramic experience is all self taught, having never had a course in this medium. I
sometimes wish I had the opportunity and had taken a few glaze courses with V.Cushing, during my time at Alfred (he was on sabbatical).

Chris, as you finished by adding '...you can bail and go elsewhere if you hate it ... Life is one long learning curve,' ... is a very good point.
I have seen some students that just didn't seem to 'fit' in at one location but seemed to thrive at another!




------Rick



Above all, it is a matter of loving art, not understanding it. (Fernand Leger
)

#8 katie4986

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Posted 20 June 2010 - 06:56 PM

I'm trying to decide where I want to go to school next year (undergrad). I plan to major in ceramics, with a minor/second major in environmental studies or foreign language. I'm interested in sculptural and functional work, atmospheric firing, and integrating environmental sustainability and ceramics.

Right now I'm mainly thinking about Alfred University and the University of Montana, but I'm also considering Prescott College (which unfortunately doesn't have much of a ceramics program) Warren Wilson, and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts/Tufts.

Everyone keeps telling me to go to Alfred, because its ceramics program has such a high reputation.
Alfred's academic program doesn't interest me too much, though. The University of Montana, on the other hand, has a Wilderness and Civilization program that really appeals to me, and I love Prescott's emphasis on experiential/alternative education.

any advice or information to share?


By now I assume you have already decided which school you will be attending in the fall, but for what its worth I will go ahead and throw my two cents in -- being an '08 Alfred Alumn (undergrad) I feel like I need to speak up :) I cannot speak for comparison to the other schools because I really have not heard much about them.


Attending Alfred for ceramics was a no brainer for me. Yes, I was bombarded as well with the "you're stupid not to go" attitude from those who were aware of the reputation, even coming from NC where the undergrad ceramics programs aren't too shabby. But here was the biggest deciding factor for me -- I was also dead set on tackling a double major in Chemistry. One thing that I do have to say about the Alfred atmosphere is that you have to be in it for you and for the goals you set for your work. There really isn't much else there -- being out in the middle of farm country with one stop light and a twenty minute drive to the nearest supermarket! Its really a GREAT place to be, but you have to have the right mindset.
In terms of the academic reputation, it really is a great match for the BFA program. The university is broken up into five different schools, both public and private (the art school and the engineering schools fall under the public sector), however all schools are reciprocal. This means it is REALLY easy to take whatever classes you wish to take. There really is a lot of freedom. They have often begun to even let you form your own curriculum in order to meet your specific goals for what direction YOU want to take your studies.


As for the environmental sciences, I actually had a couple friends double major in environmental sciences, which I believe can be completed in 5 years. And over the past six years Alfred's School of Art & Design specifically has been invested in environmental sustainability throughout student artworks and student launched initiatives which have been put in place at the school and throughout the community, such as REPO- The Alfred Reusable Materials Depot (http://people.alfred.edu/~repo/) and the Alfred COTTA project (http://alfredcotta.blogspot.com/). And I should also mention there is actually a huge emphasis on foreign languages in the School of Liberal Arts as well. Alfred is an excellent choice in my opinion for a WELL-ROUNDED education. Hope this helps!

#9 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 01 July 2010 - 03:08 PM

I'm trying to decide where I want to go to school next year (undergrad). I plan to major in ceramics, with a minor/second major in environmental studies or foreign language. I'm interested in sculptural and functional work, atmospheric firing, and integrating environmental sustainability and ceramics.

Right now I'm mainly thinking about Alfred University and the University of Montana, but I'm also considering Prescott College (which unfortunately doesn't have much of a ceramics program) Warren Wilson, and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts/Tufts.

Everyone keeps telling me to go to Alfred, because its ceramics program has such a high reputation.
Alfred's academic program doesn't interest me too much, though. The University of Montana, on the other hand, has a Wilderness and Civilization program that really appeals to me, and I love Prescott's emphasis on experiential/alternative education.

any advice or information to share?



#10 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 01 July 2010 - 03:12 PM

As a retired professor in the Montana University System and an advisor to many undergrads, I think you should look at places with good undergrad programs. The hefty reputations of schools can be more important at the Graduate level. Focus on a quality undergrad experience. If you want to do all the additional studies then research where those are good as well.


Marcia Selsor, Professor Emerita, Montana State University-Billings

#11 Stephen Robison

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Posted 02 July 2010 - 10:48 AM

Marcia has a great point. I still believe Alfred has a good undergrad program also. I suggest you look at the professors who are teaching at a handful or two of universities and decide from the strength of their work and their students work and the location of the school and whether or not it would be a cool place to live.
STEPHEN ROBISON
Head of Ceramics, Central Washington University
Ellensburg WA

http://stiffyguss.blogspot.com/
http://liquidceramics.blogspot.com/
http://teapotspitchers.blogspot.com/
http://woodkilns.blogspot.com/
http://jomonhaniwa.blogspot.com/
http://stephensrobison.blogspot.com/
http://www.flickr.co...ffpottery/sets/

CWU offers; BA, BFA, and MFA Degrees, (Post Baccalaureate also available). Images of CWU Ceramics studio can be seen at

http://www.flickr.co...57623735313670/

#12 JBaymore

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Posted 10 July 2010 - 10:14 AM

Ok ... I am going to answer from the point of view of a parent who has watched kids go through this and seen how it worked out for them.

Visit as many campuses as you can ...sometimes just walking around & listening on campus will tell you everything about whether you want to be there for four years.
Don't limit yourself... Keep as many options for study open as you reasonably can. You never know what subject is going to catch your interest.

Yes, Alfred is wonderful for ceramics but can be pretty miserable if you should decide you want to focus on something else.
I know a young lady who left because that's all anyone talked about and she liked other subjects too...
And yes, people told her she was crazy to leave but she is much happier in her new school ... Which leads to another point ...
You can bail and go elsewhere if you hate it ... Life is one long learning curve.




What she said! Posted Image

best,

..........................john
John Baymore
Immediate Past President; Potters Council
Professor of Ceramics; New Hampshire Insitute of Art

http://www.JohnBaymore.com




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