Ceramics students are encouraged and challenged to explore various approaches to clay while drawing from other art and design disciplines. You will explore a variety of applications of ceramic art including function, design, sculpture, mixed-media, installation and performance that will prepare you for numerous professional opportunities. 

Degree Options

BFA Studio Art - Ceramics Emphasis

Students may pursue a B.F.A. in Studio Art in this emphasis. The B.F.A. in Studio Art is designed for students interested in a professional degree in art or design. This degree will prepare students for a career as a professional Ceramics Artist. Aside from Ceramics, eight other Emphasis Areas are available to choose from in the B.F.A. degree.

BA/BS - Art Education with Ceramics Emphasis

Students may also pursue a BA or BS Degree in Art Education with a concentration in ceramics. 

Learning Environment


Students and faculty discussing ceramics' pieces

The curriculum includes the rigorous development of a student's individual approach to ceramics through the integration of ideas, materials, and processes. They gain an understanding of all phases of working with the medium including clay making, hand-building, wheel throwing, slip casting, glaze calculation, and firing. As students advance through the program they experiment with different conceptual frameworks including function, design, sculpture, mixed-media, installation, and performance. The recent addition of an artist-in-residency program in ceramics gives students the opportunity to work with national and international artists on the GVSU campus.


Hoon Lee

Hoon Lee
Associate Professor
Ceramics Area Coordinator

Students' Work

Course Catalog

All basic hand-building techniques, glazing, and concepts relating to ceramics and pottery. Included will be historical background, some clay geology, clay making, kiln loading and unloading. All other general studio practices and safety will also be covered. 
Offered fall and winter semesters.

Prerequisites & Notes
Prerequisites: ART 152, ART 157; waived for non-art majors.

Credits: 3

Beginning work on the potter’s wheel. Basic throwing techniques, porcelain and white earthenware added to basic stonewares & terracotta. Colored clays, low fire glazing, under and over glazing and extended forming techniques not covered in Art 275 included. Firing theory and practice for gas kilns required. 
Offered winter semester.

Prerequisites & Notes
Prerequisite: ART 275.

Credits: 3

Students will work on large-scale sculptures, while pursuing their own ideas. Students will work in small series of ideas and begin to research and explore concepts that are important to them. Students who wish to continue throwing must apply the same practice and research as students pursuing sculptural form. Offered fall and winter semesters.

Prerequisites & Notes
Prerequisites: ART 275.

Credits: 3

For studio artists and designers about to enter graduate school or professional design studios. Includes a required three-day field trip to Chicago, information concerning resume preparation, exhibitions, interviewing, portfolios, design agencies, galleries, museums, and analysis of the professional literature through written assignments. Students will learn how the professional art world works. Offered fall semester.

Prerequisites & Notes
Prerequisites: Art major and senior standing.

Credits: 3

Students continue to develop their own concepts and methods for making them. They will do background research and develop artist mentors important to their work. The work should take on stronger suggestion of personal voice in this course. Students may pursue mixed media and found object additions for their work. Offered fall and winter semesters. Prerequisites: ART 377.

Credits: 3

Students continue to define concepts with further individuality and creative solutions to forming, surface resolution, mixed media, combinations, installation and conceptual work. They may begin work for 498 if they are ready. Includes further reading and research in their areas of interest. Art 478 may be repeated for credit. Offered fall and winter semesters. Prerequisites: ART 477.

Credits: 3

Students will learn ceramic materials that constitute general formulation of glazes at the temperature of stoneware and porcelain. They will mix tests, fire them and come to understand and recognize basic glaze components. Students will make test tiles and sample glaze batches. They will analyze and compare formula variations. Offered fall of odd numbered years. Prerequisites: ART 376 or ART 377 or ART 477.

Credits: 3

This course is the final work toward the B.F.A. Senior Exhibition and must be taken in the semester in which students hang their degree shows. Students will work closely with their major professor in their emphasis area, and may have an additional course assigned from their Junior Review. Students must seek the advice of their major professor for the selection of works for their exhibition. They may also seek advice of any other faculty members with whom they have worked or from whom they would like additional feedback. Offered fall and winter semesters.

Credits: 6


Ceramics Facilities

The ceramics area includes ample classroom studios for group and individual projects. The facilities provide a complete array of resources for students including clay production, wheel work, glaze preparation, as well as gas, electric, and wood-fire kilns. Students earning a BFA in the ceramics emphasis are given individual studios while in the program

Professional Networking

Contemporary Ceramics Association

Contemporary Ceramics Association provides students of all majors a chance to experience and interact with clay as a material. Members gain access to clay, tools, potter's wheel, and glaze material, all included in an annual fee.

Clay Club Video

Other Links

Visit Us

Prospective Students are invited to attend one of the High School Student Receptions, held throughout the academic year. Receptions follow the Laker Experience Days.

Attend a High School Student Reception

Request Information

For questions about the Ceramics area, please contact:

Hoon Lee
Ceramics Coordinator
1402 Calder Arts Center
(616) 331-3102
[email protected]



Page last modified June 23, 2022