Rochester Institute of Technology

Academic Program Overviews

Student Skills & Capabilities, Salary Data, Career Information 

Ceramics MFA

Program Overview

A small quality-driven program, the Ceramics and Ceramic Sculpture program has a deep focus on intellectual development, technical skill, and practical knowledge. The ultimate goal is to create an environment where intellectual discourse and craftsmanship can thrive. The studio supports a range of fundamental topics within ceramics, such as throwing, glazing, and firing, and emphasizes personal development with individual critiques and group discussions.

The program emphasizes practical training and education in preparation for ceramics-related employment. Students will learn how to operate a studio business and maintain equipment, manage galleries, teach, and interface with community projects. Students will also be exposed to a wide scope of visual arts and study their cultural relevance, through weekly seminars, visiting artists, trips to museums, and attendance at the National Ceramics Conference every spring.

Graduate Study
The MFA in ceramics focuses on intellectual and artistic development through an intensive teaching of the aesthetics and techniques of ceramic design. Graduate studio courses, seminar courses, and in-depth critiques, in conjunction with thesis planning and implementation, provide students with a deep understanding of not only their own work, but the work of other students and their peers. Students will examine the creativity, perceptions, aesthetics, and criticism of the work of contemporary artists and craftspeople in courses and discussions. Thesis reviews will track students’ progress towards the final thesis presentation, which is completed when a formal critique and evaluation is performed by the thesis committee. The MFA program in ceramics strengthens and deepens the understanding of the aesthetics, techniques, and theory of this fine art.

Degrees Awarded

  • Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA)
  • Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Enrollment

  • Approximately 30 students

Cooperative Education & Experiential Education Component

  • Cooperative education, internships or freelance work is optional and encouraged.

Salary Information

Co-op:                   Insufficient Data
BFA/MFA:              Insufficient Data

Student Skills & Capabilities

  • The School for American Crafts is internationally recognized for its devotion to the technological skills, impeccable craftsmanship, and artistic expression in the crafts.
  • Students develop skills related to the techniques of hand building, wheel throwing, firing methods, press molding and slipcasting.  They can craft primitive pots, dramatic and elaborate glazed vases, sculpture or practical and beautiful dinnerware.
  • In order to achieve the desired occupational goals, the educational objectives of the Ceramics and Ceramic Sculpture Program seek to stimulate creative imagination and technical invention, develop knowledge of process and command of skills and foster appreciation not only of the crafts, but also the related arts.
  • The program strives to inspire the students to seek continual improvement through analysis and self-evaluation.
  • The BFA program cooperates with the College of Liberal Arts in assisting students to develop personal and social skills.
  • Through a balance of aesthetic and technical education, the School for American Crafts provides diverse experiences to promote the development of innovative self-expression and problem solving in the creation and application of sculpture and functional objects.

Accreditation

RIT is chartered by the Legislature of the State of New York and accredited by the Commission of Higher Education of the Middle State’s Association for Colleges and Schools.

Equipment & Facilities

  • Studios, labs, classrooms and equipment are among the finest in the nation.  The School for American Crafts boasts the latest equipment in all areas of design, arts, crafts, and a wide variety of other resources which aid students in their technical development.
  • 1,700 sq. ft. of studio areas
  • Indoor kiln room
  • Glaze room
  • Loading dock and raw materials storage area
  • Individual work spaces
  • Clay preparation areas
  • Kilns, potters wheels, clay, glazing and studio equipment

Nature of Work

Artists create art to communicate ideas, thoughts, or feelings. They use a variety of methods—painting, sculpting, or illustration—and an assortment of materials, including oils, watercolors, acrylics, pastels, pencils, pen and ink, plaster, clay, and computers. Artists’ works may be realistic, stylized, or abstract and may depict objects, people, nature, or events. (Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook)

Training / Qualifications

Training requirements for artists vary by specialty. Although formal training is not strictly required for craft and fine artists, it is very difficult to become skilled enough to make a living without some training. Many colleges and universities offer programs leading to the Bachelor in Fine Arts (BFA) and Master in Fine Arts (MFA) degrees. Courses usually include core subjects such as English, social science, and natural science, in addition to art history and studio art. (Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics O.O.H.)

Job Outlook

Employment of artists and related workers is expected to grow by 3 percent, slower than average for all occupations through the year 2022. However, the competition for jobs is expected to be keen for both salaried and freelance jobs in all specialties, because the number of qualified workers exceeds the number of available openings. Also, because the arts attract many talented people with creative ability, the number of aspiring artists continues to grow. Employers in all industries should be able to choose from among the most qualified candidates. (Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics O.O.H.)

Job Titles

Craft Artist, Sculptor

Employment

Artists held about 51,400 jobs in 2012. About 60 percent were self-employed. Of the artists who were not self-employed, many worked in advertising and related services; newspaper, periodical, book, and software publishers; motion picture and video industries; specialized design services; and computer systems design and related services. Some self-employed artists offered their services to advertising agencies, design firms, publishing houses, and other businesses. (Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics O.O.H.)

Selected Employer Hiring Partners

Buffalo China, Boston Valley Terra Cotta, Morovian Tile, Vermont Clay Studio, Williamsburg Colonial Village, Interlochen Center for the Arts, Buck’s Rock Performing & Creative Arts Camp, MacKenzie-Childs, Simon Pearce

Contact Us

We appreciate your interest in your career and we will make every effort to help you succeed. Feel free to contact Morgan Faas, the career services coordinator who works with the Ceramics program. You can access information about services through our web site at www.rit.edu/careerservices.
 

Morgan Faas, Career Services Coordinator, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.,  585.475.5469

Rochester Institute of Technology . Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education
Bausch & Lomb Center
57 Lomb Memorial Drive . Rochester NY  14623-5603
585.475.2301

7/15