Ceramics studio tour

Ceramics studio tour

Clay is ubiquitous. It has been used throughout history and across the globe. Many clay forming techniques date back to the earliest human civilizations, while some advanced contemporary ceramic processes are only just beginning to come into focus. In the Penn State School of Visual Arts Ceramics Area, past and present collide in works of sculpture, pottery, and design. Our students and faculty are sculpting by hand, forming on the pottery wheel, casting via molds, and 3D printing clay extrusions in the studio. The remarkable malleability of clay allows for the possibility of fusing all of these disparate techniques new and old within a single object.

Clay only becomes ceramic material when it is subjected to a tremendous amount of heat. Our ceramics studio boasts an array of kilns (furnaces) that allow for nearly any surface texture and/or glazed color to be achieved. While some kilns generate heat from electricity and are computer controlled, others burn natural gas and allow for extremely large works to be created. Our outdoor kilns focus on the traditional techniques of wood firing and salt firing, both of which create an atmosphere of uncertainty and chance which can lead to serendipitous and truly unique results. The range of possibilities in our studio can include delicate translucent porcelain tableware, life-sized figure sculptures, or the most rugged architectural bricks and masonry.

Visitors to this studio will see a demonstration of clay sculpting and get to try their hand at it themselves. There will also be the opportunity to view the 3D clay printing process. In the ceramics studio it is hard to be hands-on without getting at least a little messy, so please dress accordingly.

Logistical information

  • This tour will leave from the lobby of the Nittany Lion Inn for a 9-minute walk (rain or shine) on uneven ground to the studio.
  • Please dress accordingly for the weather.
  • To arrange transportation assistance, inquire at the check-in desk.
Sunday, October 27th, 11:00 am to 1:00 pm
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Meet Penn State rep in the lobby of the Nittany Lion Inn to walk to location.