I’m a product design graduate , but am currently training in ceramics, pottery basically and I must say that it has completely blown my mind. I never realized that I actually love working with hands. Do you think an MA in ceramics would help? And in which schools should I apply?
A friend of mine just went back for her MA in ceramics at RISD…
What do you hope to get out of a MA in Ceramics? Where do you want to be after you graduate?
Working with ceramics is great, I love it too.
I am not sure if this is interesting to you, but my school konstfack in stockholm/Sweden offers a MA in ceramics.
However, most if not all accepted have already a very extensive portfolio and come into the program with a lot of experience.
That being said, they always like to accept wild cards.
I’m guessing what you’re trying to say is that poeple who usually join an MA program in ceramics are usually folks who have been practicing it for quite a while, are experts (maybe have/work in a studio too) ? Is that correct? Or there are people like me who just discovered pottery, ceramics and would like to take it up at school?
Well, yes. Most of the students that are accepted to the program have done pottery and ceramics in the past and are now, in a Maters course, building and experimenting on the basis of their previous, often more traditional experience.
Also, the department is structured in collaboration with a strong glass blowing program. However, as far as I am aware, the applicant does only need prior experience in one of these two fields.
Craft and hands on experience is very important. I would maybe instead of a Masters, advice to work with an experienced potter in a master-apprentice relationship and pick up a foundation. Learning this way has gotten very rare which I think is quite sad. There is so much to be learned that one can hardly pick up in a school environment.
That being said, if you have a unique angle towards ceramics, your place in the masters might be merited. But it could be a struggle if you have not yet a strong basic knowledge about the craft since the masters is so conceptual.
This is something you will have to evaluate yourself and see where you are in your development.
I second Yo and his question. What are your goals with a Masters?
As a School I can very much recommend Konstfack (www.konstfack.se). I gladly answer questions regarding the school and Stockholm as a place to live and study.
I teach ceramics on the weekends at local art centers. Ceramics is a technical craft, but you don’t have to be a master to make good work. Think of it like drawing you don’t have to be a photo realistic draftsman to make good drawings, you just need a good sense of mark making and develop your own execution.
I think most of the ceramic community highly romanticize their craft, and are more conforming to traditions. You might have an edge there, where your design education probably left you more open to possibilities. For example, ceramics people often get hung up on using the potters wheel to make an object, so it dictates the forms they come up with.
Bepster and Yo, thanks for the replies.
Well, I have been training under an expert potter whos got a ceramic studio of her own and till now its basically been about wheel throwing, i’ve kept my focus on that coz it takes quite some time to master it. Of late I’ve noticed I’v had a growing interest in the surface treatment of my pottery works and would love explore it further. Yes its a traditional approach to ceramics, the way I’m being trained and being in India where there are a few studio potters. My only reason to think about an MA in ceramics was to develop and experiment with processes techniques, basically to develop a broader thinking about the subject and look at new and contemporary approaches.
But yes, sometimes I do feel that i could continue with my MA in product design and keep exploring ceramics on my own or under apprenticeship/training. would you think that would be a more well-rounded decision. Suggestions please
I believe that graduate school would leave you with plenty of time to explore new processes and techniques. It certainly will connect you with people that share your passion for ceramics. Most people that recieve a Ma in ceramics do it for the ability to teach, and some to be able to compete for shows, grants revolving around their studio work. If you want to become part of that community I say go for it.
If your just curious about experimentation, and can get access to a studio you can just get some good books on clay and glaze chemistry. I personally really enjoy experimenting with materials. I have learned alot from books and from really becoming familiar with the raw materials. There is a whole science to making stable glazes and not so stable glazes . If you are at all interested in that type of thing I can point you to some resources. What type of firings does your mentor do, high fire, low fire, woodfire, ect?