Sculpting Class

Ceramic Arts (Certificate)

  • Master's

About this Program

Through lectures and critiques, students explore the history of ceramics and the issues and ideas that underpin contemporary work.

Program Overview

Exploring processes, building skills

The program emphasizes universal design principles and development of technical proficiency. Faculty who are themselves accomplished ceramic artists teach techniques, treatments and properties associated with clay, as well as forming, texture, color, surface decoration, glazing, firing and more. Outstanding facilities include a kiln pavilion that has five atmospheric kilns: exploratory research, production soda, large-scale sculpture, hybrid gas/soda/wood, and a Sanderson ECO wood train.Through study and studio work, and hands-on experience with these kilns, students produce a comprehensive body of work.

Career focused

Secondary art teachers find the program ideal for obtaining continuing education credits or adding a ceramic arts focus to their teaching. Working artists and those considering a career in the field — perhaps in a gallery, production, a supply house or as an independent artist — benefit from courses in art management and marketing. The capstone project makes further career connections as students explore and define how their personal aesthetics communicate and connect with people in a way that is professionally viable.

Concentrated format, accelerated completion

Courses are concentrated in a series of intensive weekends throughout the year or in rigorous one-week and two-week sessions during the summer, allowing students to complete the program in as little as a year if they wish. Credits may be applied toward Hood’s M.A. or MFA in Ceramic Arts.

Workshops and events

The Hood College Graduate School also offers workshops, studio courses and events designed to allow ceramic artists, both experienced and aspiring, to gain specialized knowledge in the field. 

* Please note that graduate certificate programs are now eligible for loans.

Program Contact

Chaz Martinsen, MFA

Program Director

(301) 696-3526
Nick Masucci

Assistant Director of Graduate Admission


Degrees Offered

  • Certificate

Related Graduate Programs

Lillian Ding, MFA

Graduate Alumna Focus | Lillian Ding

Lillian Ding, MFA Alumni Graduate School Graduate Student

Lillian Ding graduated from Hood College with an MFA in Ceramic Arts in September 2020. She received First Prize in 2018 and the President’s Choice Award in 2019 at Hood’s Annual Juried Student Art Exhibition Awards Ceremony.

  • Academics
  • Alumni Relations
Faith Ku

Graduate Student Spotlight | Faith Ku

Faith Ku, Ceramic Arts MFA Graduate School Graduate Student

"Hood College’s ceramics program is so unique as it offers a robust spectrum of classes that teach graduate students everything from the most basic to the more advanced aspects of ceramics."

  • Academics

Program Requirements and Course Listings

Requirements for the Certificate

The certificate includes 14 credits of required coursework and a minimum of 4 credits of electives for a total of at least 18 credits.

Required (14 credits)

ARTS 501Glaze Application


ARTS 502East Asian Wedged Coil Technique


ARTS 505Ceramic Wheel: Masters' Throwing Concepts


ARTS 508Ceramic Sculpture


ARTS 523Ceramic Materials


Capstone Courses

ARTS 569Survival Skills for Visual Artists


ARTS 570Seminar in Personal Studio Research


Electives (minimum 4 credits)

ARTS 500Ceramics:Sculpture/Handbuilding


ARTS 503Ceramic Wheel: Intensive Throwing


ARTS 504Ceramic Decoration


ARTS 506Ceramic Wheel: Masters' Throwing II


ARTS 507Plates and Platters


ARTS 509Throwing Large Forms


ARTS 510Brush Making


ARTS 512Eastern & Western Tech in Trimming


ARTS 517Dynamic and Asymmetrical Wheel


ARTS 520Photographing Ceramics


ARTS 525Electric Kilns


ARTS 530Kiln Technology & Firing Theory


ARTS 531Wood Firing Theory


ARTS 532Firing Large Scale Wood Kiln


ARTS 540Clay/Glaze Chemistry Theory & Practice


ARTS 542Modeling the Figure


ARTS 543History of Ceramic Arts


ARTS 545Large Scale and Composite Sculpture


ARTS 547Creating with Porcelain


ARTS 564Aesthetics and Criticism


ARTS 575Independent Study

1.0 - 3.0

ARTS 590Teaching Assistant in Ceramic Arts

1.0 - 4.0

ARTS 599Special Topics in Ceramic Arts

1.0 - 3.0

The 18 credits required to earn the Graduate Certificate in Ceramic Arts can be completed in one year.

For students applying to the Certificate in Ceramic Arts program, please submit the following to the Graduate School:

  • One copy of official transcripts from each institution of higher education attended
  • An essay (500 words or less) discussing previous academic and personal experiences with clay, current work and professional goals in relation to the certificate
  • A portfolio of high quality images in PDF format to include:
    • 12 images of current work
    • A corresponding image list stating title of work, medium, size and dates of completion
    • An artist statement about the portfolio work addressing concept, objectives and process
    • Résumé

Spring 2019 Workshops


January 10-13 ARTS 505 Ceramic Wheel: Masters' Throwing Concepts

2 Credits, TA 1, Joyce Michaud, Workshop Cost: $400.00  

An in-depth study of advanced throwing concepts designed to assist the student to cognitively understand the essence of clay, the broadcast potential of the medium and learn to respond to the forces affecting the movement of clay during the throwing process in a synthesis of skill, knowledge and artistic expression.


January 17-May 9, Thursdays 5-9PM ARTS 554: Modeling the Figure 

3Credits, TA 1, Kevin Rohde, Workshop Cost: $750.00

The study of structure, proportion and movement as seen in the human figure is key to the understanding and appreciation of balance, design and the interaction of objects within nature. An in-depth study of the figure in clay, including anatomy and articulation using the life and costumed model, and considerations for finishing and firing figurative work.


January 18,19 February 8,9 March 1,2,29,30 April 26,27 ARTS 543 History of Ceramic Arts  3Credits, Joyce Michaud w/ Guest Lecturers, Workshop Cost: $750.00

A survey of the history of ceramic arts from its beginning through the present time in the context of the history of the people who made and used the wares The ways that these examples were made and their place in the history of ceramic technology will also be examined.


January 20, February 20, March 31, April 28ARTS 524 Clay Calculation, Theory and Practice

3Credits, TA 1, Matt Katz, Workshop Cost: $750.00

This course will explore the composition, properties and application of materials used in ceramics to aid in the development of clay bodies for pottery and sculpture.


January 25-27 ARTS 525 Electric Kilns

1Credit, TA 2, Taylor Pasquale, Workshop Cost:$225.00

An in-depth study of all aspects of modern electric kilns used for ceramics, including design, construction and materials, related supplies and equipment, loading procedures, operation, unloading, routine maintenance, diagnosis of common problems and repair, safety and selection criteria for choosing the appropriate kiln for different applications.


February 15-17 ARTS 520 Photographing Ceramics

1Credit, Carson Cottage, Tim Jacobsen, Workshop Cost: $225.00

The study of aesthetic considerations in photographing ceramic art and composition of the object as it relates to the camera frame. Students will develop a portfolio and slide library of personal works and images.


March 23-24ARTS 507 Plates and Platters

1 Credit, TA 1, Kristin Muller, Workshop Cost: $225.00

An in-depth study of the throwing and finishing plates and large platters, including structural strength concepts for low open forms, methods for centering, a variety of throwing techniques, information on finishing, firing and composition.


April 13, May 8-12, May 19 ARTS 532 Firing Large Scale Wood Kiln

3Credits, Instructor’s Residence, Kevin Crowe, Workshop Cost: $750.00

An in depth study in the history, theory, techniques and aesthetics of the long wood firing in a large single chamber or multi-chambered kiln, including in depth information covering all aspects of firing these large historic kilns and practical experience at each stage of the process.


Please contact Shauwney Anderson at or call 301-696-3621 to register for workshops.

Summer Term 1 2019

May 31-June 2ARTS 502 East Asian Wedged Coil Technique

1 Credit, TA 2, Joyce Michaud, Workshop Cost: $225.00

One of the most valuable methods for the construction of asymmetrical work, East Asian Wedged Coil Technique provides the greatest wet structural strength for clay sculpture. Learn coil making and building, and the advanced techniques of coil riveting, ribbing, bridging, boating and bracing for large and/or sculptural forms in clay.


June 7-9ARTS 599 Special Topics in Ceramic Arts

1 Credit, TA 1, Shiro Otani, Workshop Cost: $225.00

Selected topics courses, 1-3 credits, offer an opportunity for students to study specific ceramic art topics not included in the regular course offerings. Usually taught by guest artists, the selected topics courses provide a variety of directions and voices beyond the basic curriculum.


June 24-29ARTS 509 Throwing Large Forms

3 Credits, TA 1, Kevin Crowe, Workshop Cost: $750.00

The workshop will focus on the techniques and aesthetic perspective employed to produce large-scale pots. Participants will develop alternate methods to throw and center large pots. Throwing large allows a more elastic understanding of the relationship between object and the space it occupies.


Summer Term 2 2019

July 10-14ARTS 531 Wood Firing Theory

3Credits, Hodson Annex, Joe Delphia, Workshop Cost: $750.00

A study in wood firing with information on stoking patterns, heat rise and firing theory, wadding composition and placement, loading and stacking procedures, types of woods, stoking patterns; the effects of oxidation/reduction cycles and more will be covered. Full participation in all aspects of preparation and firing is required.


July 15-19, July 22-26 ARTS 508 Ceramic Sculpture

3 Credits, TA 2, Kevin Rohde, Workshop Cost: $750.00

Applied three-dimensional ceramic design and construction covering a variety of methods of hand-forming with clay to take a sculptural direction. Techniques include tile relief, eastern coil, slab construction, modeling the figure, the portrait bust, structural strength concepts for sculpture and firing considerations for sculptural forms.


August 1-4ARTS 505 Ceramic Wheel: Masters' Throwing Concepts 

2 Credits, TA 1, Kristin Muller, Workshop Cost: $400.00

An in-depth study of advanced throwing concepts designed to assist the student to cognitively understand the essence of clay, the broadcast potential of the medium and learn to respond to the forces affecting the movement of clay during the throwing process in a synthesis of skill, knowledge and artistic expression.


August 7-11ARTS 533 Soda Firing Theory                                                  

2Credits, Hodson Annex, Jenna Gianni, Workshop Cost: $400.00

A study in soda firing, presenting information on clay, slip and glaze for the soda firing, loading and stacking procedures, wadding, composition and placement, heat rise, the effects of oxidation/reduction firing cycles, and firing theory will be covered. Information on the history of soda firing, types of soda kilns and basic kiln construction, kiln maintenance, kiln furniture, heat measuring devices, and safety issues will also be covered.


Please contact Shauwney Anderson at or call 301-696-3621 to register for workshops.

Fall 2019 

September 11-15 ARTS 530 Kiln Technology & Firing Theory 

2Credits, Hodson Annex, Matthew Gaddie, Workshop Cost: $400.00

A study in kiln stacking and firing procedures with concentration on atmospheric firings, types of kilns, fuels and basic kiln construction, firing, kiln maintenance and repair, kiln furniture, heat measuring devices and safety equipment.

Please contact Shauwney Anderson at or call 301-696-3621 to register for workshops.

Our advisory board...

provides support and assistance in the development of new programs, serves as ambassadors for our program and identifies best practice standards.

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