Edinboro University, Edinboro, Pennsylvania: From Ceramics Monthly's MFA Factor

Students in the graduate ceramics program at Edinboro
University are expected to develop a strong individual direction, whether it is
in ceramic sculpture or functional pottery. Our extensive facility provides all
methods of firing and studio access 24 hours a day. Three diverse full-time
faculty members offer different approaches to the medium as students cultivate
ideas and techniques. Our program averages eight MFA students, and two or more
MA students per year. Students choose a committee of at least three graduate
faculty members and the committee formally meets with each student a minimum of
two times per semester. Our graduate classes meet twice a week for critical
analysis of studio work, lectures, and discussions to support students in their
research. The ceramics program is part of an Art Department of 50 faculty with
900 undergraduate art majors. Graduate students are encouraged to take
advantage of the breadth of our accomplished faculty and to explore other
mediums in the context of their ongoing work.

Our NASAD accredited program also includes specialty courses
in kiln building and glaze calculation. Other topics including marketing and
photographing artwork for portfolio and publication purposes are integrated
within the curriculum. Edinboro’s ceramics program brings in at least two
nationally known visiting artists per year in addition to other guest
lecturers, critics, and demonstrators. Our graduate students are instrumental
in selecting these artists and organizing their itinerary. These lectures and
demonstrations add variety and depth to our already comprehensive course

Many of our ceramic graduate alumni are pursuing careers as
studio artists with a large percentage teaching at the university level across
the country and internationally.

Check out the Program Details and Facilities Highlights



Steven Kemenyffy, professor of art/ceramics, received his
MFA from the University of Iowa. Steve has been teaching at Edinboro University
since 1969, while maintaining an active exhibition history. He has participated
in hundreds of workshops and lectures across the country and internationally.
Kemenyffy is best known for his contributions to American raku and his
innovative approach to ceramics.

Left: Orb # 1, 36 in. (91 cm) in height,
earthenware with variegated styrene inclusions, steel, iridized ceramic, 2008.

Lee Rexrode, professor of ceramics, earned his MFA degree
from Rochester Institute of Technology. Since 1990, Lee has been teaching at
Edinboro University, making pots, and teaching workshops across the country.
Rexrode’s expertise is altered wheel-thrown pottery and he often fires his work
in salt. He is currently researching salt firing at cone 6 and plans to publish
his results in the near future.

Left: Black jar (nesting), 17 in. (43 cm) in
height, wheel-thrown stoneware, salt fired to cone 10, 2007.

chuck johnson ceramic sculpture image

Chuck Johnson received his BA in ceramics from the
University of Wisconsin, Whitewater and his MFA from the University of
Wisconsin at Madison. Johnson is a sculptor whose main focus is narrative
stacked forms made of unglazed clay. Much of his work explores issues of
environmental sustainability and the impact of human activities on endangered
species. He also has a background in vessel making and production pottery and
he continues to produce functional forms.

Left: Rhino with Gothic Organ, 34
in. (86 cm) in height, unglazed cone 1 sculpture body fired to cone 1 in
reduction, 2008.

This post was excerpted from Graduate Programs in Ceramic Art: Profiles of Several Top Institutions for Obtaining an MFA in Ceramics, which is free to Ceramic Arts Daily Subscribers.

Graduate Students
jonathan matecki bowl form photo

jonathan matecki
First and foremost the diversity and
reputation are what attracted me to Edinboro. Also the plethora of equipment
and full tuition waiver contributed to my decision. I took a year and a half
off in between undergraduate and graduate school. During that time I was the
artist in residence at my undergraduate school, Buffalo State College. There, I
was able to create new work and develop a more professional and cohesive
portfolio that would enable me to be competitive in pursuing graduate schools.
After completing my MFA I plan on pursuing professorship positions, but am open
to various possibilities.

rachel carpenter cups and tray image

rachel carpenter
I chose to attend Edinboro University
because of the versatility of the professors’ and students’ work. Edinboro has
offered me a place to grow as an aspiring potter.
After undergraduate school, I took the opportunity to teach
high school art while getting my Master’s in Education. After graduate school,
I will be applying to residencies and teaching positions. Right now I am
concentrating on learning and pushing my work and ideas.

bob shield sanagama tile photo bob shields
I taught high school mathematics for 10 years
before resigning to attend graduate school full time. I had been working as a
potter for years when, with the support of my wife, I decided to follow my
passions and pursue a career in the arts. My assorted degrees and
certifications will allow me to apply for teaching positions in grades K-12 as
well as post-secondary levels, while continuing to create and exhibit my work.
heath-papa-bottle heath papa
After considering my options, talking to the
faculty, students, and alumni, the overall reason for my coming to Edinboro is
how it felt, and it’s been a blessing. I did take a few months between
receiving my undergraduate degree, and coming to Edinboro, but I was able to
keep working in clay. I would like to get a job after school, teaching would be
nice, but as long as it supports a family it will do. Though I haven’t
exhibited much, I plan on doing more as I get closer to graduation.
amy eaton rutledge ceramic sculpture amy eaton rutledge
When I finished my BFA in Ceramics, I
felt graduate school was the next logical step, so I chose not to take time
between academic degrees. Ultimately, I chose Edinboro because of the Graduate
Assistant program and the rural location. The school currently provides all of
its graduate students with a tuition waiver and a graduate assistantship, which
provides a stipend. The rural location was important to me because I wanted to
find a school that didn’t have a lot of distractions that bigger cities often
tomas schneider business as usual ceramic sculpture tomas schneider
I took about six years after earning my BFA
to learn every aspect of bronze casting, mold-making, and the business of
running a foundry to expand my knowledge and marketability. I plan on seeking a
professorship after graduation. I am aggressively pursuing exhibitions while in
school, the last being the Slipstream concurrent exhibition at the Pittsburgh
anne mormile horse skull ceramic sculpture anne mormile
Edinboro allows me to freely explore my
creativity through clay and experimentation with surface treatment. This and
the diversity of the faculty is what initially drew me to this school. After
graduating with a BFA, I took four years off. In that time frame, I had the
opportunity to set up and run a ceramic program at a private arts center.
jason stockman bottle jason stockman
I spent a year after undergraduate school
working as a teaching assistant at my alma mater while I solidified my
portfolio and researched graduate programs. Edinboro stood out, both for the
reputation and ability of the faculty and for the quality and diversity of
student work. After earning my MFA, I plan to seek a college level teaching
position, while also pursuing exhibition opportunities.
eric schwartz mummy ceramic sculpture

eric h. schwartz
Shortly after receiving my undergraduate
degree in art education, I bought an existing pottery studio and business,
spent several years as a successful production potter, then moved and started a
graphics arts business. Eventually, I became a high school ceramics teacher and
subsequently took graduate courses to upgrade my teaching certificate.
Edinboro has an excellent ceramics program and is relatively
close to where I live and teach. Being a student in the program has recharged
my ceramics batteries, inspired me to shift from production work to sculptural
pieces, and provided opportunities to participate in group exhibitions.

Program Details (back to top)

3-year/ 60 credit MFA program. Candidacy review at mid-way

Solo thesis exhibition required at the end of the program.

Approximately 20 applicants per year

2-3 accepted per year as space allows

Graduate assistantships, including tuition waiver and
stipend, awarded to all full-time MFA students (non-teaching assistantships).

Career-planning and job-placement-assistance including a
required interdisciplinary graduate Fine Arts Seminar course.

Cost per semester:
In-state fees:
approximately $1056
fees: approximately $1112


Facilities Highlights

9800 square feet of dedicated space

Four 320-square-foot semi-private graduate studios for all
full-time MFA students

45-cubic-foot downdraft car kiln

Five 20-cubic-foot Alpine gas kilns

30-cubic-foot Alpine gas kiln

10-cubic-foot downdraft test gas kiln

6-cubic-foot updraft test gas kiln

60-cubic-foot downdraft kiln

Three raku kilns of varying sizes

Five electric kilns (23×27 in.)

Small electric test kiln

26-cubic-foot downdraft soda kiln

4-cubic-foot test salt/saltku kiln

110-cubic-foot anagama wood kiln

Two Soldner mixers, one Bluebird mixer, and one Randall

Pug mill

Ball mill

Two spray booths

Two slab rollers

28 Brent wheels, 2 Randall motorized wheels

Three extruders

This was published in the November 2009 issue of Ceramics Monthly magazine. To get great content like this delivered right to your door, subscribe today!



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