AU Press Releases

New outdoor kiln building complements Alfred University’s ceramic art program

A new outdoor kiln building to replace a decades-old facility will be dedicated Thursday, April 6, at 1:45 p.m. at Harder Hall on the Alfred University campus.

            “This is a wonderful addition to our facilities for our renowned Ceramic Art program and our School of Art & Design,” said Mark Zupan, president of Alfred University.


            “The new outdoor kiln facility will provide our students and faculty with the proper working environment conducive to transforming the fruit of their labors into finished works of ceramic art,” said Gerar Edizel, interim dean of the School of Art & Design. “It will also allow them to learn the construction of outdoor kilns while taking kiln construction courses taught by our technical staff and add more kilns to the facility.

            The facility was built with funds from the State University of New York Construction Fund. “We are so grateful to the SUNY Construction Fund for recognizing how important this facility is to our ceramic arts program,” said W. Richard Stephens, provost, vice president for Academic Affairs, as well as interim vice president for Statutory Affairs, making him head of the New York State College of Ceramics.

            The new building is larger – 4,050 square feet compared to 3,200 square feet, and is able to support up to 14 kilns, including a large wood train kiln, compared to eight in the old building.

            Constructed of Douglas Fir timbers shipped in from Tennessee, the building features “beautiful structural beams, tongue-and-groove ceilings, as well as new gas and electric services and high-efficiency lighting,” said Jamie Babcock, director of physical plant for the New York State College of Ceramics. “The architectural design of the building allows it to ‘breathe’ as the air moves through the wall systems, creating the necessary natural draft needed to operate the kilns, while providing protection from the weather and added security.”

            The School of Art & Design and the materials-based engineering programs – biomedical materials engineering, ceramic engineering, glass science engineering and materials science – are part of the New York State College of Ceramics, created by an act of the State Legislature in 1900. As a statutory college, the College of Ceramics is funded by the State Legislature, and is administered by Alfred University in consultation with the State University of New York.