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School of Art and Design dedicates new kiln facility
4/07/17

Kiln specialist Freddy Fredrickson cuts the ribbon to formally open the new kiln building.

Kiln specialist Freddy Fredrickson cuts the ribbon to formally open the new kiln building.

Alfred University’s School of Art and Design formally dedicated its new 3,900-square-foot kiln building in a celebration Thursday outside Harder Hall.

Presiding over the ceremony, Gerar Edizel, interim dean of the School of Art and Design, noted the new building replaces a decades-old facility that evolved from a simple wooden building constructed in the early 1970s. A photograph of the original kiln showed a structure that looked more like a backyard shed than a modern kiln facility. Edizel singled out Alfred University Kiln Specialist Freddy Fredrickson – “legendary kiln builder Freddy Fredrickson” -- as an advocate through the years for an improved kiln building.

Fredrickson was given the honor of cutting the ribbon on the new facility (see accompanying photo) flanked by Alfred University Trustee Tom Hinman ’79; Professor Alastair Cormack, interim dean, Inamori School of Engineering; Edizel; and Ceramic Art Professor Linda Sikora and John Gill.

The new facility, constructed in post-and-beam style, shows off the warm reddish hues of Douglas Fir timber shipped to Alfred from Tennessee. The building design allows for the easy flow of air, a critical issue given the chemical reactions taking place within each kiln, while also providing necessary protection from the elements. There are currently four gas-fired kilns in the building and one wood-fired kiln. An additional kiln will be added in the fall, constructed by Alfred University students studying kiln design in the School of Art and Design and supervised by Shawn Murrey, a kiln specialist in SOAD.

Edizel noted the new facility was built with funds from the State University of New York Construction Fund and expressed amazement at “the distance we have traveled” since the original kiln building was erected in the 1970’s. He said at least seven more kilns will be added to the news facility, one by one, over the next several years.

Joining him at the dedication ceremony were Fredrickson; Alfred University Trustee Tom Hinman ‘79; Professor Alastair Cormack, interim dean of the Inamori School of Engineering; and Professor of Ceramic Art Linda Sikora.