Summer Arts Workshops

Alfred Summer Arts 2024 features four weeks of arts workshops in a variety of media areas designed for participants working at all levels: artists, teachers, community members and visiting professionals.

And that's a wrap!

We'll see you all next summer for four weeks of workshops! Save the Date: June 24 - July 19, 2024

Registration opens December 15

All workshops are filled on a first come basis until the participant maximum is met. Once the class limit is reached, a waiting list will be kept. Workshop participants must be 18+ years of age. Students 16-17 years of age may participate in workshops, provided a parent/legal guardian accompanies them in the campus housing.

Open Studio Intensive Workshop
June 26 - July 21, 2023

With resident artists/advisors: Walter McConnell, Elsa Sahal, Michael EdenYoungmi Lee and Ara Koh. Includes day-long workshops with guest artists: Adero Willard, Stephanie Hanes, and Sanam Emami.

After a four-year hiatus, the Summer Ceramic Workshops at Alfred will once again be in session offering courses designed for participants working at all skill levels in ceramic art. Every day the ceramic studios will come alive with demonstrations, lectures and conversation with Alfred’s Ceramic Art faculty, international resident artists, graduate teaching assistants, and fellow participants. The Open Studio Intensive is beneficial to ceramicists of all skill levels looking to work independently and advance their studio practice in ways made possible through extended access to Alfred’s ceramic facility.

View Artist Gallery
a group of images from the art faculty galleryParticipants will work semi-independently and focus on their individual studio practice with guidance and advice from Alfred’s Ceramic Art faculty, resident artists, and Ceramic Art graduate students. Resident artists and faculty work alongside participants in the studios. Participants will connect with resident artists in one-on-one interactions and group discussions throughout the session.

In addition to concentrated studio time, participants will have access to supplemental programming activities including demonstrations and lectures by prominent artists in ceramics and other media areas. Daily interactions, demos, and presentations by Alfred’s talented up and coming MFA candidates in Ceramic Art is a core part of the experience. The Alfred Ceramic Art Museum and Scholes Library on campus are invaluable resources open to participants to further their research outside the studio.

Summer Ceramic Art’s Two-Week Workshop Sessions in Wood Firing and Digital Design offer participants an opportunity to investigate age-old firing practices and new age technologies with expert practitioners in the field. The Alfred Ceramic Art Museum and Scholes Library on campus are invaluable resources open to participants to further their research outside the studio.

Lighting Up: Firing the Alfred Wood Kilns
June 26-July 7

With Matt Kelleher

matt kelleher

This intermediate/advanced workshop will focus on firing the Alfred train kiln and a new gas/wood hybrid kiln. The workshop will begin with studio work time, guided by demonstrations on wheel and hand-built techniques.

Participants will create work to fill both kilns during the workshop and are also encouraged to bring up to 3 cubic feet of bisque ware (cone 10 stoneware or porcelain). Slip and glazing ideas will be discussed along with loading and firing strategies.

Digital Design and Clay Printing
July 10-21

With Del Harrow and Johnathan Hopp

dale harrow

This 2-week workshop, intended for students and practitioners in Art, Design, or Architecture, will explore a range of techniques and processes for realizing 3D Computer Models as physical ceramic form.

jonathan hopp

Clay 3D printing and hand-building with clay will be core techniques introduced and enhanced during the workshop. CNC machining, plaster molds, plastic printing, extrusion, and other methods will be optional as interest and time allow. Clay printing will make use of Alfred’s 3 Lutum printers.

While workshop participants will also have time to pursue individual projects, in order to make full use of the sophisticated Alfred fabrication facilities students will be encouraged to collaborate and to develop projects in small research teams. Potential research projects could include: ceramic furniture, modular components for architecture (tiles, cladding, etc.), tableware, or sculptural forms.

coastline of maine

Body, Landscape, and Creative Process
August 14-18

Taught by Colleen Wahl

Interested in working through your body to refresh or deepen your creative practice? Curious how immersive experiences in nature can inform what you are already working on and provide time and perspective on your work? Housed on an idyllic property in Harrington, ME, this weeklong, immersive experience is a hybrid residency-workshop designed to facilitate your creative process through somatic experiences and relevant outdoor excursions into Maine’s spectacular landscape.

Notice the spreading of the five rays of your toes as you read this. Let that ground you.

Begin each morning with a guided movement practice that connects you to your body and deepens your understanding of the material body. Based on the explorations in body and movement we will enjoy an excursion into the natural world.

Your spreading feet will notice their buoyancy on a moderate hike to the summit of a nearby mountain, or they rest in the sun and wind on the rocks of a hidden Acadia beach. As part-residency, there each day will include open time for you to work in your chosen modality, read, or reflect, as well as time in community of other participants to share your work and reflections.

deb maccrea dye

Color from Nature: An Experiential Leap into Applying Color to Yarns and Fabrics
July 17-21
Natural Dyes

Taught by Debra MacCrea

A whole week of playing with color…Who could resist?

We begin by visiting the instructor’s gardens to harvest plant material, learn a bit about growing or foraging for dye plants, and sound, sustainable environmental practice in the dyer’s art. Returning to the studio, we prepare and dye with fresh-leaf Indigo, in a unique and time-sensitive method for using this ages-old plant source of incredible shades of blue. Next we move into Eco-printing, a contact dyeing method which yields imagery of the leaves and their mysterious color pigments onto fabric.

Throughout the week, we will sample other surface design methods, like rust dyeing and resist paste work, all the while brewing immersion dye baths to apply rich color to wool yarn. At week’s end, these will be sampled onto cardstock, allowing each student to take with them a colorful record of having attained close to 100 different tints and shades. Using various pre- and post-mordants and modifiers, for long-lasting color, students will essentially have recipes for future work in their own artistic journey.

This course combines centuries of traditional dye knowledge and craft with modern application and inspiration, equipment and tricks to offer the fiber artist a vast arsenal of techniques from which to draw.

printmakers working in gloves with ink

Experimental Printmaking
July 17-21

Taught by William Contino

Focused on the development of images, utilizing the media of print, both traditional and digital, we will work with the tools, materials and processes that will open new possibilities into the creation of personal imagery. We will start in the print shop working with multiple methods of transfer, using traditional techniques and experimental forms to arrive at images. We will then move these images to a digital form, where editing and expanding with the aid of computer software and digital printing can advance these images to new, exciting, and perhaps unrealized results. All levels; beginners encouraged.

willard pottery, colorful in shades of red, yellow, black and brown

Pattern & Color on Thrown and Handbuilt Terracotta 
Saturday, July 1
Led by Adero Willard

Adero Willard, Visiting Assistant Professor in Ceramic Art at Alfred and a functional potter, will lecture on her work and demonstrate techniques to accomplish complex and colorful clay surfaces with slips and underglazes on thrown and hand-built terracotta forms. Exploratory approaches to form and surface are encouraged using slab, coil, stencils, paper resists, stamps, and tape. Adero will discuss how pattern and color work together and bring participants to a deeper understanding of a visual language on clay form.  This workshop is included in the tuition for the 4 Week Open Studio Intensive. Participants not already enrolled in the 4-Week Open Studio Intensive may register to join for the day.

hanes bronze cast work

Formulating and Firing Reduction in-Glaze Lusters
Saturday, July 8
Led by Stephanie Hanes

Stephanie Hanes, Assistant Professor of Ceramic Art at Alfred, will lecture on their large-scale figurative sculpture and demonstrate their use of Arabian luster glazes first developed in the middle east over 1000 years ago. Participants learn reduction firing techniques to achieve seductive lustrous effects and get to glaze and fire a work of their own. Several different methods to create unique metallic surfaces will be covered. This workshop is included in the tuition for the 4 Week Open Studio Intensive. Participants not already enrolled in the 4 Week Open Studio Intensive may register to join for the day.

plein air painting

Plein Air Painting
Saturday, July 8

Taught by Patrick Brennan

Join Visiting Assistant Professor Patrick Brennan for the Plein Air Painting one-day workshop. Participants in this workshop will spend the day painting the lush Allegany County landscape.

dinner plates in various colors and designs

Large Vessels & Surface Decoration for Functional Pottery
Wednesday, July 12
Led by Sanam Emami

Sanam Emami, Associate Professor of Ceramic Art at Colorado State University and Alfred Alumnus, will lecture on her work and demonstrate throwing techniques for large vessels and design strategies for resist surface decoration.  This workshop is included in the tuition for the 4 Week Open Studio Intensive. Participants not already enrolled in the 4 Week Open Studio Intensive may register to join for the day.

potters choice posterAMACO Glaze Workshop
Saturday, July 15
Led by Cory Brown

AMACO is coming to Alfred! Try out all the new glazes, along with the classics. The workshop will cover the wide variety of mid-range glazes and underglazes AMACO offers. Instruction includes morning demonstrations on application, layering combos, and general glazing knowledge, along with a few tips and tricks. In the afternoon, participants will have the opportunity to experiment with 50+ AMACO glaze products on their own bisqueware. Tests will be fired following the workshop.

Bring test tiles and/or 3-5 smaller bisque fired objects suitable for firing.

ink design on a tapestry

Eco-Printing on Fabrics or Paper
Saturday, July 15

Taught by Debra MacCrea

Using freshly picked plant material from the instructor’s gardens and foraged local flora, lovely contact prints will bloom onto paper and fabric through steaming and the predictable interaction of plant tannins and an iron solution, to create one-of-a-kind botanical prints with a beauty only nature provides!

All materials provided. Each student will leave with several finished prints on quality watercolor paper and cotton, silk or linen fabrics.

Alfred University is home to world-renowned, state-of-the-art facilities where participants will find everything they need to immerse themselves in their creativity and craft. Movement and music courses will be hosted in the spacious, light-filled studios at Miller Performing Arts Center, while ceramic art, painting, drawing, photography, printmaking and interactive media courses will be hosted the state-of-the-art studios in Harder Hall.

Workshop participants also have access to the vast collections of Scholes Library, a special academic library that served as an information resource and source of creative inspiration for the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University, as well as for the greater international arts and sciences research community.


On-campus housing is available for $100 per week. Each two-story townhome consists of 6 single bedrooms (2 downstairs and 4 upstairs), two bathrooms, a full-sized kitchen, and a living room. Linens are included.


Optional meal plans through campus dining services are available.

  • 4 Week Meal Plan: $980 (includes 20 breakfasts, 26 lunches and 26 dinners)
  • 2 Week Meal Plan: $460 (includes 10 breakfasts, 12 lunches, and 12 dinners)
  • 1 Week Meal Plan: $200 (includes 5 breakfasts, 5 lunches, and 5 dinners)

Limited dining options are available within walking distance of campus.


Alfred University is 81 miles from Rochester and 90 miles from Buffalo. The most convenient way to get to Alfred is by car, but Alfred will also offer a shuttle service to and from Rochester airport which will be available for each session for a fee of $50 one way or $100 round trip. Please contact us for more information on the shuttle service and times.

Students should plan to arrive to the Alfred Campus before 5:00pm on Sunday and attend a welcome event that will begin at 6pm.


Sessions will end on Friday evening with Saturday morning departures. Friday evening dinner will be the last meal offered; departures will take place Saturday before 10am.


Alfred invites participants of all ages 18+ at all levels of experience, from beginners to professionals, to join us for our summer workshops. We welcome a diverse body of participants and are inclusive to all experiences, backgrounds, races, and professions. Class size is limited to allow for generous workspace, interactions with teachers, and safety for participants.

Students 16-17 years of age may participate in workshops, provided a parent/legal guardian accompanies them in the campus housing.

Registration Fees and Deadline

Registration takes place online, and there is a $30 processing fee for all participants. Registration is on a first come, first served basis and continues until workshops are filled.

Refunds and Cancellations

You may cancel anytime up to 30 days before the beginning of a workshop and receive a refund minus the $30 non-refundable processing fee and a cancellation fee of $100.

If you cancel less than 30 days before the beginning of the workshop, refunds are not available due to deadlines for material acquisitions and artist travel agreements.

If it is necessary for Alfred to cancel a workshop for any reason, participants will be notified and offered another class or a full refund. We cannot, however, be responsible for non-refundable travel expenses.

Processing Fee and Deposits

When registering for a class you will be charged the full amount of the course + processing fee + the material cost for that course. You may select additions such as housing and meals which will be charged at the time of registration.

Waiting Lists

If the workshop you are interested in is full, we invite you to put your name on our waiting list. If there is a cancellation and space become available, we will contact applicants in order, by the date received. You do not need to place a deposit to be put onto the waiting list.


Alfred offers on campus housing, which is ideal for participants looking to focus on the workshop experience. In addition to daytime classes, participants frequently find themselves spending a great deal of early mornings and late evenings on campus for dinners and after class events.

Alfred housing is townhouse dormitory style living with single bedrooms. Housing is air-conditioned, and the furnishings are the college-style furniture one can expect from university housing. It should be noted that we can only provide housing for individuals enrolled in our workshops.


A meal plan will be available through campus dining services for a separate fee.

Off-Campus Students

If you choose to live off-campus it is still possible to enroll in our meal option and participate in all day/night activities that will take place during your workshop.

Cost of Materials/Studio Fees

Course tuition does not include the cost of materials needed for the workshops. Some of the workshops will require participants to bring certain materials and most of the workshops will have a small materials fee. This fee will vary depending on the materials needed for the class. Materials fees also support the maintenance and upkeep of our studio facilities.


In our workshops, participants will work with tools and equipment that could be dangerous if used incorrectly. Instructors will review safety protocol; however, participants take workshops at their own risk when working with tools and equipment at Alfred University.


  • To provide a safe and supportive educational environment for all those involved in Alfred Summer Arts programs, we ask that faculty, staff, and participants treat facilities with consideration and respect.
  • Drugs and Alcohol are prohibited in studios.
  • Personal Property: Alfred is not responsible for the person property of participants, instructors, or staff.
  • Pets: No pets allowed on campus
  • Unacceptable Behavior: Alfred reserves the right to dismiss any student, without refund, for unacceptable behavior that is disruptive to the workshop working and living environment.
  • Workshop participants should comply with Alfred University COVID policies.