AU Press Releases

Alfred University School of Art and Design offering summer workshops

Work by John Gill

Work by John Gill

Alfred University’s School of Art and Design has expanded its summer workshop offering this year to include sessions in digital and glass, as well as its famed workshops in ceramics.

Registration is now open; the workshops are open to professional and non-professionals at all levels. Workshops will be filled on a first-come basis until the classes are full; a waiting list will be maintained to fill last-minute vacancies.

For more information and to register:

 -- Email:

--  Phone: 607 871 2413

 --Visit the web site

1-Week Workshop with Bill Carty

Ceramic Science for the Artist with Bill Carty

June 19 - 23, 2017
Workshop Fee: $400 Material Fee: $75

This intensive 5-day workshop will focus on discussions, calculations, interactions, and putting to test in kilns, information shared by one of the world’s leading ceramic engineers. Through lectures and demonstrations, Dr. Bill Carty, who is well-known for his work in ceramic engineering and for his witty give-and-take with studio ceramicists, will lead participants on a tour of the amazing and complex world of materials science and glaze calculation. Participants will invent formulas, mix, and test fire glazes. There will be time to discuss applications, cross share information, and solve some of those stubborn glaze defect problems. Come prepared with notebooks, pencils, calculator, and ideas! Participants are welcome to bring examples of problems and defects for discussion.

Level: Beginner and Beyond

William M. Carty is the John F. McMahon Professor and Chair of Ceramic Engineering at Alfred University. He received his BS and MS in Ceramic Engineering from the University of Missouri-Rolla, and his PhD in Materials Science from the University of Washington. He and his research group have, with the help of many graduate and undergraduate students, conducted research in all aspects of traditional ceramics (clay, bodies, and glazes) primarily in advanced microstructure evolution and materials behaviors. Bill has taken a special interest in the work and challenges facing artists who use ceramics as a primary medium. He has authored or co-authored over 80 papers and is a frequent contributor to NCECA. After almost 20 years of teaching ceramic science to artists, he is understands  the potential benefits of applying science to solve ceramic art creation problems.

4-Week Residency with John Gill and In-Chin Lee

4-Week Intensive Residency with John Gill and In-Chin Lee

June 27 - July 22, 2016
Fee: $1,600; Materials fee: $150
Instructor: John Gill with Visiting Artist In-Chin Lee

This workshop can earn four undergraduate or graduate credits at an additional cost. See

By popular demand this workshop returns for summer 2017. It is intended for students and seasoned learners looking for an intensive ceramic art experience, whether to prepare for graduate school or to have an opportunity to reconnect with their studio practice.

Participants will work independently with daily input from the highly-respected John Gill, who will be joined by international visiting artist In-Chin Lee. Participants to this intensive studio program will be provided individual workspaces with the potential to explore a full range of ceramic techniques.

John Gill is a professor, potter, storyteller, and avid library user: His hand building demonstrations are renown, conjuring up ways to play with clay while entertaining with stories and thought-provoking insights.

In-Chin Lee is a professor at Hongik University, South Korea, where he has taught in the Department of Ceramics and Glass since 1991. He developed his understanding of Western and Eastern ceramics as a product of his childhood upbringing in both cultures. Today, In-Chin is an internationally recognized potter celebrated for wood fired work. He is well known for mentoring students by structuring non-traditional learning experiences.

Participants of this workshop will be able to enjoy the MostArts Festival.


2-Week Workshop with Christina West  

Christina West: Learning to Look: Translating 2D Imagery into 3D Figures

June 26 - July 7, 2017
Workshop Fee: $850 Material Fee: $75

In this workshop students will use reference photography to sculpt a realistically proportioned figure in a pose of their choosing. Christina will share her methods for hollow-building figures, determining proportions, and sculpting details. Unlike traditional figure sculpting classes that are based in anatomy and body measurements, this workshop will stress intense observation of reference material and bodily awareness to achieve believability in figurative forms. Christina will discuss decisions she makes in her work about stylization, scale, material, and color, though students will be encouraged to develop work that is aligned with their individual interests.

Previous hand-building experience is required.

Christina A. West is a sculptor living in Atlanta, GA where she is an Associate Professor at Georgia State University. She earned her MFA from Alfred University in 2006 and since has extensively exhibited her work across the country in venues such as the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts (Omaha, NE), Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center (Buffalo, NY), Plug Projects (Kansas City, MO), Atlanta Contemporary (Atlanta), and the Mindy Solomon Gallery (Miami). Her work has been supported by awards from the New York Foundation for the Arts, The Archie Bray Foundation for Ceramic Arts, The Clay Studio-Philadelphia, the George Sugarman Foundation, and the Southeastern College Art Conference. Christina sculpts figures that offer a space to play with assumptions and projections we place on other people and their bodies.

Participants of this workshop will be able to enjoy the MostArts Festival.


2-Week Workshop with Alwyn O'Brien  

Alwyn O'Brien: The Vessel: Poetry and Space

June 26 – July 7, 2017
Workshop Fee: $850 Material Fee: $75

Meaning and Metaphor: The etymology of Metaphor stems from Greek to “transfer”, a “carrying over”. From Meta – “over, across” and pherein “to carry, bear”. In Atlas of Emotion: Journeys of Art, Architecture and Film, Guiliana Bruno expresses “The notion of a vessel incorporates a double image: that of the boat and that of the artery (as in blood vessel); it implies the container of a flux and a system of routing.”

In this class we will be looking at a variety of ways that the vessel carries and invokes meanings within specific frameworks of language and culture. Students will refine and build upon their existing technical practice (whether it is hand building, slip casting, or wheel throwing), while developing a deeper conceptual understanding of the historical and contemporary underpinnings of making meaning along the bounded surface of the vessel. Students will acquire practical, critical and technical tools to consider ceramics and pottery within contemporary culture and current art practices. Demonstrations, discussions, and presentations are regularly scheduled. Group discussions and critiques will be used to evaluate your progress, solve technical difficulties, and aid in digesting, clarifying and edifying their practice.

Alwyn O’Brien’s ceramic sculptures push the medium as a vehicle to explore the metaphorical and literal question “What is the Vessel?”. With an extensive knowledge of the history of the decorative arts and a passion for the baroque, O’Brien’s loosely constructed filigree of hand rolled coils dissect the definition of the vessel in a deliberate yet chaotic way. Pinching, rolling, and fingerprints show signs of the hand and connect the material to body. O’Brien’s studies in clay have taken her across Canada, beginning at Capilano College, in Vancouver, Sheridan College of Ontario, the Nova Scotia School of Art and Design, and Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design. She received her MFA in 2010 from the University of Washington in Seattle and her BFA from Emily Carr Institute. Her work is featured in the collections of the Seattle Art Museum, the Surrey Art Gallery, Boise Museum of Art, the Mackenzie Art Gallery, and the Canadian Clay and Glass museum. She divides her time between Saltspring Island, and Vancouver, where she is currently an instructor at Langara College.

2-Week Workshop with Bruce Cochrane

Bruce Cochrane: Wheel Options

July 10 - 21, 2017
Workshop Fee: $850 Material Fee: $75

This two week session will focus on form and forming techniques using wheel thrown elements. Composite and altered forms will be explored to generate new possibilities for lidded containers, teapots, and open forms. Using high fired clays, objects will be fired in soda and, if time permits, the wood kiln.

All levels are welcome.

Bruce Cochrane is an internationally acclaimed ceramic artist and recently retired Professor Emeritus of Ceramics at Sheridan College near Toronto. He received his MFA from Alfred University in 1978 and since then has participated in over 300 exhibitions and shares his knowledge through lectures and workshops throughout North America. His work is noted for its innovative use of the potter’s wheel and atmospheric firing.


2-Week Workshop with Sunshine Cobb  

Sunshine Cobb: Discovering the NEW in the OLD

July 10 - 21, 2017
Workshop Fee: $850 Material Fee: $75

Sunshine will motivate you to experiment with new and old forms and methods of construction. This workshop is geared toward creative expansion, a process-over-product mentality that beginners to advanced students will be inspired by. Sunshine likes to encourage students who attempt to use these new and old hand building techniques a progress-over-perfection mantra. Demos will include coil and pinch methods to hard and soft slab construction to generate pottery components. She will speak to the building surface through the making process and discuss the glaze and surface treatment of her work.

Sunshine’s work foundation is very much based in the tradition of historic ceramics, but she is a completely modern potter with contemporary themes in her work. She will talk about inspiration and how abstract concepts make their way into her work and how to foster similar insertion into your own creative practice.

Sunshine is working as a potter and travels the country as a lecturing and demonstrating artist. She graduated with a BA in Studio Art from CSU at Sacramento, in 2006. In 2010 she received her MFA in Ceramics from Utah State University. In 2013 she was named as an emerging artist by both Ceramics Monthly and National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts. She was a ceramic resident for a period of time after graduate school, most notably a long term resident at the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, MT (2012-2014). In 2015, after running a successful crowdsourcing campaign to fund a studio set up, she launched Sidecar Studios, a studio for ceramic artists and other creative community activities. She is currently focusing on developing lines of functional ware and developing her studio business.

Participants of this workshop will be able to enjoy the MostArts Festival.


2-Week Workshop with Matt Katz  

Matt Katz: Glaze Effects and Color - Online

July 10 - July 21, 2017
Workshop Fee: $700 Material Fee: $75

The online coursework will be complimented by a series of research projects. Students will design, discuss and review research with the faculty member online, and complete their experiments locally.

Matthew Katz is a ceramic materials nerd. Katz received his BFA from Alfred University and his MFA from The University of Colorado-Boulder in ceramic art. Katz worked as a research scientist in the ceramic engineering department of Alfred University for 15 years, studying how ceramic science applies to artists. For the last 14 years Katz has taught glaze and clay science at Alfred University. Katz’s passions are learning and sharing knowledge about how and why our materials work.

Digital Workshops
4-Week Comprehensive (Sound-Video-Print) Workshop (June 26 – 21, 2017)

1-Week Experimental Print Workshop with William Contino (June 26 - 30, 2017)
1-Week Sound Workshop with Andrew Deutsch (July 3 - 7, 2017)
1-Week Video Workshop with Rebekkah Palov (July 10 - 14, 2017)
1-Week Print Workshop with William Contino (July 17 – 21, 2017)


Glass Workshop
2-Week Glass Workshop with Angus Powers (July 10 - 21, 2017)