ACC Clay Program
Clay studies in Tennessee Tech University’s School of Art, Craft & Design’s at the Appalachian Center for Craft encompass a range of opportunities including the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree program, the Craft Certificate Program, open-ended post-baccalaureate or portfolio development, a Workshop Program, and an Artist-in-Residence Program. To find out more, check the Studio Facilities, Kilns and Equipment, Artist-in-Residence Program, and Course Syllabi, and also the Craft Center webpage.
Our programs support the full range of utilitarian and sculptural approaches to clay, including mixed-media and installation art. Well-defined focus and direction are essential for success in the studio and marketplace, and should arise from broad exploration and technical fluency in the medium. We emphasize a strong foundation in materials and techniques, broad competency in firing processes and operation of studio equipment, and a thorough exploration of historical and contemporary ceramic traditions. Students are expected to exhibit excellent craftsmanship in their work, and those in the BFA and Certificate programs develop a strong, individual body of work. The BFA curriculum culminates with a one-year thesis project and a senior thesis exhibition developed and mounted with the highest professional standards. To see work by clay students here at the Craft Center, check the Gallery of Student Work.
Upon completion of the BFA or Craft Certificate in clay, our graduates tend to be confident and self-directed in the studio. Graduates become independent studio potters or sculptors doing one-of-a-kind or production work, or teachers at the K-12 or college level, and many go on to operate private or public teaching studios and/or galleries. To see what some of our former students are doing now, scroll to the bottom of the Links page and click on the names.
The clay curriculum includes classes in handbuilding, throwing, surface design, ceramic history, the chemistry & physics of clay and glazes, kilns & firing theory, plus independent study and senior thesis. To find out more about those courses, go to the Syllabi and Handouts page.
Student housing is available onsite, and a shuttle van provides free transportation three times a day Monday through Thursday between the Craft Center and the main Tennessee Tech University campus in Cookeville.
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