Department of Art

Art Studio - Ceramics

Ceramics program fosters the development of each student’s conceptual understanding, perspective, and language, while refining their technical skills with regard to the building, glazing and firing of clay.

Aesthetics, design and concept are all addressed in a curriculum that favors a diversity of approach and process. Hand-building, wheel-throwing, mold-making, and casting provide students with a variety of tools that enable them to better express their ideas.

Historical precedents as well as contemporary art and issues are incorporated into each class to help students understand the broader context in which they are working.

Entry level classes introduce the depth and breadth of the field of ceramics with an emphasis on basic functional wheel forms; advanced courses provide students an opportunity to develop a personal direction and voice.

Small class sizes assure individual attention and full access to the studio facilities.


Ian Shelly
Assistant Professor
Office: 102(A) HPA (Heating Plant Annex)
Meet the Faculty

Degree Plan

There are two degrees available in the Studio Art areas. 

  • Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Art - Art Studio
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Art - Art Studio

For more information about Course Descriptions and Programs of Study.


The Ceramic Studio at Western Illinois University is housed in the Heating Plant Annex (HPA). The studio is 3600 sq. ft. space that includes both hand-building and throwing areas, a fully stocked glaze mixing room, and five indoor electric kilns. A large updraft gas car kiln, a 60 cu. ft. DLB 40 Geil gas kiln, a raku kiln, and a small soda kiln are all located in the outdoor kiln yard. The facility provides 18 electric Brent wheels, a spray booths for glazing, two slab rollers, a clay extruder, and two Soldner clay mixers. Generous individual studio spaces are available for ceramic students.