Department of Art


The goal of the Ceramics studio track is to foster the development of each student’s conceptual understanding, perspective and language, while advancing technical skills with regard to the building, glazing and firing of clay.

Aesthetics, design and concept are addressed in a curriculum that favors diversity of approach and process. Hand-building, wheel-throwing, mold-making and casting offer students various tools of making 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.

Introductory classes begin to cover 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 personal direction and voice.

Small class size assures individual attention and full access to the studio facilities.

Ian Shelly
Assistant Professor, Ceramics
Office: 102(A) HPA (Heating Plant Annex)
Office Hours: T 9-11am, W 10-11am, Th 1-3pm
Meet the Faculty


The Ceramic Studio at Western Illinois University is housed in the Heating Plant Annex (HPA). The studio is 3600 sq. ft. studio that encompasses hand-building and throwing areas, a fully stocked glaze and mixing room, and five indoor electric kilns.

In the outdoor kiln yard there is a large updraft gas car kiln, a 60 cu. ft. DLB 40 Geil gas kiln, a raku kiln, and a small soda kiln.

The facility houses 18 electric Brent wheels, a spray booths for glazing, two slab rollers, a clay extruder, and two Soldner clay mixers. We also offer generous studio space for ceramic students.

Degree Plan

There are two degree paths in the Ceramic program:

Bachelor of Arts - Studio Art
Bachelor of Fine Arts - Studio Art

For more information about Course Descriptions