The Crafts Department seeks to develop artists of originality and resourcefulness who can excel in the most competitive professional environment. Studio experience is provided in four major craft areas: ceramics, fibers, metals, and wood. There are also offerings in glass and plaster to complement the curriculum.
Each crafts area offers a balanced concentration in both the technical and aesthetic aspects of the medium. While practical training and specialized skills are necessary for creative ability, the conceptual and expressive evolution of each student is the essential focus of the department. An ongoing study of the contemporary crafts movement is seen as an integral element for those involved in the program. The range of faculty in each area provides the student with exposure to a diversity of professional perspective and experience.
Through an incisive and rigorous curriculum, the department prepares students for professional involvement in their craft.
Upon graduation, students elect to become independent artists, teachers, or designers, or find employment in industry. Individuals often combine these occupations in order to meet their individual needs and goals.
Crafts Curriculum Options
The Crafts curriculum has been designed to give the student flexibility in his or her choice of media concentrations. Some students may enter the Crafts Department knowing the specific medium in which they wish to concentrate. Other students may elect to divide their media-specific coursework between two areas of potential concentration. Still others may want to pursue a mixed media approach to their Crafts education. All are possible, but careful attention must be paid to meeting departmental, college, and University requirements while pursuing personal interests.
Of the 42 credits required for a Crafts major, 18 of these credits are devoted to the core of Project Courses. The remaining 24 credits are to be taken elsewhere in the Crafts Department. However, it is important to note that 12 of those credits must be at the advanced (300-400) level.
Core Studio Projects Courses
Each semester all Crafts students take Projects, a core studio course. These courses provide aesthetic structure and involve discussion and investigation of broader Crafts issues, with critiques of the student’s work. Students then have the freedom to choose from a variety of technique-based courses, which aid in developing that aesthetic. Emphasis is placed on the interdependency of all the arts, with particular attention given to the unique contribution of Crafts ideology and practice. As a co-requisite for Projects, each student must be enrolled in at least one core media-specific course in a major area of concentration: ceramics, fibers, jewelry, metalsmithing, and wood/furniture. These co-requisites must be at the appropriate 200 or 300 level. Glass is currently offered as a department elective.
Single Medium Concentration
Students entering the department knowing the specific medium in which they wish to concentrate from Sophomore through Senior year take one three-credit media-specific course in that concentration each semester of the three-year journey through the department. Four media-specific courses must be at the advanced level.
It is possible to have a dual concentration within the Crafts Department. If the student enters the Sophomore year with an interest in two distinct media then, by taking the prerequisite of two courses at the 200 level early on, in the Sophomore and Junior years, the student can continue at the advanced level in these same two media during the Junior and Senior years. Two three-credit courses at the advanced level in each concentration will fulfill the 12-credit advanced-level requirement.
Multiple Media Concentration
It is possible to take courses during the sophomore and junior years in three or more media. However, this will require the greatest vigilance on the part of the student to meet all the requirements for graduation. Having sampled an array of introductory courses, the student must then take an additional introductory course in at least one medium in order to proceed to the advanced level. To meet the advanced level requirement as a multiple media student, it will be necessary to (a) take all 12 advanced credits in one medium or (b) use studio elective credits to take advanced-level courses in additional media.