The Ceramics course begins with the Bachelor of Visual Arts First Year.
Click here for more information about the First Year.
 

Introduction and Overview

The Nelson Mandela University Department of Visual Art is one of the few departments in South Africa to offer a course in fine art ceramics.

The objective of the Ceramics programme is to prepare and expose students to the possibilities of a career in the creative world of fine art ceramics, critically engaging them in issues of sustainability, identity, social engagement, space and place. The course is delivered through a balance of teaching and learning strategies that include lectures, group criticisms, seminars, individual tutorials and field trips. Lively debate and the exchange of ideas is encouraged and forms an integral part of the programme. 

The module provides comprehensive technical training in the field of fine art ceramics, providing a foundation of techniques which not only enable the production of works of art but also aid in the development of academic research skills. The training ensures the attainment of viable creative and communication skills required for the widest spectrum of artistic employment. 

The module challenges traditional perceptions of ceramics as craft by pushing the boundaries of the age-old practice to give it a meaningful contemporary makeover. As students climb the academic ladder, they are motivated and equipped to explore the possibilities of the medium by exploring new techniques, multidisciplinary approaches, experimentation, critical thinking and discourses around materiality.

Learning Outcomes

By fully investing in this module students will:

  • Intelligently explore visual and written data in support of a statement of intent.
  • Develop a mature grasp of the formal dynamics of their chosen medium.
  • Develop the ability to respond to criticism.
  • Produce a body of work that reflects all of the above.
  • Develop expressive, unique and innovative visual approaches using clay.
  • Demonstrate originality 

The Ceramics programme offers a stimulating learning environment. The studios are equipped with electric kilns, throwing wheels, extruders, slab rollers, as well as raku and pit firing facilities. Throughout the year, each student will formulate and develop a statement of intent describing the direction that will be pursued in terms of material, method and technique. The development of the statement of intent and the students’ technical and communication skills will centre on any one or a combination of the following:

  • Ceramic sculpture, construction and firing
  • Mould making and clay slip casting technique
  • Use of relevant technology regarding glazing, firing and decorating
  • Participate in cross-disciplinary critiques

In addition, students are expected to take part in local public workshops, as well as local and national exhibitions and competitions.

Career Opportunities

Many Ceramics graduates have established themselves in various creative fields of work. Possible career opportunities include:

  • Ceramic fine/studio artist
  • Designer for ceramic manufacturers
  • Business owner – ceramic production studio
  • Curatorship
  • Ceramic technician
  • Private ceramic teacher

The three year full-time programme leads to the qualification of Bachelor of Visual Arts (BVA) in Ceramics: Fine Art, with the fourth year taking the student to the BVA Honours degree.

Ceramic artwork by Lizeldi Loots, BVA 3 student. Photograph by Basil Brady, ©2019

 

Ceramic artwork by Lizeldi Loots, BVA 3 student. Photograph by Basil Brady, ©2019

Ceramic artwork by Laurika Botha, BVA 2 student. Photograph by Sonwabiso Ngcai, ©2019

Ceramic artwork by Laurika Botha, BVA 2 student. Photograph by Sonwabiso Ngcai, ©2019

 

Ceramic artwork by Mtha Poni, BVA 3 student. Photograph by Basil Brady, ©2019

Ceramic artwork by Mtha Poni, BVA 3 student. Photograph by Basil Brady, ©2019

 

Ceramic artwork by Malene Meyer, BVA 3 student. Photograph by Basil Brady, ©2019

Ceramic artwork by Malene Meyer, BVA 3 student. Photograph by Basil Brady, ©2019

 

Nelson Mandela University Ceramic Graduate Alumni Links:

 

https://www.imisoceramics.co.za/andile-dyalvane.html

 

http://charmainehaines.co.za

 

http://www.davidmossceramics.co.za/

 

https://richardpullenpottery.wordpress.com/

 

 

Please come and view our exhibitions throughout the year by joining our events and invitation mailing list

http://artanddesign.mandela.ac.za/Events-and-Exhibitions/Join-our-mailing-list

Contact information
Ms Nomsa Xubane
Admin Assistant To departmental HOD
Tel: 041 504 3247
nomsa.xubane@mandela.ac.za

Professor Vulindlela Nyoni
Associate Professor
Tel: 041 504 1059
vulindlelan@mandela.ac.za