About the Program

  • A black and white photo of people lined up to get into a pottery sale held in a converted garage in Cambridge, Massachusetts in the 1980s
  • photo of the entrance to the Ceramics Program facility at 224 Western Ave, Allston


A group of students seated gathered around a potter at an electric potters wheelFor 50 years, the Ceramics Program has served Harvard University and the greater community with its exciting educational offerings. 

Known internationally for its leadership in the field, the Ceramics Program provides a creative learning environment for a dynamic mix of students and professionals from the University, greater Boston, and international community.

Courses are offered over three semesters at all levels, as well as occasional events for undergraduates, like Clay All Night events (now events for Houses), and workshops for FAS courses and student groups. Complementing the wide range of courses are lectures, master classes, and demonstrations by visiting artists and ceramics symposia involving potters, sculptors, art historians and archaeologists from all over the world.

An expert group of instructors, independent professionals, resident and visiting artists inspire students and engage them in developing critical and technical skills for making functional and expressive vessels, figurative and abstract sculpture, tiles, and murals. Mentoring opportunities flourish from the advantage and necessity of sharing knowledge, studio space, and large kiln firings. In most media it is rare for professional artists to work alongside beginners, but learning through exposure to work-in-process is central for the Ceramics Program's dynamic mix of students.

The Program was founded in 1970 by Harvard College undergraduates and became a Radcliffe College Program in 1973. It was integrated into Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) at Harvard in 1999 when Harvard and Radcliffe merged. Today, ten Harvard faculty members from many fields serve as Advisors. The 15,500 square-foot Studio is based at Barry's Corner in Allston. It has spacious areas for hand building, wheel throwing, figure modeling, slip casting, glazing, materials research, and electric, gas, soda, wood ash, and sagger kilns. A ceramics library, study collection of work made by visiting artists, and studio exhibitions enhance the educational resources. The Program also oversees a satellite studio for undergraduates in Quincy House and Cabot House.

May and December exhibitions of work created in the studio feature the best, largest and most varied selection of contemporary ceramics in the Northeast.

Ceramics Program Administration