About Us

Harvard Ceramics Program

For 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 the international community. Courses are offered over three semesters at all levels, as well as courses and events just for Harvard undergraduates, workshops in the Houses, 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 the Faculty of Arts and Sciences 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.

All are Welcome

The Harvard Ceramics Program is a space where every student can be fully self-expressed without fear of being made to feel uncomfortable, unwelcome, or unsafe based on race, ethnicity, cultural background or tradition, biological sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, or physical or mental ability; a space where the social contract supports each person's self-respect and dignity, and encourages everyone to respect others.

We are anti-racist and are actively challenging our own assumptions and biases as we work toward true equity for all. In that spirit, we do not tolerate racism, discrimination, bias, and intolerance of any kind from anyone in, associated with, or visiting the Harvard Ceramics Program in person or virtual spaces.

University Resources for Harvard Students and Staff

  • Accessible Education Office (AEO): Partners with FAS students with visible and invisible disabilities to identify barriers and implement plans for access.
  • Anonymous Reporting Hotline: If you have experienced, witnessed, or been impacted in any way by racial discrimination, you can contact the Anonymous Hotline, open 24/7. This hotline may be used to report a variety of ethical, integrity, safety, security, and compliance concerns and may be used by anyone including, but not limited to, students, faculty, postdocs, staff, patients, vendors, contractors and visitors, anywhere in the world.
  • Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations: Offers programs, events, and grants designed to promote interracial and intercultural awareness and understanding in the Harvard community, as well as to highlight the cultural contributions of students from all backgrounds.
  • Harvard Title IX Office: If you have experienced, witnessed, or been impacted in any way by sexual or gender-based harassment, Harvard's Title IX office or your local coordinator can provide you with options that feels right for you. 
  • Office of Sexual Assault Prevention & Response (OSAPR): A confidential space open to the entire Harvard community where people can process and understand their experiences and feel empowered to make the choice best suited to their needs. If you need immediate support call the 24-hour Crisis Hotline at 617.495.9100
  • Office of BGLTQ Student Life: Provides support, resources, and leadership development for BGLTQ students.
  • Office of Diversity Education and Support: Offers faciliated trainings, workshops, and dialogues that promote diversity and inclusion, as well as one-to-one support around issues of identity and belonging at Harvard.
  • Undocumented Students Support: Where you can find a number of resources available for undocumented students at Harvard College.  

Land Acknowledgement

Harvard University is situated on the traditional and ancestral homelands of the Massachusett people. Our University honors the historic Harvard Charter of 1650, which committed to our institution to “the education of English and Indian youth of this country.” As a chartered creation of the Massachusetts colonies and Commonwealth, Harvard evolved alongside the persistence of the Massachusett, Nipmuck, and Wampanoag Nations. Located near the Charles River, this place has long served as a site of meeting, exchange, and diplomacy among nations, with thousands of contemporary Native American people living in greater Boston and tens of thoughts in the state of Massachusetts. –– Harvard's Native American Program: Land Acknowledgment

The Harvard Ceramics Program would like to pay its respects to elders of the Massachusett, Nipmuck, and Wampanoag people both past and present, and is committed to decolonizing its relationships with people and land at a local level in Cambridge, in Boston, and wherever it is located in virtual classrooms around the world. We understand that this acknowledgement is only a first step in restorative justice and repair of the harmful legacies of violence, displacement, migration, and settlement of Indigenous peoples.

Resources: 
LandMark: Global Platform of Indigenous and Community Lands  
Native Land   

 

The Ceramics Program, Office for the Arts at Harvard, relocated in 2013 from its Allston home at 219 Western Avenue, where it has been active for 26 years, to 224 Western Avenue (formerly a Verizon building) in the heart of Barry’s Corner, in Allston. The new facility was formally dedicated by Harvard University President Drew Gilpin Faust at a ceremony on February 26, 2014.

This change marked a transition in program leadership. On July 15, Shawn Panepinto, Acting Director since 2010, was appointed Director of Operations, and Kathy King, instructor and former assistant to the Acting Director, was appointed Director of Education. Upon the retirement of Shawn Panepinto in 2018, Kathy King was appointed Director and oversees the program.

There is a street-front gallery called Galley 224 for exhibition and sale of artworks. This gallery is co-curated by the new directors and it creates a welcoming, highly visible entrance. Exterior features of the single-story building will include new cladding, roofing, and landscaping. The interior 15,856-square-foot studio offers 35 electric wheels, slab roller, potable wagon wheel extruder and a large main studio for hand building, wheel throwing, symposia, seminars, workshops and community events as well as separate wheel throwing, hand building, sculpture and figurative rooms. A multi purpose classroom for visual presentations, lectures, workshops, and digital resource room also provides a quiet place to work.  Clay and glaze chemistry labs, plaster and mold-making design areas, and a large new state of the art kiln room features 2 new Master Kiln Builder custom gas kilns, 1 new Bailey car kiln for reduction and soda firing, and outdoor access to raku/saggar firing options, large Fredrickson front loading electric car kiln and 7 other electric kilns of varying sizes. There are 27 independent and resident artist spaces, administrative offices, a student lounge, and a research collection of work made by visiting artists.

With the completion of the new building, the Ceramics Program has become a more visible and accessible part of the Allston community, serving as a touchstone for the arts within Barry's Corner.

For photos of the new building visit our Flickr page. Also, watch Master Kiln Builders prepare our reduction kilns for the rebuild at 224 Western.



Martin Bechthold
Kumagai Professor of Architectural Technology; Director of the MDE Program; Director of the Doctor of Design Studies Program

Francesca Bewer
Research Curator, Conservation and Technical Study Programs Harvard Art Museums

Nancy Cott
Jonathan Trumbull Professor of American History; Research Professor

John E. Dowling
Gordon and Llura Gund Research Professor of Neurosciences; Professor of Opthalmology; Harvard Medical School; Honorary Associate and Former Master of Leverett House

Judith Dowling
Judith Dowling Asian Art Gallery; Honorary Associate and Former Co-Master of Leverett House 

Susanne Ebbinghaus
George M.A. Hanfmann Curator of Ancient Art; Head, Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art, Harvard Art Museums

Giovanni Fazio
Lecturer on Astronomy; Associate of the Harvard College Observatory; Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Rowan K. Flad
John E. Hudson Professor of Archaeology

Robin Gottlieb
Professor of the Practice of Mathematics, Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Fawwaz Habbal
Executive Dean for Education and Research; Continuing Education/Special Program Instructor; Senior Lecturer on Applied Physics, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Annette Lemieux
Senior Lecturer on Visual and Environmental Studies

Michael McCormick
Francis Goelet Professor of Medieval History

Mary McWilliams
Norma Jean Calderwood Curator of Islamic Art and Later Indian Art, Harvard Art Museums

Jennifer L. Roberts
Elizabeth Cary Agassiz Professor of the Humanities Department of History of Art and Architecture

Matt Saunders
Associate Professor of Visual and Environment Studies

Thomas M. Scanlon Jr.
Alford Professor of Natural Religion, Moral Philosophy, and Civil Polity, Emeritus

Noreen Tuross
Landon T. Clay Professor of Scientific Archaeology

Hans Tutschku
Fanny P. Mason Professor of Music Director, Harvard University Studio for Electroacoustic Composition

Contact The Ceramics Program

617.495.8680 | ceramics@fas.harvard.edu
Subscribe to our mailing list.

Location

Ceramics Program map (google) 
address: 224 Western Avenue, Allston, MA 02134

Directions:

Public Transportation

Subway:
Red line to Harvard Square and walk towards the river, take a bus or shuttle.

Buses:
The 66, 86, and 70 routes will bring you to the corner of North Harvard and Western Avenue. For more information, contact the MBTA.

Harvard Shuttle:
Any member of the Harvard Community may use Harvard's Shuttle Bus Service for free. The Allston Express stops nearby our program at "Barry's Corner". You can download the Harvard Shuttle App here.

Walking

If walking from Harvard Square, head down JFK Street, over the river, and straight up North Harvard Street past the stadium and track and fields until you reach the corner of North Harvard Street and Western Avenue. At the light, cross the street and take a right past the Gulf gas station onto Spurr Street. After walking by the Dunkin Donuts, you will see the terra cotta and glass front of 224 Western Avenue on your left. The Ceramics Program side and back entrances can be found along Spurr Street and at the back of the building.

Biking

Same directions as above but it only takes 2 minutes on the new bike expressway on North Harvard Street!

Bike racks are located in the front of the building to the left hand side near the Harvard Ed Portal entrance. Additional bike racks can be found in the rear of the building near our back entrance. Do not leave bikes overnight. Per Harvard Real Estate policy, bikes cannot be stored inside the building under any circumstance.

Driving

From the Mass Pike (I-90) going east or west, exit at the Allston/Brighton/Cambridge sign (exit #18). Go through the toll booth (1 dollar) then stay left at fork, following signs to Brighton and Allston. Follow ramp around a full circle onto Cambridge St. going west. At the second light, take a right at the Hess station onto North Harvard Street. Take a left at the second light onto Western Ave. 224 (terra cotta and glass exterior) will be on your left after the Gulf gas station.

From North of Boston (I-93), follow signs to Storrow Drive. Take the Harvard Square exit, staying in the left lane of the ramp. At the top of the exit ramp, turn left onto North Harvard Drive. Pass the Harvard stadium and take a right at the first light onto Western Ave. 224 is the first building (terra cotta and glass exterior) on the left after the Gulf gas station.

If you are on Memorial Drive heading away from Boston, take a left at JFK St. and cross the river. (JFK becomes North Harvard St.) Drive past the Harvard stadium and take a right at the first light onto Western Ave. 224 is the first building (terra cotta and glass exterior) on the left after the Gulf gas station.

From south of Boston (I-93), exit onto the Mass Pike (I-90) Westbound. See directions above "from the Mass Pike."

From Logan Airport take Silver Line bus to South Station, switch to the Red Line Inbound, get off at Harvard Square, walk or take a bus to the studio.

 

Parking

Street parking: Two hour limit from 9 - 6 pm is available on Western Avenue. There is two hour metered parking around the perimeter of the Continuum housing complex across the street.

Lot parking in rear of building: Parking by availability only. Park directly in back of the Ceramics Studio. Do not use the Ed Portal Parking spaces under any circumstances.

Parking for Show and Sale:

During the Show and Sale, Please take notice of available parking signs. 

Ceramics Program Administration

Ceramics Program Staff

Deighton headshot

Deighton Abrams

2020-21 Artist In Residence, Instructor, Ceramics Program - Office for the Arts at Harvard
Deighton is a ceramic sculptor and educator. He has taught at numerous institutions including Clemson University and Winthrop University. He completed his... Read more about Deighton Abrams
Sarah headshot

Sarah de Besche

Instructor, Staff, Resident Artist, Ceramics Program
BA, Smith College, Northampton, MA. Electric kiln instructor, office assistant, and a Resident Artist at Harvard Ceramics Program, Sarah's functional work... Read more about Sarah de Besche
Casey headshot

Casey Zeng

Instructor, Staff, Resident Artist, Ceramics Program

BS in Computer Science, University of Massachusetts - Amherst.

Casey heads the clay-recycling program at the Ceramics Program with the use of...

Read more about Casey Zeng