Worlds of Sculpture and Ceramics Merge at New RSU Facility

When it comes to art education, the study of sculpture and ceramics are often two different worlds. In one room, sculpture students employ almost any kind of material, from wood to aluminum, to piece together their vision. In the next room, ceramics students use a potter’s wheel to mold clay into their own interpretation of the universe. But at the new Three-Dimensional Art Laboratory at Rogers State University, the two disciplines reside happily together.

“Many people don’t realize that before you can create a sculpture, you need a plan or a blueprint,” said Gary Moeller, RSU art professor. “That blueprint often takes a three-dimensional form, most often a clay model. So it’s only logical that the clay working (ceramics) and sculpture areas come together. In a sense, we’re teaching sculpture from a ceramics point of view.”

The merging of the two disciplines also falls in line with the contemporary movement toward multidisciplinary education, or integrating different subjects into a more holistic method of instruction, he said.

The new 3,150-square-foot Three-Dimensional Art Laboratory opens next week for RSU intersession courses, May 10-14. The first class in the new facility will be Wheel Throwing (ceramics). Classes to be held in the new laboratory this fall include Wheel Throwing, Sculpture I and II and Life Drawing.

“It’s one of the few custom-made, three-dimensional art laboratories for sculpture and ceramics in the state,” Moeller said.

The single-story, red brick building on the west side of the Claremore campus features a large multipurpose room for sculpture and ceramics instruction (and creation), another room for woodworking and the creation of plaster molds, a computer room, welding room, 25 student lockers, a large bay for receiving deliveries and removing large projects, and expanded storage space both for raw materials and projects in various stages of development.

State-of-the-art equipment in the facility include a new computerized kiln, clay mixer, clay slab roller and seven new potter’s wheels, one of which is wheelchair-accessible, operated by hand controls instead of a foot pedal.

The building also features a highly efficient ventilation system, which removes dust generated by making clay and fumes from chemicals utilized in the process.

For more information on RSU art programs, call (918) 343-7740.