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The University of Montana prides itself on its Ceramics program, offering beginning through graduate instruction in all areas of ceramics studies from traditional construction and firing to contemporary ceramic forms and conceptual works. Individual expression and experimentation are stressed throughout the curriculum. Traditionally known for its vitality in the ceramic arts, Montana continues to be home to a thriving clay arts community. Our extensive visiting artist program, complemented by nearby ceramic arts organizations such as the Archie Bray Foundation, keeps students in touch with major figures and recent technical advances in the field.


  • 5675ft2 of vast open workspace, wheel throwing and handbuilding area
  • 22 wheels
  • Slab roller
  • Extruder
  • Indoor kiln room:
    • Two Geil Gas kilns (17ft2 and 11ft2)
    • Seven Skutt kilns (three medium and four large)
    • Two Cress kilns (one medium and one large front loader)
  • Covered outdoor kiln area:
    • Salt kiln (21ft2)
    • Soda kiln (20ft2)
    • Large updraft car kiln (100ft2)
    • Super large downdraft car kiln (180ft2)
    • Downdraft (45ft2)
  • Anagama kiln 225ft2 and workspace 35 minutes north of Missoula in UM's Lubrecht Experimental Forest
  • Clay mixing room:
    • Soldner mixer
    • White and red clay pugmill
  • Slip casting area
  • 5198ft2 outdoor sculpture and ceramics yard
  • 575ft2 "Off Center Gallery" adjacent to ceramic studio for student use
  • 340ft2 "Fishbowl" exhibition space
  • BFA / Studio  Resident Undergraduate Student studio spaces
  • 6 MFA Graduate Student studio spaces

Faculty & Staff

Trey Hill, Associate Professor
Julia Galloway, Professor

Random Acts of Clay


Visiting Artists

Our thriving visiting artist program in ceramics brings four to seven guests per year. Since 2002, some of our visiting artists have included: Gail Nichols, Adrian Arleo, Josh DeWeese, Kathy Butterly, Dennis Parks, Paul Soldner, Karen Swyler, Beth Cavener Stichter, Anne Hirondelle, Ayumi Horie, Jeanne Quinn, Richard Notkin, Rudy Autio, Doug Baldwin, Robert Harrison, Al Tenant, Kevin Snipes, Jack Troy, Judy Fox, Mardis Nenno, Jeremy Hatch, Sadashi Inuzuka, Sarah Jaeger, Doug Jeck, Steve Lee, Eddie Dominguez, Arthur Gonzolez, Matt Wedell and more. 

In addition, each year ceramics hosts "Archie Bray Day". Three current residents from the Archie Bray Foundation give a day long workshop demonstrating their techniques and creative process, culminating in visiting artist lectures.


  • UMECA (University of Montana Emerging Ceramic Artist) is a student run organization designed to help bring together emerging ceramic artists in the community and the school in an open and equal environment. In addition to helping arrange sales and exhibitions, this group raises money in order to provide members with financial scholarships to attend ceramics related workshops, conferences and residencies. Through these efforts, UMECA strives to promote and develop emerging student artists within the contemporary ceramics world.                                 

  • Biannually, the University of Montana and Montana State University have a UM/MSU faculty Student Exhibition at the Archie Bray Foundation North Gallery in Helena Montana.
  • Each year a UM ceramics student is juried to be a summer Artist in Rresident at the Clay Studio of Missoula.

  • The Clay Studio of Missoula hosts a MFA / Studio Rresident exhibition every other fall semester.

  • Biannually, the Red Lodge Clay Center hosts a two-week invited artist session of current MFA graduate students in ceramics.

  • Often during the winter session (January), Medalta Ceramics Center in Medicine Hat, Albert Canada host a special session for undergraduate and graduate students for a three-week residency.

  •  Studio Resident (post-bac) “In ceramics we accept 1-3 studio residents a year depending on studio space. We are interested in working with people passionate about ceramics, wanting to be part of a community, and interested in learning and expanding their own studio practice. Studio Residents sign up for a modest amount of class credits, sitting in on advanced courses and critiques; in addition, they are required to perform 8 hours of service to the studio a week. Via email please send 10 images of work, two references with contact information, a resume, and cover letter stating what you hope to accomplish during the year and why the University of Montana. Please contact Trey Hill at trey.hill@umontana.edu


  • Ceramics I
  • Ceramics II
    • Advanced Throwing
    • Advanced Handbuilding
    • Slip Casting
    • Clay and Drawing
    • Ceramic Surfaces
    • Kiln Building
    • Clay and Drawing
    • Anagama / Atmospheric Firings
    • General Topics
  • Clay and Glazes
  • Advanced Research
  • Independent Study
  • Graduate Studio
  • Graduate Thesis
  • Various Experimental Courses