Alfred University: Small Scale Bake Shale

The New York State College of Ceramics participates in the exhibition Eight University Shows in Shipping Containers, with a survey of current graduate student work with Alfred’s indigenous shale.

Naturally occurring deposits of Alfred shale allowed for ceramic industry and subsequently Alfred University to be established in the Village of Alfred New York. Shale is a rock deposit that can be easily ground into a terra cotta clay and incorporated into a multitude of ceramic processes. The Celadon Terra Cotta Co. which was founded in 1889, were the first to use Alfred shale to manufacture architectural components including bricks, ornaments, and roof tiles. Alfred University was established shortly thereafter in 1900 and has been an important hub for ceramic research and innovation in the fields of art and engineering ever since. 

This informal showcase celebrates shale as the foundation of Alfred’s legacy and the reason it exists today. The artists have been asked to use Alfred Shale in some form, as a clay body, slip, glaze ingredient, or in its naturally-occurring state. 


Grant Landreth, Wanying Liang, Cory Mahoney, Liisa Nelson, Brian Westrick, Nora Arrieta, Brooke Cashion, Ruth Easterbrook, Andrés Monzón, Chase Travaille, Nicholas Weddell, Maura Wright, Jinsik Yoo.