Makers of the future.
We teach design, motivate creative problem solving, encourage individual expression and uphold the object as both useful and conceptually relevant within contemporary society: art that enriches daily life.
Drawing from CCS’s rich craft history, as well as Detroit’s industrial heritage, the Crafts Department mentors creative professionals and prepares its graduates to meet and exceed the demands facing today’s craftsmen and women across diverse careers and industries. We advocate for experimental and interdisciplinary approaches to tools and methods, while embracing digital technologies that advance personal growth toward an individualized language, creative vision, innovation, material proficiency and successful professional practice. Crafts is a unique program for students who love working with their hands, solving problems and developing a vocabulary with tools and materials.
Students choose from five specialties — Ceramics, Glass, Fiber and Textiles, Metalsmithing and Jewelry Design, and Art Furniture — and are strongly encouraged to explore cross-disciplinary work.
What Sets Us Apart?
Stand-Alone Crafts Department
We are one of the few colleges in the country to maintain a thriving stand-alone Crafts department.
Vast Array of Industries and Opportunities
Crafts graduates can expect to work in a vast array of industries from a studio practice/small business entrepreneurship, freelance artist/designer for manufacturing and architecture to clay modeling and color and trim for the auto industry.
Color and Trim/Auto Industry
Custom Furniture Design
Fashion Accessories Design
Museum Textile Restoration
The most interdisciplinary program in the Crafts Department, the Art Furniture program embodies the motto, “Sculptural Object, Functional Art.” Offering a strong foundation in working with wood, this specialty allows students to easily craft connections with other disciplines. Think: sculpture, product design, and metalsmithing.
Students are encouraged to incorporate a variety of technical proficiencies and experiences into their development of furniture but, most important, to develop skills applicable to the lifecycle of furniture design from page to finished product: draw concepts, develop forms, and explore the best ways to realize their ideas.
People tend to think of ceramics as pottery and stop there. They also often think that a potmaker will never find a job. At CCS, we know that ceramics is not only the everyday but everything beyond that, and opportunities are everywhere to use these skills—from the auto industry and architecture to product design and museum restoration.
Ceramic artists make objects that are sculptural and expressive, objects that have a use in daily life, or objects that combine beauty and function. But what all of these handmades have in common is that they create an intimate connection between the maker and the user.
The Ceramics department offers instruction in thrown work—using a wheel to create objects for daily use, such as vessels—and sculptural work and has an excellent program in slipcasting (creating molds to mass produce pottery). A student who specializes in Ceramics at CCS will learn the scientific properties of clay and glazes, as well as techniques such as hand-building, modeling and coiling. Students can also work with as many other materials as they can imagine. Think: ceramics with glass, ceramics with steel, ceramics with fiber, ceramics with stone.
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Fiber and Textiles
Drawing on art, design, craft and technology, the Fiber and Textiles program at CCS prepares students to create objects informed by materiality, purpose and the sense of touch.
The program integrates traditional and non-traditional methods, including interdisciplinary approaches, to fabrication and production. As students acquire technical and conceptual skills, they learn to develop their own language of color, pattern and texture. Technical processes and topics include: weaving, dyeing, screen printing, embellishment, surface design, felting, sewing, quilting, garment construction, knitting, crochet, laser cutting, digital print and pattern design.
Many Fiber and Textiles graduates go on to work as textile designers or color and material designers for large corporations or small studios, while others create artisanal objects or fine art. Students develop a strong understanding of the field and its connections to art and industry as critical thinkers, artisans and creative problem solvers.
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Drawing from CCS's rich craft history as well as Detroit's industrial heritage, the CCS Glass program combines traditional and innovative approaches. Students work with glass freshman year through graduation and are taught the technical aspects of blowing, casting and fusing while also being asked to solve problems, innovate their own techniques and develop conceptual ideas. CCS Glass pushes students to create research-driven work that looks critically at the material, integrates interdisciplinary practices and utilizes new technologies. CCS Glass is a unique program for students interested in art, design and craft.
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Metalsmithing & Jewelry Design
Whether for large-scale projects or small-scale work such as earrings and bracelets, metal is flexible. There’s a reason more students minor in Metalsmithing and Jewelry Design than in any other CCS department. Working with metal gives students who may work primarily in two dimensions the chance to get their hands dirty forging iron, molding copper, and shaping silver into functional and art objects. Plus, it challenges the imagination in ways that can complement numerous vocations.
And CCS is one of only two institutions in the United States to offer significant undergraduate course work in blacksmithing.
Metalsmithing and Jewelry Design students make ornamental objects, such as knives, vessels, jewelry and other small-scale work, as well as architectural elements, such as gates, grills or railings. Students can also create sculptural work in both areas.
Anderson Ranch Arts Center
Collins and Aikman
DVF (Diane von Furstenberg)
Edsel and Eleanor Ford House
Furnace Hot Glass
Hayashi of America
Lankton Metal Design
Mark A Young Jewelers
Mount Clemens Blown Glass
Pilchuck Glass School
Pittsburgh Glass Center
Queso Cabeza Farm
Stefani & Co
Walt Disney World
Wet Dog Glass