Ceramic was the first synthetic material; the result of subjecting clay to fire to produce artificial stone. It is the oldest material that humanity created and has been central in our social, industrial and artistic development. The discovery of the secret of glass-making occurred with technical advancements in ceramics and the discovery of glazes, resulting from a cross-fertilisation of technical developments.
In the glass and ceramics programme, the students have the opportunity to work on a wide range of materials - from fragile archaeological Egyptian faience to monumental outdoor sculpture and delicate Chinese porcelain in museum collections, to antique mirrors in historic houses. The students research and treat objects from Dutch museum collections from early on in the course. From the beginning, the conservation theory is directly related to objects, supported by lectures, literature seminars and workshops which are often given by international specialists. Through visits to museum collections, art studios, and conservation workshops the students are able to develop a professional network and understand conservation issues in a broader context. The staff’s international connections provide opportunities to undertake internships and pursue research throughout the world.