AR 232 Ceramics II
Jerry Nevins, Instructor
203 Aquinas, 773-8546

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This course is a continuation of the work begun in AR 231, Introduction to Ceramics with more emphasis placed on finishing and firing techniques. Students are expected to have a more fluent command of the medium and should be working toward a portfolio of finished work that extends from an area of individual concern and purpose. In class demonstrations of technique will be balanced with occasional lectures on the history and aesthetics of clay work across the centuries and world. A field trip to the Yale Art Gallery to view examples of Egyptian, Minoan, Mycenaean, Greek, Etruscan and Roman Cultures will be scheduled early in the semester.

Specific topics to include:

Methods of decorating and firing clay work in the low temperature firing range.

The use of underglazes, overglazes, slips and engobes and sgraffitto.

Glaze formulation and testing.

Casting and mold making.

Slab construction methods.

Larger scale work.

Advanced techniques on the potter's wheel

Learning Outcomes for this Class:


-You will learn about clay and glaze composition and formulation. You will mix and test high fire glazes for use in class.

-A primary emphasis will be on your following up on a specific method of creating ceramic forms, either wheel throwing or hand building. You will learn to increase the scale of your work all the while keeping control over the quality, coherence and contour of your work. Emphasis is placed on working in a series and matching individual objects in that series.

-You will learn to fire the kiln, both for bisqueware and glaze firing to stoneware temperatures


-To appreciate ceramics from an historical perspective through study of original pieces at the Yale Art Gallery that span from Neolithic times through to the present.

-To appreciate how a unified, coherent form that is finely crafted is beautiful in its own right. To refine your control over the making process in order to work in series.

-To further your understanding of how finishing and decorating contribute or detract from your intention as an artist. What role does the firing method play in the meaning of the finished piece?

Academic Expectations:

You are expected to attend all classes. Your attendance is an extremely important part of your grade. Plan to work in the studio a minimum of 6 hours per week in addition to class time. A portfolio of l5 finished pieces will be due during the final exam period at the end of the semester. Your grade, will be a measure of your progress made in the medium during the semester and your attitude and attendance during the semester. Attendance is crucial. A maximum of 3 absences is allowed, with or without a valid excuse. After that your grade will drop

Tradition of Honor:

As a member of the Albertus Magnus College Community, each student taking this course agrees to uphold the principles of honor set forth by this community, to defend these principles against abuse or misuse and to abide by the regulations of the College. In Art class that means that all work presented for a grade is your own, created by you.

Tradition of Respect: In our class: 1) Everyone is allowed to feel they can work and learn in a safe and caring environment; 2) Everyone learns about, understands, appreciates, and respects varied races, classes, genders, physical and mental abilities, and sexualities; 3) Everyone matters; 4) All individuals are to be respected and treated with dignity and civility; and 5) Everyone shares the responsibility for making our class, and the College, a positive and better place to live, work, and learn.

Accommodations for Special Needs: Please advise the instructor of any special problems or needs at the beginning of the semester. Those students seeking reasonable accommodations based on disabilities should contact Shayna Chomko, Director of the Germain Center and Coordinator of Disability Services, (203) 672-1050 or, to obtain a Faculty Accommodation Letter. Albertus Magnus College complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.

In order to respect the independence, rights and dignity of students with disabilities, the College initiates services only after a student makes a voluntary disclosure of a disability to the Office of Academic and Student Disability Services. Students who are approved for accommodations are responsible for approaching instructors in a timely manner to provide faculty accommodation letters and to arrange how accommodations will be implemented. Accommodations cannot be retroactive, so we strongly advise students to make accommodation appointments as soon as possible.

In providing reasonable accommodations, the College shall not fundamentally alter the nature of programs, services, or activities, require a waiver of essential academic standards, or violate accreditation requirements.

Prevention of Power-Based Violence Resources 

If you or someone you know is concerned about, have experienced, or currently are experiencing sexual harassment, assault, power-based violence, or stalking, there are many resources available both on and off campus for students to utilize.Click on the link above or here


 It is the responsibility of the student to officially drop or withdraw from a course.  However, failure to attend a course for 14 calendar days may result in an administrative withdrawal from the course. The policies on course withdrawals and administrative withdrawals may be found online at

Albertus Magnus College adheres to the definition of a credit hour in compliance with, and as defined by, NECHE commission policy.


Berensohn, Paulus, Finding One's Way With Clay, New York, Simon and Schuster, 1972

Richards, M.C., Centering in Pottery, Poetry and Person, Miiddletown, CT, Wesleyan University Press, 1964.

Leach, Bernard, A Potter's Book, Transatlantic Arts, London, Faber and Faber, 1960
Leach, Bernard, A Potter's Challenge, New York, Dutton, 1975

Birks, Tony, Art of the Modern Potter, New York, Van Nostrand Reinhold,, 1977
London, Hamlyn, 1976

Coyne, John, editor, Penland School of Crafts Book of Pottery, New York, Bobbs -
Merrill, 1975

Wildenhain, Marguerite, The Invisible Core: A Potter's Life and Thoughts, Palo Alto, CA, Pacific Books, 1963

Rhodes, Daniel, Clay and Glazes for the Potter, Radnor, Pa. , Chilton, 1973


Ceramics Monthly

Studio Potter

Ceramic Review

American Craft






Mike Vatalaro
"Reconstructed Vessels and Functional Forms"
6"ht x 20" diameter/Wood fired stoneware 2001