Syllabus

                                       AR 231 Introduction to Ceramics
                                                 Jerry Nevins, Professor
                                            203 Aquinas Hall, 773-8546

                                                         Contact me

                                                    
                                   Albertus Magnus College, New Haven, CT ________________________________________________________________________ Introduction:

This course is intended for those studying ceramics for the first time and is a comprehensive introduction to the craft of clay working. The primary emphasis is on studio work leading to a portfolio of finished pieces by the end of the semester. In addition to demonstrations of technique and technical assignments, you should take a field trip to view historic and contemporary examples of fine ceramic art. Periodically throughout the term, I will show slides or films to help illustrate what you are learning.

The main goal of this course is that you will be able to create as well as appreciate expressive, beautiful three dimensional clay forms. You will have an understanding of other cultures and periods of human expression In clay and finally you will begin to be proficient at forming clay objects yourself.

Topics this semester will include:

Introduction to clay the material... where It comes from, how It was formed, how it is gathered, early methods for forming clay objects, pinching and coiling.

Introduction to the potters wheel, centering the clay, forming bowls and cylinders... trimming and burnishing on the wheel.

How sculpture is made with clay, slab construction, extrusion, tile making and slip casting.

Texturing and coloring clay, color used in clay and slips, engobes,. oxides and underglazes as well as non traditional decorative techniques including acrylic paint and dye.

Glazing: The function of glazes and how they are made up... simple glaze testing... proper application, health and safety.

Firing... Firing methods used through out history Including a primitive pit firing and oxidation firing.

The main emphasis will be on your work, your growth in the medium, your ability to create expressive, unified and cohesive three dimensional forms in clay.

Learning Outcomes for this Class:

Technical:

-You will learn about clay and glaze composition and formulation.

-A primary emphasis will be on handbuilt ceramic forms. You will learn to increase the scale of your work all the while keeping control over the quality, coherence and contour of your work.

-You will explore a variety of hanbuilding methods including extended pinch, slab built and extruded forms.

-You will learn firing and glazing methods for stoneware clay.

Aesthetic:

-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 understand how finishing and decorating contribute or detract from your intention as an artist.

Academic expectations:

Attend all classes, care about the work you are doing in class, see it through, visit the ceramics studio between classes to move your work along, help others in the class to succeed, keep the studio clean. The final grade is based on a portfolio of fifteen vessles showing good progress in the medium. The portfolio may include wheel thrown, slab built, pinched or extended pinch, or extruded pots. Attendence is crucial. A maximum of 3 absences is allowed, with or without a valid excuse.

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 work, that means you have created all of your artwork.

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.


Materials:

All clay, glazes and firing will be purchased for you for the class. I will provide all of the tools as well. A lab fee of $50 has been assesed on your bill to cover the cost of these materials.

Video:

Valley of the Potters

A poetic exploration of the traditional pottery produced in the village of El-Nazla in Fayoum, Egypt. According to anthropologists these potters production technique predates the invention of the pottery wheel, which was invented during the pharaonic age.

In the memory of Ahmed Abu Zeid, a great inspiration and a true artist.

Cinematography: Seif el Din Khaled
Editing: Seif el Din Khaled & Ahmed Safy el-Din
Narration: Mohannad Haj

Fayoum 2014



Suggested Reading:

Periodicals:

Ceramics Monthly. 1609 Northwest Blvd., Columbus , Ohio 43212
"The world's most widely read ceramic arts magazine"

Studio Potter. Box 172, Warner, New Hampshire 03278
"Studio Potter is a magazine for the community of potters everywhere. It is written by potters and directed toward fellow-potters who earn their living by making pots...".

American Craft. American Craft Council, 44 W. 53rd. St., NY, NY. 10019

American Craft Council and American Craft Museum, NYC


Recommended Books:

Making Marks: Discovering the Ceramic Surface by Robin Hopper

The Craft and Art of Clay (3rd Edition) (Paperback), Susan Petersen

Centering in Pottery, Poetry and Person
. M.C. Richards, Middletown, CT., Wesleyan University Press, 1964, 1989..."CENTERING: that act which precedes all others on the potter's wheel..."

A Potter's Book. Bernard Leach, Faber and Faber, London, 1960 This is the definitive "classic" work which set the stage for the revival of clay craft in Europe and America.

Clay and Glazes for the Potter. Daniel Rhodes, Radnor, PA.: Chilton, 2000, Another "classic"

Exhibits:

Yale Art Gallery. Greek and Roman pottery, ground floor, Asian and contemporary ceramics, Fourth Floor

Creative Arts Workshop
, Audubon Street Gallery/shop

Wave Gallery, Chapel Street Resources on the

WWW: The Ceramics Web - Web page devoted to ceramics, based at San Diego State University.

ClayNet - Now hosted at About.com- Form of news, tips, techniques

www.potterymaking.org


Calender

Weeks 1,2

Introduction to the course. Demonstration: Pinch pots, small closed forms Demonstration: Larger spherical forms World Wide Web Resources

Weeks 3,4

Wheel throwing demonstration Film: The Potters of Bindapur, India Kiln loading and firing demonstration

Weeks 5,6

Demonstration: Slab building Techniques Soft Slab, leather hard slab Press mould, drape mould, etc.

Weeks 7,8

Trip to Yale Art Gallery: Greek,Roman and Egyptian, Japenese and Chinese Pottery

Weeks 9,10

Demonstration: Glazing, glaze testing and formulationů.application

Weeks 11,12

Film: Maria Martinez, Pueblo Potter Finish up current projects

Last week of class: Critiques




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