Friday, January 28, 2011

Miss Patterson

Beginning Ceramics

Clay is an ancient medium that began as a means to create functional objects used in everyday life, and has evolved to become one of the most beautiful forms of artistic expression. In this class, you will have the opportunity to explore your creativity through the form and function of ceramics. I encourage you to take risks and develop your personal style throughout the semester.

In this class, we will study the beginning techniques of pinching, coiling and slab building. We will also practice beginning skills on the wheel. In addition to the class work, you will have weekly assignments reinforcing the techniques we are studying.

For this class you will need:

a shoebox to store clay and projects in (I have some used ones, or you can get your own)

a notebook to record outside assignments and sketch project ideas (lined, blank, leftover from Foundations…)

three plastic bags to wrap clay in--small trash bags and gallon-sized Ziploc bags work well

soap, hand lotion or tissues to contribute to the classroom

These items are due Friday, January 28th!


Your projects will be graded by the execution of the technique studied, the glaze or finish, and your written feedback on the grading sheet. You are responsible for any assignments written on the board, so check it daily! Your overall grade will be a combination of your projects, outside assignments, and effort.


Keeping this room clean is a matter of safety. Each artist is responsible for their own workspace as well as a weekly studio job, which will help with the general maintenance of the studio space. Completion of your cleanup jobs will factor into your effort grade.


*You will show up on time and remain in class until the bell rings. If you need to leave, tell me. Lining up at the door before the bell shows me that you have extra time to do more cleaning!

*You will work on projects throughout the class, and clean up well every day. Your effort grade is heavily based upon everyday work habits, so make them good. No non-enrolled students are allowed in the room during class time.

*No food or drink in the room. It is unhealthy to eat in this room due to the nature of the materials we use, and this also avoids messes in the workspace.

*No Ipods or cell phones during class. This is a school rule as well as my own rule—these devices are distracting and antisocial, making it difficult for me to teach and for you to learn.

*Respect the kilns! They are almost always running, and they get very hot. Please be careful when bringing work into the kiln room

*Respect each other. Remember the Golden Rule? Your language and attitude create the atmosphere in our classroom, and make it a comfortable place to be. If you can speak in a respectful way and manage your time well while you are in this class, you will do well this semester.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Artist Study * Mini-Research Paper

Due Friday, January 14th

For this paper, you will find a ceramic artist whose work you are particularly drawn to…look online, in books or magazines for inspiration. The artist can be contemporary, meaning they are alive and creating ceramic art today, or they can be from any point in history.

Print out or photocopy at least two images of your chosen artist’s work. These photos will be passed in with your paper.

The paper will be a summary of the artist’s bio as well as why you chose them and what specifically you admire about their work. This should be about 1 page: make sure you include all the information below!

-who the artist is

-important dates: birth, death (if applicable), when they were creating artwork

-where they are from, where they work(ed)

-what specific techniques do they use? types of clay/glazes, type of kiln/firing process

*hint: when you see a word you do not recognize, ex. “raku”, look it up in Google or Wikipedia and describe that in your paper!

-why you chose this artist: what drew you to their work? why do you admire this person, what about your knowledge of ceramics makes them particularly interesting?

-what connections can you make between this person’s work and your own ceramic work? are the two similar in style, concept, form or finish? or are they very different—and how did the similarities/differences influence your decision to choose this artist in particular?

Please use complete sentences, type the paper and print it out to pass it in….remember that the content is more important than the length of the paper!

HOMEWORK DUE FRIDAY JANUARY 7TH: bring in your two printed pictures and the name of your artist so I know you have begun the research process! This will count as your 2nd homework assignment for qtr. 2. Check plus for early pass-ins, full credit for on time, partial credit for late pass-ins.

Luminary: a body that gives light, especially one of the celestial bodies (Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary)

Our ceramic luminaries will be box forms that enclose a candle, have a lid, and let out light through a series of pierced decorations.

Tie the visual theme of your luminary to a dream ...which could have occurred during sleep, or may be a wish or want while awake.

For example: a dream about flying over a city could be represented in your imagery, or you may wish to show what you wish to become after college!

Create a challenging geometric form with your slabs. Make a paper template before beginning. Control dry slabs to leather hard, bevel edges and slip and score well!

Use piercing in a thoughtful and meaningful manner: piercing should enhance and fit with the overall theme.

Use a color scheme with surface decoration that is well chosen and well applied.