Prerequisite: FA131, or permission of instructor.

CERAMICS I is a course for expressing one’s ideas through the most basic and malleable material – clay.

In AAH 239 students learn a wide range of contemporary practices used by ceramic artists and designers working today, how to find their own creative voices, and how to analyze ceramic works of art from their own positionalities.

Practically speaking students will learn through demonstrations traditional hand-building techniques include: pinch, slab, coil, solid and hollow modeling as well as wheel throwing and creating multiples through mold-making and slip and press-casting. The basics of ceramic and non-ceramic finishes are also explored. While a wide range of processes is introduced, the emphasis of this course will remain on the ideas communicated through the forms that students create.

In order to give students a broader perspective of the material and its use, a portion of the course investigates the historical and theoretical aspects of contemporary ceramic vessels, sculpture and decorative works as well as the shifting concepts of “fine art” v. “craft”.

In addition to completing all studio assignments, each student is required to present a10-15 minute discussion of one contemporary ceramic artist. Brainstorming and critique are common, and will follow the Harkness Method of student-centered discussion and inquiry. This will help students learn to think critically, listen analytically, and interact respectfully.

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