Syllabus for Art 126 - Ceramics I




1. Catalog Description

Art 126 – Ceramics (2) 6 hours class time per week

The principles of ceramic materials and ceramic design with emphasis on aesthetic and skill development.


2. Course Objectives

Art 126 is a beginning course in ceramics. The student is expected to develop skills in various forming methods. Sensitivity to the materials, to aesthetic design, and to individual and imaginative use of the materials is expected.


3. Course Content

Each student is expected to develop skills in the following specific areas and is responsible for a given minimum number of finished projects.



Specific Class Requirements

  1. Class number and last name on the bottom of each pot.

  2. Notebook including a drawing of each pot and how it is glazed and records of your glaze test tiles and how each is glazed.

  3. 1 Vocabulary test = 10% of grade.

  4. 3 Gallery reports on approved galleries each report one typed page, double spaced, = 10% of grade.

  5. Clay work projects (problems), 80% approximately.

Clay work projects (problems)

  • 1 pinch pot (suggest you make 3)

  • 1 soft slab pot (suggest you make 2)

  • 1 stiff slab pot (suggest you make 2)

  • 1 24 test tiles (count as one project) (suggest you make 28)

  • 3 thrown cups w/handles (suggest you make 6)

  • 1 pitchers (suggest you make 2)

  • 2 goblets (suggest you make 4)

  • 2 bowls (suggest you make 4)

  • Total 12 = C for Minimum Clay Requirements

  • Grading:

  • To receive a final grade of:

 Minimum Clay Requirements + additional work to total 12-22 Non Clay Requirements

  • 1 Notebook (class notes)

  • 1 Vocabulary Test (Pass)

  • 3 Gallery Reports (Approved)

 Minimum Clay Requirements + additional work to total 23-32 Non Clay Requirements

  • 1 Notebook (class notes)

  • 1 Vocabulary Test (Pass)

  • 3 Gallery Reports (Approved)

A* Minimum Clay Requirements + additional work to total33+ Non Clay Requirements

  • 1 Notebook (class notes)

  • 1 Vocabulary Test (Pass)

  • 3 Gallery Reports (Approved)

*To achieve an A grade, you must complete successfully all requirements.

 Minimum Clay Requirements + additional work to total 7-11 Non Clay Requirements

  • 1 Notebook (class notes)

  • 1 Vocabulary Test (Pass)

  • 3 Gallery Reports (Approved)

 Less Than D Requirements


*Grade Deductions:

  • Less than minimum clay works—see above

  • Failing vocabulary test—10%

  • Missing or incomplete Gallery Reports—10% each

  • Attendance, tardy, leaving class early—varies

  • Plagiarism—Failure

4. Method of Instruction

Instruction is by lecture, critiques, demonstrations of all procedures and skills, student observation of instructor, individual help in perfecting skills of each student.

5.Extra Work Time

Beyond the class time it is expected that additional time will be spent by each student (at least two hours per week) in the studio. The studio and its facilities are kept open and available for this purpose. Check posted schedule for times. Please observe posted extra work time schedule. Do not attempt to work during another class time without obtaining the instructor's permission. Basic courtesy and common sense will serve as a guideline to working during other classes.

6. Method of Evaluation

  1. Skills: (throwing or other construction tech.: use of tools, attachment, etc.)
    Glaze application

  2. Concepts: (your ideas and their relationship to the problem as well as ceramics aesthetics)
    Glaze selection

  3. Design: (relationship of foot to rim to body)
    Proportion of form, glaze selection, etc.

  4. Craftsmanship: Finishing of clay surfaces
    Glaze application

7. Recommended Reading and Viewing: Available in the LRC

  • Ceramic Review

  • American Crafts

  • Artweek

  • Ceramics Monthly

  • Ceramic Art and Perceptions

  • Studio Potter

  • New Zealand Ceramics

  • Ceramic Video's available

8. Policies, Procedures, and Other Information

A project completion due date will be announced in advance. Work will be presented at that time for either individual critique or group critique. Late work will not be accepted for full credit.

9. Purpose of Grading

Grading is done for the purpose of pointing out strength as well as weakness so that the student can positively benefit from it.

10. Attendance Policy

  1. You are required to attend all class meetings and remain in class the full class meeting time.

  2. Over three unexcused absences is considered excessive and the instructor has the prerogative of dropping the student from the class for excessive absences. Automatic drop can occur after three absences.

  3. Four tardies will be considered excessive, can result in automatic drop.

  4. A complete attendance record is kept by the instructor and roll call will be taken at the beginning of each class meeting and at the end of class at the discretion of the instructor.

11. Maintenance Procedure

Clean-up of the area is absolutely essential. Please allow sufficient time (but not excessive) at the end of the class meeting to clean up your area (wheels, floor, tables, sinks, etc.) 15 minutes should be sufficient.

Please talk to instructor if you see any potential safety hazards.

12. Safety Rules

See enclosed "Safety Rules Ceramics" sheet. These rules are to be followed exactly.

13. Visitors

No visitors allowed during class time. The scheduled class time belongs to the enrolled student only. Visitors cut into this work time.

14. Radios--NONE please! 

Turn off all cell phones and pagers. (No Headphones.)


15. Student Materials

  1. Work clothes and towel.

  2. Shoes--(required), rubber soles. Tennis shoes suggested.

  3. Tie for long hair.

  4. Notebook and pen or pencil (82" x 11").

  5. Board 12" x 12" x 2" thick (approx.)

  6. Rolling pin (optional)

  7. Spray bottle

  8. Spoon

  9. Fork

  10. Container with lid

  11. Plastic bucket--1 gallon (available in Bookstore)

Ceramic Kit 126 from Bookstore or the following tools:

  1. Elephant ear sponge.

  2. Kitchen paring knife.

  3. Toggle cutting wire or a small roll of fine wire.

  4. Pin tool.

  5. Large bamboo brush.

  6. Half moon shape spring steel flexible scraper or wooden throwing rib.

  7. Box wood modeling tool.

  8. Ribbon trimming or modeling tool.

  9. Plastic bags (a good supply) Garbage bags or dry cleaning bags are best.

  10. Combination lock:. . . . . . . . . . . . . . *Only one needed per locker.

16. Lockers 

are located outside on the patio, and are of sufficient size to accommodate two (2) students. All student-owned materials should be stored in the lockers. Lockers are assigned. Instructions will be given.


17. For accommodations due to a disability,

please see your instructor within the first two weeks of the semester.