Pottery 2

This class is a deeper exploration into clay construction, decoration, and firing methods. An emphasis will be placed on personal exploration, choice and development of voice. We will begin the semester with a review of wheel work and clay properties, storage and procedures. Following that review time you will be assigned a series of investigation projects. Most of these are very open ended and flexible but will have set construction, quality and research goals.  Much of the sketching and research for projects will take place outside of class while you are doing studio work in class.  You will end the semester by presenting a digital portfolio of you work and growth over the semester.
Unit 1: Review Wheel Technique: 
We will start with a "pretest" day. I will observe you throwing to see what you retained and were your skill level is currently. Demostrations in basic and advanced skills and techniques will be provided based on the needs and skills of individual students. Articles and videos will be provided for remediation, review or acceleration.

We will also be doing an alternative firing this semester and hope that one of your wheel pieces will be going into that firing

gradebook accountability:
  • Log 10 hours of wheel time
  • Log of videos watched with brief reflection of what you found useful or what new idea it spurred
  • Provide 3 pieces to be graded
  • Video of throwing skills beginning and ending: comparision with reflection
  • Pottery Log: recording glazes decoration techniques researched and used, photos of completed work and reflection of each process: construction, decoration, glazing, craftsmanship, skills and development of design
  • Sketchbook or digital image library for reference of form and decoration

Clay Prep:
wedging and kneading demo plus a little on weighing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hAOPlz3Bkgs

Throwing forms:
Quick Video of a guy making 4 vases very quickly and quietly! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7gBRjx38DI

secondvideo in stacking multiple forms serires http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OeDSmtyyLsg&feature=related

throwing a lid on the wheel upside down: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1bdTAGFaf1Y

Altering forms

Altered bowls: slicing the rim and adding coils https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xX0k1ULATM


Transferring a slip design onto wheel thrown or slab cylinder:

Unit 2: Design Problem #1- IT MUST HANG
You will be designing a clay structure or structures that is meant to hang from the wall, a support or the ceiling. We will investigate artists that create murals, wall sculpture, installations, mobiles, and much much more. We will investigate construction methods that may be used to create these works. Students will research and create a working model or sketches  and construction and installation plans for the project. Finally the student will construct the structure. 
gradebook accountablity:
  • Sketchbook: research, plans and sketches
  • Completed project
  • reflection and log
iDEAS: This is a beginning point...you are not limited to any of these

Series of Tiles: Casting the same tile, making modular related tiles or making several that make a scene or picture.
Wall or suspended Sculpture: abstract, figure, still-life
Wall planter: single or series that can be planted in
Mask or Portrait:
Light,Wall Sconce or Lamp:

Unit 3: Design Problem #2- THREE OF A KIND
You will be designing a grouping of three things that are related in form, function, and construction. They might also be related by a theme or subject. Projects in the past have included sets of functional items (plates, vases, musical instuments, tea service...), Sculptures (fairytale characters, abstract structures, masks) or replicas from life (everyday items, buildings, clothing, animals). They have also been illustrations of an idea or saying such as "Birds of a Feather stick together", "3 of Hearts",  or"3rd Wheel".
gradebook accountablity:
  • Sketchbook: research, plans and sketches
  • Completed project
  • reflection and log
 Unit 4: Design Problem #3- SELF PORTRAIT
YOu will be creating a work of art that is representative of you: realistic, experiencail, symbolic, fantasy or ideal. That means it can be a true realistic portrait, it can be about what you believe is important, it can be about an experience you have had, it be an symbol that my represent you, it can be a monument to you...endless. We will look at artists that use themselves as a subject matter.
gradebook accountablity:
  • Sketchbook: research, plans and sketches
  • Completed project
  • reflection and log
Videos: Tom Bartel: handbuilt head and talking about content:

Unit 5: Design Problem #4- It must POUR

We will look at a variety of objects used for ceremonies throughout history. We will identify major events in peoples lives that are moments of transition that are commemorated with a ceremony. We will look into our own past, present and future to develop a personal cerimonial object.
gradebook accountablity:
  • Sketchbook: research, plans and sketches
  • Completed project
  • reflection and log
Yixing Teapots:
Master demo 1: 
Master Demo 2:
Thrown Darted and pulled handle pitcher: 

Unit 6:  Portfolio
You will create a webpage  that chronicles your work that includes photos, research, sketches or reference images. Record of techniques, glazes, and underglazes. You will evaluate your work and explain what you learned in each project. This should be done throughout the semester as you work on and complete each project. Final is an overview presentation of your work. 
Pottery 1 and 2 at the Des Moines Art Center for a Raku Firing Workshop
Raku Workshop at the
Des Moines Art Center in Spring 2011
Nancy Briggs removing pottery from the kiln and placing it into a can filled with paper ready for reduction
The last time this pottery will be white.
Maddie's Fish...ooh!
Lucas and Abby's work...aaah!


Ceramic Arts Daily : sign up for daily emails or like on facebook

AKAR: a design firm in Iowa City with an amazing showroom of national and international pottery

BLOGS and Podcasts:

Tales of a Red Clay Rambler: Ben Carter

Plate a Day:

North Carolina Clay Club:

YouTube Channels to subscribe to:
Simon Leach: http://m.youtube.com/user/sleachpots?feature=em-subconf-s2-chl&desktop_uri=%2Fuser%2Fsleachpots%3Ffeature%3Dem-subconf-s2-chl

DEEP THOUGHTS ON DIRT (Historic or ethnically cultural pottery or psychology of pot making...for pottery geeks)

Pete Pinnell thinking about cups: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=WChFMMzLHVs

Want to know more than a little about Japanese Pottery? http://www.e-yakimono.net/html/whatiswhat.html


Aug 20, 2011, 7:50 PM
Aug 20, 2011, 7:50 PM
Apr 16, 2014, 7:05 AM