Liberal Arts


A hands-on exploration of ceramics, this course is open to participants with all levels of experience.

ART209 Ceramics
Instructor: Joanna Mallin-Davies

Course Description
The Ceramics Course is an opportunity for students to work in a highly creative and exploratory approach, learning not only about techniques and materials of ceramics, but also about the creative process itself, and how a project can be carried from the brainstorming phase to its final realization. A hands-on exploration of ceramics, this course is open to participants with all levels of experience. Different techniques and styles will be presented (both historic and contemporary), and participants will have the opportunity to work on a variety of projects, including vessels, bas-relief, and small sculptural objects.
The main guideline of the course will be the relationship between ancient and contemporary art, understood in terms of formal and intellectual achievement.
This is particularly interesting for the student who is experiencing a period of his life in Siena, as a model of medieval community.
Glazing and firing techniques will be presented, and students will work with hand-building as well as the pottery wheel. Interested students also will have the opportunity to explore techniques of "casting" clay using plaster molds.
The course is structured with exercises of increasing commitment to guide beginners students toward the goal of be able to imagine, design and create their own work independently and with, at least, the basic concepts of the subject of the course.
Students will work on a variety of short-term assignments throughout the semester, as well as two main projects: a mid-term project and an end-of-semester project. The course fee includes all materials needed for the class, although students may wish to purchase additional materials, depending on the nature of their individual projects.
Although the course is designed for different levels of experience, some points are still: learning the technology of clay through direct experience, graphic design objects produced for the intermediate and the final examination, discussion with the teacher about functional reasons to project, looking for connections between contemporary and ancient art of ceramics.


Course Hours
Total 5 hrs per week (2 sessions per week, each session 2 hrs work time plus 30 mins set up and wrap-up). Total contact hours: 60; suggested credits: 3.

Student Learning Expectations
-To assist students in their ongoing artistic development by providing numerous opportunities for artistic experimentation and exploration.
-To foster a supportive atmosphere of thoughtful engagement amongst the students, creating a dynamic environment that encourages artistic production, intense critical dialogue, intercultural communication, meaningful reflection, and growth.
-To offer students constructive criticism on their work and offer other feedback including useful references such as related artists, writers, or other reference information.)

Textbook and required materials
Materials will be provided for all in-class activities, the cost of which will be covered by the course fee. However, the course fee does not cover materials to be used for students’ final projects and other independent work. The instructor will be able assist students in finding appropriate materials for their specific undertakings.
There is no required textbook for the course, but students are encouraged to utilize the reference books in the book arts studio. Additional reference materials will be provided as handouts.

Instructor's contact
Office Hours: by appointment


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