Flashing Slip and Thoughts on Art School and Being an Artist

September 29, 2008

A bit about Flashing Slip for those of you who are interested in using the slip for the Wood Firing coming up soon. What a flashing slip is a slip made of clay that will react well with the atmosphere in the wood kiln (the wood ash and the salt we will be adding). Some clays, such as the ones we are using in class, can be rather bland in the wood fire and a good flashing slip can help with this. Below are some links to some images of artists whose work are fired in atmosphere and use flashing.

Tom Rohr

Greg Crowe

Julia Galloway

Ian Jones

Also, take a look at this articile where some artists talk about Art School, why they choose art and their own individaul pathes (including Grayson Perry and David Shrigley)

Time Art School


Deadline Claification!

September 21, 2008
You are running out of time!

You are running out of time!

ART 261

Monday, September 22: Plans for second anthropomorphic vessel presented to class

Monday, October 6: Deadline for both anthropomorphic vessels – critique on green pots.

ART 361

Friday, September 19: Three tiles with drawing on them due for bisque.

Wednesday, October 1: Assignment One (part i, ii and iii) completed for bisque

October 2 – 5: 1000 Miles Apart in Regina, SK

Wednesday, October 8: Load soda/gas kiln

Wednesday, October 15: Load woodfire kiln w/ Greg Crowe

Thursday, October 16: Fire woodfire kiln w/ Greg Crowe

ART 461

Wednesday, September 24: Terra Sig’s due

Wednesday, October 1: Proposal for personal project draft due

Monday, October 6: Assignment One Dinnerware sets due for bisque

Art 361 – Assignment 1 Part II and III

September 15, 2008

Part Two – Sets or Centerpieces
Part two of this assignment is aimed at focusing your throwing ability on creating either a set of objects or a single larger object. Each of these options will require research.

A – for this choice you will propose and make one set of thrown pieces. This set will be a number of pieces that all work together to create a whole. For example, four identical stacking plates; four stacking bowls; a teapot and four tea cups; nesting bowls; etc

B – If you are more drawn to sculpture than to pots, you can make a different sort of object for the table. If you choose this option, research the following types of objects: Tureen, Tulipierre, Platter, Large Serving Bowl, Candelabra, Ceramic pillow, Flower brick, Drug Jars (Apothecary Jars), Baskets, or some other form of centerpiece. For this option, your piece will still be thrown, but it can be thrown and altered.

For either of these choices you will turn in a proposal and that will determine the number or size you are working with. This is only one part of the assignment and I do not want you to over (or under) extend yourselves. Spend some time in the researching either option in the library and include three examples of historical or contemporary works that will reference your work.

These sets will either be gas fired or soda fired. There will also be a wood fire, but there is no guarantee there will be room for these pieces.

Part Three – Multi-part Cylinders
For the final part of the throwing/wood-fire project, you will be making a series of tall cylinders. These cylinders can be anything you would like – a vase, a jar, a pitcher or simply a cylinder tall and round – but each will meet a few requirements: there will be at least three cylinders. one will be 8” tall, one 10” and one 15”. These cylinders can be throw out of one piece of clay or, if it makes more sense, out of multiple thrown pieces. All of these pieces will be wood-fired.

Decoration: these pieces will not be glazed but will instead be decorated with carving, scraffito, flashing slip and slip or terra sig.


Ceramics :: ART 261 :: Assignment 1 :: Anthropomorphic Vessels

September 15, 2008

To begin this term we are going to explore numerous ceramic building techniques in one project while at the same time, researching and investigating historical anthropomorphic1 vessels. In the second part of the project, the same skills will be used to explore personal identity or personal relation to objects through construction.

The task for Assignment One is to create two pit-fired2 anthropomorphic vessels using pinching, coiling, slab construction, and other hand building techniques. The first vessel you will make is an exact reproduction of a historical anthropomorphic vessel and the second vessel will be of your own design, function and personal meaning.

Vessel 1
This vessel will be a reproduction of a historical vessel. Research the history, production and context of anthropomorphic vessels – collect images and examples for your sketchbooks using books, magazines and the Internet for your research. Paying close attention to size, scale and proportions – do not choose a vessel that you do not know the size. Pre-plan and sketch out your vessel before you build it – draw the vessel from multiple angles and break it apart into individual sections to build. Your finished piece should accurately depict its historical counterpart in scale, decoration and size.

Vessel 2
Design and create a personal anthropomorphic vessel based on the knowledge of these vessels you acquired during your previous research. Again, you must pre-plan and sketch out your vessel before you build it. This vessel is not a reproduction so you must determine on your own what the vessel will look like, what it will be used for, etc. As a personal vessel, incorporate narratives from your own life, reference an animal or person you know, or create it for a specific use you might have in your everyday life. Both of these vessels will be finished using terra sigillata3 and pit fired.

The following will be considered for grading: effort, presentation, and consideration of the project parameters, participation and commitment, demonstration of depth of investigation and personal challenge and an overall general skill level.

ART 361 :: Assignment 1 :: Throwing and Woodfiring

September 8, 2008

All of you have some experience with throwing cylinders on the wheel and by the end of this assignment you will be able to throw with more skill and confidence. You will have experience working with throwing a wide variety of forms or various sizes and shapes – cylinders, bowls, plates, non-symmetrical forms, and building with multiple thrown forms. Additionally, at the end of the assignment, we will be firing the projects in the wood kiln. As part of this, each of you will participate in the various steps of the woodfiring – loading the kiln, stoking the fire, adding salt to the kiln, unloading and cleaning the kiln.

Part One

The first part of this assignment is simply to get you back in the rhythm of building on the wheel. It does take some time to be able to master throwing on the wheel and that is what this assignment is for – repetition to gain control.

For Monday September 15:

Throw 20 forms on the wheel using 1 – 1.5 pound balls of clay. While these forms can be anything you would like, aim to make your forms cylinders with even thickness in the walls and taller rather than wider. You may have to throw more that 20 forms in order to show the class 20 good, trimmed and drying pots.

You will be given most of two classes to work on this portion of the assignment but you will have to spend time outside of class to ensure quality in your work.

1000 Miles Apart!

September 3, 2008
Carole Epp

Carole Epp

1000 Miles Apart is an annual student conference held in rotation by the University of Manitoba, Red Deer College, Alberta College of Art and Design and the University of Regina. This year the conference will be held at the University of Regina from October 2 – 5 with most events being held on the 3 and 4. Each conference features a number of different artists lectures, artist demonstrations, art shows, occasional competitions and other fun events. It is not only a great way to learn a massive amount of new knowledge but also a great way to see other schools and meet other student artists.

This year the featured artists are Carole Epp and Brendan Tang and the keynote speaker is Charles Mason, head curator of the Gardiner Museum.

Here are some links for the artists:




ART 361 Assignment ZERO!

September 2, 2008

Most of you will have experience with ceramic material and techniques. While most students are able to quickly gain some skill in constructing form, it takes quite a bit longer to gain mastery over ceramic surfaces. This is because there is not a one to one correlation between what you put on the surface of the clay and what comes out of the kiln. On top of that is the fact that variations in slip thickness, glaze thickness, application technique and firing temperature can all have profound effects on your finished product. I expect that you will develop as much an understanding in surface techniques (glazing, slipping, decorating) as you gain in building forms with clay.

To help you reach this goal, you will be responsible for doing surface tests throughout the term.

For next class:

1 – Make 30 test tiles:
– 20 must have white slip on half of them
– 10 must have coloured slip on half of them
– Each of them should have some texture on them also

2 – Make 3 tiles that are exactly 12 cm x 18 cm
– cover each of these tiles with an even and thin coat of coloured slip
– these will be your drawing boards
– once leather hard, piece the tile at the top of your tile with a hole that is 1 cm from the top and centered.
– once the slip is leather hard, make a well composed drawing of anything you want. Draw a frame if you like.