Finally….the Final Project!

November 11, 2008


The Box Assignment

To work within a set or parameters to create an aesthetically and conceptually sound multi-media project.

Each of you will be given an identical wooden box. Using this as your starting point or framing structure, you will create a ceramic object (or objects) to go in the box. There are no requirements as to what this object has to be – it does not have to be functional, it does not have to be a single piece, it does not have to be multiple pieces, it can include a dozen (or two) found objects or no found objects. It does, however, have to be fired (I am looking at ceramics, not clay) but does not have to be glazed.

You can feel free to modify the box as you see fit – paint it, carve it, add to it, cut out of it, stain it (I would strongly recommend at least staining it), mount it to the wall or set it on its side. There really are very few limitations to this assignment.

Due date
This box will be due for the final interview (date to be determined.) If you would like, you can display if for the class at the final critique too.

Artist Statement
There is a second part to this assignment – an artist statement. For the final presentation please have a one – two paragraph artist statement ready. This should talk a bit about what you have created or about what your artist practice is about in general. This statement will NOT be marked but it is required for this assignment. Also, I am fully ready, able and willing to help you with your artist statement any time you would like.

Download the complete assignment: art361-assignment5


Ceramics 361:: Assignment IV :: Artist Reviews

October 28, 2008

Aim: To look at contemporary art and ceramics magazines and books to develop an awareness of the convention of writing artist’s statements.

Task: Look through books, magazines and/or the Internet to find articles on artists that interest you.  Read the article and make a brief review (one-half to one page typed and double-spaced) about the article and respond to what the artists said.  Submit your review along with a good photocopy of the statement you are discussing.

Writing Skills Assistance
: Need free help with your writing assignments? The Writing Skills Tutor is available to assist you with all aspects of writing – including research and planning, sentence and paragraph structure, thesis statements, grammar, spelling, and the correct usage of style guides (eg. APA, MLA). You’re welcome to e-mail an essay or other writing assignment to the tutor. She will read it over, insert helpful comments on how the paper can be improved, and then e-mail it back to you. Please ensure that the tutor receives your assignment at least three business days before you’d like it returned to you.

For more information about this service, or to submit an assignment for review, please contact:

Heather Vander Plaat – Writing Skills Tutor

Download the full assignment here: art361-assignment4

Ceramics 261 :: Assignment IV :: Plaster Mould, Glaze Tests and Lidded Forms

October 28, 2008

Aim: To investigate low relief and texture in a repeating pattern panel that will be cast in plaster. The finished negative mould will be used to press clay directly into the plaster creating textured panels used to hand build a form. You will use this mould(s) to make both test tiles for glazes and 2 lidded containers.

Task: To create a repeating pattern composition that can be translated into low relief and texture. Using this low relief form, you will construct two lidded containers and a series of test tiles.

Download the entire assignment: art261-assignment4

ART 361:: Assignment 2 :: Hand Building :: Stacking Sculptures

October 14, 2008
Kathy King - Homefront


1 – To investigate personal imagery and mythology. By using some of the things that you have already learned in ceramics (different methods of hand building; coil, pinching, slab-building, and extruding) incorporated with symbolic imagery and stylization of forms you will communicate an idea that has personal significance 2 – To continue to learn how to make large ceramic objects (sculpture) using separate components.
The Structures

Personal History Structure – You will create a multi-piece, stacking sculpture communicating that somehow related to your personal History. This can be about something you are interested in, something about your family members, a childhood dream (or nightmare), a totemic style detailing the structure of your nuclear family or a series of objects relating reoccurring images from your life. The tale your sculpture tells is up to you.

Future Dream Structure – You will create a second multi-piece, stacking sculpture that communicates something about your future or the idea of the future (other than your own.) This second structure is very open ended. Let your ideas run wild with both the form and the content.


Planning and Drawing – For this project it will be very important that you have in place an over all plan for you various structures. You will be making multiple forms that will be fitting together in a variety of ways – visually, physically and conceptually – and to do this haphazardly may results in extra stress you surely do not need.

Have a plan, a drawing, a timeline, or whatever else you work best from ready to show me on Wednesday, October 22. You need to show me what you want to make before you get started – this is a deadline!

Testing – There are many different things you might want to try for this – working in different temperatures, multiple firings, glazes, slips, multi-media, different clays, decals, etc – and I am more that happy with helping you out with whatever idea you would like to try. But. In order to succeed, you will have to test your ideas our before hand. Remember this when planning your sculptures- The final form will be a sculpture with at least three separate parts that stack on top of each other and work together to tell a story. These forms can stack simply with the power of gravity or you can use a threaded bar, a dowel or even wire to hold your form upright. Remember to keep this additional portion hidden (unless it is a part of your narrative/piece.) Note: you can also use bar or dowel to create interesting cantilever effects in you structure. Use your imagination.

Look at Kathy King for some initial ideas.

Here is the assignmnet for you to download: art361-assignment2

Before Midterm (Oct 22)

October 8, 2008

ART 261 – For Midterm I will be looking at your first project (two Anthropomorphic Vessels) and your participation in the Pitfiring and Throwing classes between now and then.

ART 361 – For Midterm I will be looking at your first project (Parts I, II and III) and your participation in the woodfire next week.

ART 461 – For Midterm I will be looking at your Dinnerware sets and you preparation between now and October 22 for your independent study.

Midterm grades will be handed back on October 22.

Watch this space for your next assignments ART 261 and 361 (I will post them on the long weekend.)

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

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.