Class assignments emphasize the activity of making objects and the development of strong forms in clay. Students will be introduced to essential handbuilding construction methods including coil building, slab construction and press-molding. Class assignments reflect the diversity with the ceramic medium and thus students will be exposed to a range of functional and sculptural issues. Red earthenware is the primary clay body used in class assignments. Students will learn about low-fire surfacing techniques including terra sigilatta, colored slip, underglaze and glaze. The Raku process will also be covered. Examples of historical and contemporary ceramic work will be shown to provide context and suggest possibilities.
Wheel throwing is the primary means of making ceramic forms in this course. Basic and advanced throwing skills, material concepts, glazing and firing are covered. Reduction firing concepts are introduced as the students construct functional and nonfunctional forms in clay. Students also gain familiarity with artists who currently use wheel processes to explore contemporary issues and design. May be taken by both beginning and more advanced students.
In this ceramics course, students will use a specific topic-- tableware-to research, design, and create a minimum of 10 place settings and accompanying pieces. Techniques can be selected from any combination of handbuilding, throwing, slip-casting or press-molding. During the first part of the course, students will explore the visual dynamics of sets. Arrangements and relationships of forms derived for specific functions will be studied and glaze choices and decorating options will be considered and tested. Students will also research a variety of artists that make dishes. After these initial investigations, students will carefully choose an appropriate clay body, technique, and glaze surface to design and create their10 place settings. Each setting will include a dinner plate, luncheon plate, dessert plate, soup/salad bowl, tumbler, mug or cup and saucer, and will also create an accompanying group of dishes selected from the following: serving bowls of various sizes, large serving platter, cream and sugar set, salt and pepper set, large pitcher, small pitcher, teapot.
Prerequisites : CE 101 or CE 201
In this course students will be encouraged to deal with subject matter from the realms of popular culture, current events, and social commentary. Students will be introduced to the concepts of visual irony, and paradox. Images and objects from everyday life will provide inspiration and source material. Students will use various strategies to organize visual elements and to construct forms in clay. These strategies include the use of surface imagery, surface collage, combined forms, and appropriated imagery, texture and form. Both vessel and sculptural form will be explored. Students will utilize a range of forming and surfacing techniques. Students will learn to organize both form and surface imagery/information to provide a coherent visual statement. The work of contemporary ceramics artist will be used to suggest a broad range of technical and conceptual possibilities.
Clay is a very flexible material; it can be shaped and formed by numerous methods and processes. In this course students will explore the unique properties of liquid casting slip in addition to the more familiar plastic clay. Students will be introduced to methods of forming clay that use plaster and bisque clay molds. Tile-making will be explored using simple press molds. Slump and hump molds will be used to make both functional and sculptural forms. Simple and multi-piece slip casting molds will be used to replicate found objects. Students will learn to make singular objects, and then proceed to methods for creating more complex combined forms. This course will introduce a range of experiences that build skill and conceptual understanding. Work of contemporary ceramic artists will be shown to demonstrate possibilities and provide context.
This course fosters the development of a personal sense of direction with a combination of assignments and individual choice. As a result, students increase vocabularies of skill and concept. Students also learn to relate their work to historical and contemporary issues. Additionally, students learn the operation of a variety of kilns and explore advanced issues in mold making and slip casting. A combination of group discussions and demonstrations, shared and individual crits, and one-on-one dialogue further augment the growth and maturation of studio work.
Prerequisites : Successful completion of CE 301
In this ceramics course, the student will build upon throwing skills developed in CE 201 and/or other existing throwing skills. Complex forms are studied including pouring vessels, lidded containers, plates, platters, and teapots, Techniques of creating handles, knobs, and other appendages will be studied. Students will develop skills necessary to make larger forms by stacking and joining thrown sections. Students will learn to establish relationships between functional objects in a set, and will explore the creative potential of altering and manipulating thrown forms. Exploration of surface decorating techniques and glaze solutions will be included. Stoneware will be used predominately with an option for use of porcelain.
Prerequisites : CE 201
The purpose of this course is to begin the process of understanding the nature of ceramic materials and to familiarize students with basic understandings of various firing processes. Assignments and lectures emphasize the theory and practice of formulating clay bodies and glazes with the goal of having students develop a vocabulary of materiality and process for use in their studio work. Majors have priority.
The class begins by examining the importance of ceramics in everyday life throughout human history. Emphasis is on the wide spectrum of objects created, including pottery, ritualistic vessels, architectural decoration, and figurative clay sculpture. Students study the methods, forms and uses of ceramics within Asian, Islamic, European, African and the Americans cultures. In understanding the role of ceramics within these cultures, students become familiar with the myths, religious underpinnings, mores, and philosophical viewpoints which are incorporated in the making of the objects. Once this foundation has been established, students learn how contemporary ceramic artists are inspired by their history. Lastly, students will bring this accumulated study back to their studio and incorporate it into a self-assignment that will reflect upon and respond to some aspect of ceramic history that they wish to include in their art.
Prerequisites : Major standing
Students develop a mature body of work in preparation for the Senior Thesis Exhibition. Students are offered the necessary instruction and support needed to pursue in-depth explorations of ideas and processes of their own choosing. Demonstrations, readings, discussions, and critical reviews continue the conceptual, aesthetical and technical development of studio work. Upon the successful completion of the senior studio, students are ready to begin their professional careers.
Prerequisites : CE 301-302 and 401
This course is designed to foster each student’s relationship within the historical context of crafts through the study and application of contemporary practice and theory. In coordination with all departments, course lectures, field trips, workshops and visiting artists will be selected to assist students in establishing strategies for studio research in order to isolate, identify, and pursue a meaningful subject(s) within a clearly defined personal and craft historical context. In addition each student will develop a more articulate understanding of their practice within a larger context of their specific discipline, history, society, and culture.
Prerequisites : Major standing
This one-semester course is designed to deliver professional development information to seniors through presentations and lectures pertinent to artists and designers. Topics from how to establish a studio/community to various ways of working with individuals and the public; to making a professional identity package and finances plus many more will be explored. In addition to lectures and tutorials, there may also be field trips connected to appropriate topics, as well as visiting artists and professionals such as a CPA and Maine Arts Commission. Class projects are designed to offer specific experiences and skills pertinent to the student’s professional development. Sections will be split to focus on area-specific professional information and assignments.
Prerequisites : Must be majoring
This course is taken in the final semester of the senior year. It is an integral course with the studio practice. Students will be led through a guided research and writing process to identify and explore what their inspirations are for their studio work, how those interests are played out historically and what their relevance is to contemporary art and culture. The class will culminate in a fully articulated written thesis that explains and details their thesis work. Students will present their ideas at various points throughout the semester and conversations will be held about the ideas underlying their work both in the classroom and in individualized studio visits.
Prerequisites : Major standing