Art 315 (Ceramics II)
Pots made at home
Students who took pottery wheels home when the pandemic closed campus were encouraged to document/photograph all of their work from as many angles as possible, so that I could try and assess their progress. We also held regular Zoom meetings with small groups (3-4 students at a time), and often they would watch me demonstrate on the wheel, or students would take turns throwing pots so that we could observe their form/movements, and offer feedback.
At the beginning of the semester, Ceramics II students may choose to focus on either ceramic sculpture, or developing skills with the pottery wheel (this semester is the last semester of the ‘old’ system – Fall 2020 and beyond will have classes specifically designated for either Pottery or Sculpture). Students are learning new techniques (Sgraffito, Mishima, altering thrown forms, etc.) but the main focus at this level is developing control with the wheel. Students are challenged to throw the same form in sets of at least 20. Technical quality of their forms are also considered: are they moving all of the clay up, are the walls of the pot a consistent thickness from top-to-bottom, have they compressed the bottom correctly, etc.
The old adage ‘quality over quantity’ actually does not apply to learning pottery – students who make a high volume of forms always end up making the best pots by the end of the semester.