Ceramics, one of mankind's oldest and lasting handicrafts, provides us with a record of human needs and aspirations through the ages. Pottery and other ceramic artifacts will be examined and compared for function, design, technique and decoration to gain enhanced understanding of cultures that created them. No prerequisites. Completion of EN-100 suggested.
The purpose of this course is to define, broaden and value one's personal aesthetic via cultural studies of ceramic art and hands on clay experiences. Students will investigate the ceramics of cultures from neolithic through contemporary times as a means of understanding human experience. In addition to readings on major cultures, students will be introduced to clay forming, decorating and firing techniques. Students will also learn what clay is, where it comes from, why it is plastic and the changes it goes through in firing. The appreciation of good design and craftsmanship in ceramics will be emphasized. A course essay will require critical observation of a specific culture and its ceramics while providing an opportunity to promote the development of good writing skills.
A variety of learning experiences including lectures, demonstrations, films and slides, hands on clay experiences, and University Museum collection tour will be provided.Several hands on projects will be produced during course studio time using earthenware clay.A survey of contemporary ceramics will be presented by student oral reports.
Two examinations will be given on required readings, class lectures and vocabulary.Three assigned clay projects will be graded during the semester end final critique. Excellent class attendance is necessary for successful completion of project requirements.An oral presentation on a contemporary ceramic artist will require research of pertinent literature at Kent library and use of computer-assisted visuals.