ARTS372 Intermediate Ceramics, Lisa Nocentini, Summer I 2019 | SACI College of Art & Design Florence

ARTS372 Intermediate Ceramics, Lisa Nocentini, Summer I 2019

The intermediate course is structured to give students who already have a basic/sound knowledge of building and glazing techniques a deeper knowledge of the various aspects of contemporary ceramics: throwing and hand-building functional forms, vessel forms and sculptural work.

During the semester students will work on 3 main projects:

1) Project using the potter’s wheel (in relation to the skill of the student): dealing with functional ware.

2) Hand-building project: dealing with vessel forms or sculptural forms.

3) A Raku firing project: (in relation to his/her main interest).

Schedule

Week 1

Monday, May 20
Theory
- What is ceramics: a brief intro with slides; general information on materials being used in the studio, the kiln, studio rules, common terminology, safety issues, etc.

Practice
- Preparing clay for work: wedging and kneading.
- Start wheel project
- Research hand-building project

Wednesday, May 22
Theory
- What is clay / plasticity and shrinkage
- Visit the Room of the Maiolicas at the Bargello Museum

Practice
- Continue wheel project
- Begin hand-building project

Week 2

Monday, May 27
Theory
- Types of clay, types of ware

Practice
- Continue wheel project
- Continue hand-building project

Wednesday, May 29
​- Critique no. 1
-The origins and development of Raku (with slide show)

Practice
- Make raku pieces
- Continue hand-building project

Week 3

Monday, June 3
Theory
- The effect of heat on clay and stages of firing

Practice
- Continue wheel project
- Continue hand-building project

Wednesday, June 5
RAKU FIELD TRIP TO CERTALDO

Week 4

Monday, June 10
Theory

- What is a glaze
- Critique no. 2

Practice
- Finish trimming
- Finish hand-building project
- Glazing techniques: how to apply a glaze, how to use underglaze decoration

LAST WET DAY: JUNE 11

Wednesday, June 12
Theory
- Glaze faults and how to cure them

Practice
- Glazing: overglaze decoration
- Glaze projects

Week 5

Monday, June 17
- Review for final test
- Visit traditional terracotta workshop in Impruneta and Lisa Nocentini's studio

Practice
- Final glazing of work

Wednesday, June 19
Final test and final critique s

Students will be introduced to the rich ceramic tradition of Italy and of the Mediterranean area with the use, in the studio, of local clays and glazing materials (low temperature earthenware). Students are also expected to gain additional awareness of historical and contemporary ceramic art.

Lateness

It is essential that students come to class ON TIME. Important information will be given during the first few minutes of each class. Demonstrations, slide shows and lectures will take place at the beginning of class. Two latenesses are equal to one unexcused absence.

Working Outside of Class Hours

Working only during class hours will not be sufficient to complete the amount of work expected from an intermediate student. Therefore, you are advised to allot at least 6 (better 8) extra hours per week outside of regular class time to working with clay and glazing. Students are required to register their name and hours spent in the studio outside of class time in a special notebook.

Time spent in the studio outside of scheduled class times will be directly proportional to your success in developing studio skills.

We will regularly make work that requires drying time between various stages (such as waiting for a pot to be “leather-hard” before applying a handle). This means coming into the studio outside of class to cover or uncover work to control drying and finish work begun earlier.

Sketchbook

You will be required to keep a sketchbook for class. Its purpose is to document your ideas and artistic development. You’ll find that it can be your most useful tool in helping you to work out your ideas and plans before starting your projects, and during them. Bring your sketchbook to every class. It should also include all class information, all handouts including this syllabus, notes from class lectures. They will be checked on a regular basis and collected at the middle, and at the end of the semester for grading.

Library

You are strongly recommended to take advantage of the ceramic books and publications (Ceramic Review, Ceramics Monthly, Pottery Making Illustrated) that we have in the library. Some books in the ceramics section are on reserve and can only be consulted in the library. Make sure you take some time to do this. Individual research is a very important part of an art student’s daily work load.

Cleaning Up

Each student will be responsible for cleaning personal and shared areas and recycling his or her own clay. It is expected that you will clean an area that you find untidy even if you didn't leave it that way. If we all do this we will have an efficient and safe place to work. A messy, dusty studio is a HEALTH HAZARD for everyone.

General Safety & Emergency Instructions

Click here for a pdf of SACI's General Safety & Emergency Instructions.

Additional Safety & Studio Rules

Do NOT use machinery unless you have been instructed in its use by the instructor of this course.

  • Access to the ceramics studio is allowed only to students enrolled in the class.
  • Always clean up at the end of class: do not leave without cleaning up your working space (table or wheel, tools and plastic containers), and putting away all tools and materials used.
  • Do not leave clay bags or clay bins open.
  • Dust formation should be kept to a minimum: do not let pieces of clay or clay slop fall on the floor (if this happens, clean it up immediately).
  • Do not use sand paper on raw clay.
  • Always use a dust mask if you have to sand bisqued clay or if you have to use colors and glazes in dry powder form.
  • Always use a protective dust mask and/or gloves whenever a particular glazing material's composition requires you to do so. In any case always follow your teacher's instructions.
  • Do not leave glaze bins or color containers open and always put them back in their storage area (inside the cabinets).
  • The glaze sprayer can only be used after proper instruction by the teacher.
  • Wear a dust mask provided by SACI when you use the glaze sprayer.
  • Wear gloves provided by SACI when using the kilns.
  • Do not smoke, eat or drink in the ceramics studio.
  • Do not wear flip-flops in class - only safe, closed shoes.
  • Never touch kilns unless authorized by the instructor.
  • Do not keep your cell phones on during class.
  • Floors need to be left free of objects so that the cleaning staff can vacuum the studio area.

Evaluation & Grading

Keep in mind that grading of studio work is necessarily a subjective process; however, the following points will give you an idea of the criteria I have in mind and their relative importance in determining a grade:

1) Generally, I will be looking for evidence of involvement with the problems presented, the dedication and effort applied to them, and the quality of their solutions.

2) In the ceramic process, problems of aesthetics and design are inseparable from the craft techniques that express them. A well-crafted work by itself does not constitute a work of art, but a great concept cannot be expressed without the adequate technical skill. Workmanship, therefore, is an important part of the final grade.

3) I will appreciate evidence of original thinking and of awareness of the possibilities of the medium.

4) Individual research is also a very important part of your work.

5) Proper handling of studio tools and equipment and correct safety and maintenance procedures are considered. Participation in studio maintenance and cleaning up are essential.

6) Participation in the critiques and the capability to verbalize ideas and concepts are also important components of your final grade.

A short quiz test dealing with the information on technical and historical issues discussed during the slide presentations and lectures.

Grading: Grading will be based on the following: Assignments/work are worth 60%, Quizzes 10%, Sketchbooks 10%, and attitude and class participation is 20% of your grade for the class. The final grade will be determined by an overall judgment of the professor.

A
All assignments done on time and meeting assignments criteria.
Attendance, participation, and attitude - excellent.
Artistic and technical development evident in work.
Exceptional creative energy.
Excellent ability to verbalize concepts and ideas, participation in critiques.
Extra hours in studio outside of class (8+ recommended).
Participation in studio maintenance and clean up, loading and firing of kilns, clay recycling.

B
All assignments done on time and meeting assignments criteria.
Attendance, participation, and attitude - good.
Artistic and technical development evident in work.
Good creative energy.
Good ability to verbalize concepts and ideas, participation in critiques.
6 extra hours in studio outside of class.
Participation in studio maintenance and clean up, loading and firing of kilns, clay recycling.

C
All assignments done on time and meeting assignments criteria.
Attendance, participation, and attitude - adequate.
Artistic and technical development evident in work.
Adequate creative energy.
Extra hours in studio outside of class.
Participation in maintenance and clean up of studio.

D
All assignments completed, but performed below average.
Completing too little or unsatisfactory work.
Poor attendance.

F
Did not meet enough requirements for the course to pass.

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