• Ceramics I


    Mary M. Ainsworth

    Madison Central High School


    This course is intended for those studying ceramics for the first time and is a comprehensive introduction to the craft of clay working. The primary emphasis is on studio work leading to a portfolio of finished pieces by the end of the semester. In addition to demonstrations of technique and technical assignments, you should take a field trip to view historic and contemporary examples of fine ceramic art. Periodically throughout the term, I will show slides or films to help illustrate what you are learning.

    The main goal of this course is that you will be able to create as well as appreciate expressive, beautiful three dimensional clay forms. You will have an understanding of other cultures and periods of human expression in clay and finally you will begin to be proficient at forming clay objects yourself.


    Topics this semester will include:

    -Introduction to clay the material... where it comes from, how it was formed, how it is gathered, early methods for forming clay objects, pinching and coiling.

    -How sculpture is made with clay, slab construction, extrusion, tile making and slip casting.

    -Glazing: The function of glazes and how they are made up... simple glaze testing... proper application, health and safety.

    -The main emphasis will be on your work, your growth in the medium, your ability to create expressive, unified and cohesive three dimensional forms in clay.


    $30 Materials fee is required for this class.

    You will need to bring two rolls of paper towels.

    You will need certain items in class everyday such as:

                Sketchbook (Spiral is less likely to fall apart)


                (Optional)An apron or shirt (Ceramics can be very messy at times)


    -Creativity, craftsmanship, composition, effort, and following instructions of all work.

    -Progress and completion of studio work.

    -Quizzes and/or homework assignments.

    Grades are on a percentage which is as follows:

    34%- Daily- participation, do-now’s, care of art materials, homework, art journal/sketchbook and being prepared.

    66%- Test- projects, critiques, and various assignments.

    20%- Written final exam. Exemptions will follow MCHS handbook.

    Classroom procedures:


    All rules in the MCHS handbook apply in this classroom!

    Pay close attention to:

                -Dress Code

              Use the art room with care!!!

                -Clean up before you leave.

    -Make sure all tools are put back in their designated place before leaving the   classroom.

    -Make sure your work area is neat and clean before you leave the classroom.

    ***This can count against you if it is not done daily***

    Art Journal/Sketchbook Assignments

                -Do Now’s


                       -Thumbnail Sketches

                       -Various Assignments


    Ceramic I Outline


              -Origami Shapes-

              -Intro to Ceramics

                     Tools and Terms

             -Rolled Paper Sculpture-


              -Pinch Pot- Pumpkin-

               -Pinch Pot-Fish

              -Coil Pot- Small Bowl-


              -Coil Pot- Vase

              -Slab- Textured Tea Cup-


               -Slab- Textured/Sculptural Box

               -Slab-Winter Tree-


              -Slab-Tile or Sgraffito