Play in Clay Hand Building Course

Play in Clay - Hand Building


Example of a student hand buildingCourse Goals

The purpose of this class is to develop an understanding of ceramic art.  The functions of clay and its endless possibilities will be explored in hand building.  By the end of the course the student should be able to execute the different hand building methods.

Course Objectives

The student will demonstrate skills of pottery hand building, craftsmanship, proper management and clean up of equipment.

A. Pinch Forms
B. Coil Forms
C. Slab Forms
D. Lidded Forms
E. Handles
F. Bas Relief and Textures
G. Hump and Slump Molds
H. Application of a Glaze to Bisque Ware
I.   Application of Oxides to Glazed Ware


Mode of Instruction

(Assignments are subject to change by the Professor at any time.)
(All projects and ideas must be pre-approved by the Professor.)

A.  Lecture Topic - the history and physical characteristics of clay.

Professor will do clay demonstrations.   The student will make 12 pinch or slab forms, using 2 lbs. of clay.  These forms will be used as test pots in high fire glazing.  (Stoneware) Experimental project in clay-pushing, pounding, bending, experimenting with movement and the feel of clay. [Two-week assignment]

1. Twelve test pots for high fire glaze. (Stoneware)

B.  Lecture Topic - what is a glaze, methods of glazing, kiln firing and management, and sumi brush strokes.

C. Professor will demonstrate pinch forms

First project - the student will join pinch forms together to create the following:

1. Two animals (1 alive, 1 dead)

2. Two pinch forms—functional, vase, bottle, tea bowl, mug, etc.

3. Two covered forms

4. Two sculptures using the pinch method. [4-week assignment]

All pinch forms must be at least 6 inches in height.

D. Professor will demonstrate the coil method.  Second project:

The student will make one closed form 18” in height, OR
one open   First the student will make a small coil form (8” to 10”), to work out any technical problems.  8” to 10”  [4-week assignment]

E. Professor will demonstrate the use of slab construction and the making of handles.

Third project:

1. The student will make 5 cylinders, connecting them together in any way to create a 3-dimensional design.

2. One free form—a feeling of light and airiness

3. One box form expanded and transformed through the creative process

4. Eight drinking vessels with handles. [3-week assignment]