Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Pop Persuaders Project

This is an assignment meant to develop your skills of observation and replication. It is also meant to introduce and refine the primary techniques of working with ceramics. For this assignment you are to begin by wondering down the aisles of your favorite food emporium. Admire the graphic nature of the various products that vie for your attention and try to lure you to consume. What are the various tricks and techniques of design being used to capture the next unknowing victim of consumption? How does scale, color, line, texture, and volume inform the message of the product.

Next you are to watch the PBS Frontline program The Persuaders

Next return to the aisles and choose a particular common food product that best suits your fancy and desire. You will now carefully dissect the packaging and record all relevant dimensions. Scan the packaging and scale the design so that at least one of the products dimensions is now 12 inches long. From this point on you are charged to reproduce exactly the original product so that it will fit into a 12 inch cube of space. You are to construct a volumetric form that recreates the original product and you will then develop the exact graphic imagery.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


In addition to a sketchbook, you should acquire the following materials:

rubber ribs (one small, one large)
serrated rib – or a fork
metal rib
small, round throwing sponge
needle tool
fettling knife
sgraffito tools (optional)
calipers (optional)


a 12’’ ruler
metal fork
large sponge (the type used to wash cars)
plastic pail or 5 quart mixing bucket
paint brushes in a variety of sizes (cheap ones)
wide bamboo brush
plastic putty knife/scraper (3’’ wide)
spray bottle (reuse on old bottle, like Windex)
old glue bottles
combination lock for locker
plastic trash bags-something durable
masking tape
sandpaper or sanding sponge


Upon completion of Creating Ceramics you should be able to demonstrate the following:

-An understanding of the different ways to build and model.
-An ability to create small and large works out of clay.
-An understanding of the technical processes of clay.
-Proficiency with methods of decorating earthenware.
-Increased visual awareness and ceramic literacy.

Blog Description

I am only a student. I am taking my first ceramics course and hope this blog will enhance this experience. I know there will lumps and bumps along the way, but I am willing to give my best effort and make this introduction to clay a great one. I appreciate and welcome any tips, tricks and advice more experienced potters may have to offer. I hope the information that I research will help others explore and develop an appreciation for this exciting medium.

This blog will attempt to provide an introduction into hand forming and the technical processes of working with clay. It will explore hand building with terracotta as a way to make both functional and expressive works out of clay. We will work through many different building methods, such as coiling, pinching, slab building, and the use of molds. This blog will also focus on different methods of decorating and glazing earthenware. No prior ceramic experience is needed for this blog (as I have none either!). Open-mindedness, a willingness to experiment with different techniques and materials, and a desire to work with clay are necessary.