Ceramics / Intermediate Handbuilding for Function
This course expands upon basic hand building skills by introducing more complex applications of techniques and surface treatments as they specifically relate to making functional objects. Students in this class will learn to use a variety of ceramic production methods including; modeling, coil and slab building, extruding, press and slump molding, slip trailing, sprig and stamp molds and glaze decoration. The focus in this class is on the design of functional objects and ceramic forming methods. This class will serve as a platform for exploring product design methodologies used to research, design and develop tabletop wares and functional objets d'art.
Learning Outcomes and Assessable Skills
- Confidence in your own abilities to create a new work.
- Competence with a set of tools and methods for functional design and development.
- Awareness of the importance for designer / makers to coordinate multiple, interdisciplinary tasks to achieve a coherent design objective.
- Reinforcement of craft knowledge and design thinking methods through practice and reflection.
- An understanding of clay and glaze preparation and application - proper use of the glaze room.
- An understanding of firing processes and the effects of different kiln temperatures and atmospheres.
Greenwich House Pottery
16 Jones St, 3rd floor back room, New York, NY 10014
January 06, 2017- March 24, 2017
Meets Fridays from 10:00 AM-1:00 PM EDT
The first portion of each class session will generally include demonstrations and discussion format.
The second half will generally be used for project work and one-on-one consultations.
Students are invited to develop an independent project of their own design, which incorporates considerations of functional utility. Using design research methods we can explore not only how we make functional ceramic wares but also what, where and why we make them and who we are making them for. Your challenge is to design a new functional work and produce a prototype version of it. The goal of this exercise is to simultaneously challenge our selves with ceramic making methods and learn about the principles and methods of product design.
Recommended Reading and Resources
- The Design of Everyday Things, by Don Norman (revised edition, MIT Press, 2014) discusses excellent and poor examples of product designs and provides principles and guidelines for effective design.
- Product Design and Development, (6th edition, 2015), written by Profs. Ulrich and Eppinger
- cfileonline.org Ceramics online magazine
- ceramicartsdaily.org is a ceramics community site with shared tips, techniques and essays.
- Presentation: Hand of the Maker, Design on Purpose PDF
- Functional Pottery, Form and Aesthetic in Pots of Purpose, by Robin Hopper, Krause Publications; 2nd edition, 2000
Weekly Schedule of Activities
1 Orientation, course logistics.
Project kick off: we will discuss the methods and processes used for product development as well as important questions for us to consider such as who, what, when, where, why and how will our designs be used.
• Demo wedging, slab, slab roller, paper maquettes
• Materials exploration and states of clay
2 Creating a collection. Discuss design proposals, considering form, function, context and complimentary materials.
• Demo pinch pot and extruder, coil, paper maquettes redux, feet
• Begin design research, explore forms and techniques
3 Review design research and sketches, discuss form and function
• Demo modeling and coil surface decoration.
• Begin maquette explorations, explore forming techniques
4 Discuss kiln types, firing atmospheres and cones
• Demo slump and drape molds
• Project development
5 Surface texture and design.
• Demo applique, sprig and stamp molds
6 Color in clay
• Demo stains, oxides, agateware
7 Surface color and design
• Demo slip, engobe, terra sigillata and sgraffito
8 Surface glaze color, texture and types; food safe glazes
• Demo glaze application methods, brush, wax resist, dip, pour, spray…
9 Surface under-glazes
• Demo mason stain painting
• Demo majolica glaze painting
11 Surface over-glazes, luster-glazes, decals
• Demo decal application
12 For our final class we will take some time to look at and discuss our projects. We will also have an opportunity to document our work and take time to put our wares to use and break bread together.
• Looking, assessing, and photographing our work.
Methods & Movies
Sasaki Sensei from 松楽 (Shoraku www.kiraigama.com) in Kameoka, grants us the amazing privilege of showing all the steps needed in order to create a japanese black raku tea bowl.
Slab forming sculptural vessel by Jerilyn Virden.
Terra sigillata is an ultrarefined clay slip that can give a soft sheen when applied to bone-dry wares and, if polished or burnished while still damp, may give a high gloss. more
A short video demonstrating the use of paper or plastic templates used to support clay slab vessel forms.
A film by the potter Hsin-Chuen Lin, demonstrating spiral wedging, a technique used to prepare clay and remove air bubbles before you begin to throw or form with in.
Makers & Designers
- Anne Black
- Astier de Villatte
- Atelier NL
- Bethan Laura Wood
- Carola Zee
- CJ O'Neill
- Coe and Waito
- Cul de sac
- Droog Design
- Eva Zeisel
- Flemming Tvede Hansen
- Geoffrey Mann
- Heath Ceramics
- Heirloom Home and Studio
- Hella Jongerius
- Jamie Hayon
- Joana Meroz
- Jonathan Adler
- Judith Van den Boom
- Latitude 22N
- Maarten Baas
- Marcel Wanders
- Marek Cecula
- Ole Jensen
- Piet Stockmans
- Robert Dawson
- Russell Wright
- Signe Persson-Melin
- Sori Yanagi
- Stig Lindberg
- Ted Muehling
- Teresa Chang
- Tord Boontje
- Lilly Zuckerman
Museums and Galleries
- ASU Art Museum
- Blair Museum of Lithophanes
- Bowes Museum
- British Museum
- Chipstone Foundation
- Fitzwilliam Museum
- Gardiner Museum
- International Ceramic Directory
- Laitman Documentation Project
- Leach Pottery
- Metropolitan Museum Collections Online
- Minneapolis Institute of Arts
- Museum of London
- Museum of Art and Design
- Museum of Oriental Ceramics
- National Gallery of Art
- Nymphenburg Porcelain
- Ohr O'Keefe Museum of Art
- Rosenfield Collection
- Schein-Joseph Museum of Ceramic Art
- Smithsonian Renwick Gallery
- Spode Museum
- The Beazley Archive
- Victoria and Albert Museum
- Wedgwood Museum
- Western Clay Brick
- White House Collection of Ceramics
Faculty: Andrew Robinson
Andrew spent the better part of his youth growing up in a pottery as a young apprentice. He went on receive his BFA in ceramics at the Maryland Institute College of Art and the Glasgow School of Art, Scotland. He received an MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. He has taught and done projects with the Craft Students’ League, Parsons School of Design, Columbia University, Cooper Union and Greenwich House Pottery. He is the principle of the Arts and Crafts Research Studio acrStudio.com, an interdisciplinary studio specializing in independent and collaborative work at the cusp of art, craft and design. He exhibits extensively in the United States and he was a featured artist at the United Kingdom’s Crafts Council in London. His art has brought him to work on collaborations and exhibitions in England, Scotland, India, Haiti, Dominican Republic and across the United States. He lives and works in New York City.
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