Topic outline

  • functional ceramics intensive

    This workshop will examine ideas of function in vessels intended for food and other purposes. Focusing on continuity and diversity within their designs, students will make objects, place settings and sets that create a visual and functional feast.  Making will include both the wheel and hand building techniques. Discussion and responses will be drawn from readings in Material Culture Theory, contemporary Craft Theory and Philosophy.  These readings seek to expand the foundation of ideas functional production may draw from. Assignments will be evaluated on execution, design, and creative solution.  There will be a written component and field trips required in this class.

    assignments may include:

    evocative objects

    pots not for food

    archaic set/modern design

    collaborative place settings - design and execution

    favorite foods

    • Course Readings

      Below are the readings for this course - subject to change

      • Assignment 1


        Due : February 4  -  in green ware state for critique

         Drawing your inspiration from your evocative object of choice, and the adjectives you associate with it, execute a minimum of 4 renditions of a ubiquitous tableware form – cup, bowl or plate. 


        • Choose one form – executed in four distinct ways
        • Consider the profiles of rims and feet; the surface – from the way the object is made, the way you handle the material all the way through to its final glazed conclusion
        • Your sketchbook should have notes and drawings referring to this process


        • Assignment 2

          SET ASSIGNMENT:    Archaic or Modern

          first run, research, ideas - presented Feb. 11

          Finished set due Feb. 25

          Your sets should consist of four pieces at least plus a tray or other unifying device.

          The sets/components listed here are only suggestions, not the only solution!

          Research could include library resources, contemporary design books and magazines, shops in town, catalogs like ikea

        • Assignment 3


          what is your favorite food –

          a. to make

          b. to eat out

          c. to share

          are they the same, what may the differences be?  How can the dishes you make for these meals or food items convey these differences?

          Choose one category from the above list and focus on service pieces or tableware for your food of choice.

          for Feb. 25 - a solid idea to present while in the van on the field trip

          March 4: prototypes due 

          March 11: project due (greenware)


          • Assignment 4

             POTS NOT FOR FOOD

            No, I don’t mean things that aren’t food safe, but whose function extends beyond food service.  

            We will brainstorm a bit in class.

            -focus on one of these functions/forms, consider making multiple connotations of your idea.  

            -complete source research and sketches - in your sketchbook

            March 11: be ready to present sketches as part of the all work crit

            April 1:  prototypes due

            April 15:  greenware deadline


            • evocative object writing assignment

              due April 29

            • Final Project

              FINAL PROJECT:

              Proposals due April 8

              finished work due during exams

              Focusing on the notion of table service – choose one of the following plans of attack:


              1.  look at one of your favorite objects you have made in the past

              - consider it objectively – looking at the formal characteristics give it a series of adjectives. 

              - now, find the words that would be the opposite to those adjectives

              - make a group of work attempting to embody the opposite of your favorite piece


              2.  In the creation of functional pottery, some purposes get ignored.  Revisiting the non-food pot assignment, consider building on the exploration of ‘not-for-food’ function and elaborate on that project


              3.  The shape of many pottery forms changes dependent on the food item. 

              Choosing a particular form – bowl, plate, cup etc., explore the various shapes they may take for specific foods.  This project will be evaluated for the thought put into the development of shape and consideration for the potential contents.


              4.  Chocolate, tea or coffee?  Serving pots and cups for these beverages have subtle differences and appear in society at various times.  Considering these intricacies and historical context explore these differences, or in the spirit of the ‘SET’ assignment contemporize a serving pot to serve a more ‘modern’ beverage – whatever that may be.

              • what do you see?