Description of Assignments


The assignments in this class will be bother physical and textual.  Over the course of the semester each student will create three objects from clay as well as write three analyses of clay objects (different than those created by the student.)  The course will also involve a final project which, in consultation with the professors, can be any combination of created or written work within the general themes of the course.  See below for more complete descriptions of each type of essay.


Assignments Due Date  Percent 
Participation NA 25%
First Object Description        Sept. 14 NA
Second Object Description (Ancient or Modern) Oct. 3 15%
Third Object Description (Ancient or Modern) Nov. 2 15%
Physical Objects (three objects - 6.6% each)
     Eating Object
     Ritual Object
     Decal Object

Sept. 28
Nov. 7
Nov. 16
Final Project Dec. 7 25%

Description of Object Essays:

These essays (three) will be an opportunity for you to practice one of the core skills to be learned in this course.  The essays will focus on a particular ceramic object that you will "read" in its context - how it gets used, what symbolic meaning it holds for the user, why it was produced, etc.  This is a skill that will be covered in the reading and that we will be practicing in the discussions with a variety of variations, including, how do we read ritual objects?  How do archeologists read ceramic objects?  How do we read consumer objects today?  Your essays will be about objects you choose, but one should be a contemporary object and the other, an object far removed from you in time.  (If you're not sure if an object you'd like to write about is sufficiently removed in time, feel free to ask us.)  While the final length for the essays is quite flexible and depends to a large degree on the object, a good goal will be around 1000 words for each essay.

Physical Objects:

OBJECT 1 :  Food Storage and Ancient Practice

Using basic pinch an coil techniques, you will make an object useful for food consumption or storage.  Elaboration of your object may be based on mark making and decoration found in period works from around the globe.  
We will be firing these objects collectively in a barrel/sawdust firing.

OBJECT 2 :  Ritual Object

Using funerary objects, tomb figures or other ritul objects introduced in class as a guide you will own personal figure or vessel to be used in a ritual practice - either real or imagined.  

OBJECT 3 : Decalomania Propaganda

Using Russian porcelain motifs as a guide you will develop your own set of images to be laser printed (sepia toned) and applied to commercial dinnerware (2 plates per person).  Images and text should reflect  personal or current contemporary subject matter.   Some color may be possible using china paints.


Final Project:

Because this is an interdisciplinary course, we encourage you to think creatively about what final project you would like to pursue.  The project can incorporate any of the topics covered in the course (Eating, Economics, Ritual, Consumption, etc.) and can be any combination of written and creative work (although we encourage at least a small portion to be written work).  Due to the flexible nature of this assignment, there will not be specific guidelines, but rather you should consult with one or both of us as your plans develop to determine if your plans will fulfill the requirements of the course.

Last modified: Wednesday, August 29, 2012, 3:06 PM