CHEM 12
The Practice and Processes of Making Pottery Winter 2023

Class Details

This course will introduce students to creative methods of working with clay and glazes to create functional pottery, and to the materials and processes of ceramics. Classes will take place in a working Williamstown pottery studio with potter’s wheels and space for hand-building and discussions. Studio lessons are designed to stimulate creativity and discovery. Instruction and projects will be tailored to each student’s interests, experiences, and abilities. Students will be encouraged to consider how value and beauty can be found in that which is incomplete, impermanent, and/or imperfect. Genuineness and authenticity will be encouraged and valued. We will learn about the origins and properties of clay and glaze materials and about how combinations of materials and the high temperature processes result in mature clay bodies and glazes. We will study the major components of glazes and how the manipulation of these materials changes how glazes appear and function. Evaluation for this course will include a final project, and the critical review of the same. Assessment will take place during individual discussion with the instructor during the construction and finishing processes and in a structured, group critique where finished work will be evaluated by all members of the class through a group discussion led by the instructor. No previous experience is necessary. The only prerequisite for this course is an honest interest in learning about the making and chemistry of pottery. Studio time will likely be afternoons and early evenings, with an optional weekend session to accommodate schedules. Class time is about 12 hours weekly, and may include some outside of class reading and other assignments.
The Class: Format: lecture
Limit: 10
Expected: NA
Class#: 1067
Grading: pass/fail only
Requirements/Evaluation: final project or presentation
Prerequisites: None; no pottery making experience or science background are necessary; students are encouraged to submit a brief description of their interest in participating
Enrollment Preferences: Level of enthusiasm for learning the craft, materials, and processes of pottery
Unit Notes: Tim Duncan has been making pottery for over 30 years. He teaches in a home studio that accommodates up to 10 students, and focuses on creating lessons that stimulate creativity and discovery.
Materials/Lab Fee: $130
Attributes: EXPE Experiential Education Courses
SLFX Winter Study Self-Expression

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