Ms. Jan Chambers » Ceramics Unit

Ceramics Unit

Ceramics Unit

COURSE TITLE:                      Ceramics and Sculpture


LENGTH OF COURSE:           One year (10 credits)


GRADE LEVEL:                       9  - 12





This course is a technical and aesthetic exploration of 3-dimensional design through the mediums of clay, plaster, stone, wood, plastic, and fiber.  The course will also include 2-dimensional basic drawing and layout skills.   The student will participate in a wide range of experiences using additive or subtractive sculpture techniques, designed to build artistic and creative confidence.   The products created in this course may serve as functional items or fine art works.   This class will meet the VAPA requirement for entrance to the CSU system.




Unit I  - Introduction to Sculpture and Ceramics

  1. State documents
  2. State Framework
  3. State challenge standards
  4. Class structure and room management, and safety
  5. Effective art studio procedures, defined student expectations, and student responsibilities
  6. Location of tools, materials and storage
  7. Tool care and proper usage
  8. Effective time management skills
  9. Safety concerns:  Students will not be allowed to use tools and equipment until they recite and continuously demonstrate safe and proper use of all materials and equipment


Unit II - Aesthetic Valuing

  1. Art elements and principles of design
  2. Styles of art
  3. When is it art?/when is it craft?
  4. Symbols, signs, and icons used as expressions in visual forms unique to the arts


Unit III  - Creative Expression   

  1. Basic drawing and layout
  2. Template making
  3. Simple perspective
  4. Clay as a medium for sculpture
  5. The ceramic process
  6. Preparing the clay
  7. Forming the clay
  8. Physical properties of clay and glaze
  9. Drying and bisque firing
  10. Glazing and glaze firing
  11. Hand building
  12. Pinch
  13. Coil
  14. Slab
  15. Found mold and mold making
  16. The clay extruder
  17. Wheel throwing
  18. Wheel throwing techniques
  19. Trimming a footer
  20. Care and clean-up of the potters wheel
  21. Surface design
  22. Texture as design  -  impressed, carved, added clay
  23. Underglaze usage
  24. Glaze oxides, glaze composition, application, and glaze usage
  25. Firing
  26. Clay transition  -  greenware to bisqueware, bisqueware to


  1. Kiln room organization
  2. Kiln types
  3. Loading and firing schedule for a bisque firing
  4. Loading and firing schedule for a glaze firing
  5. Exhibition
  6. Display techniques
  7. Career Exploration
  8. Studio potter
  9. Ceramics in industry
  10. Role ceramics has served throughout the ages
  11. Modern uses and technology
  1. Sculpture with other materials
  2. Wire
  3. Polyform and other plastics
  4. Papier-mache
  5. Wood
  6. Stone
  7. Found objects
  8. Current sculpture mediums
  9. Fibers
  10. Plaster gauze


Unit IV -  Art Heritage - History and Cultural Context.

  1. Focus on contemporary art movements of the 20th century
  2. Compare and contrast art styles from a variety of times and places.
  3. Common visual themes used across time and throughout various cultures.

Unit V - Aesthetic Valuing

  1. Describe works in appropriate terms
  2. Analyze art works in terms of art elements and design principles
  3. Identify sensory qualities
  4. Identify Expressive qualities
  5. Recognize the technical processes
  6. Identify the style and period of Art viewed 
  7. Composition, analysis, and interpretation
  8. Discuss the differences between sign, symbol, and metaphor as they relate to the visual arts and aesthetic perception.
  9. Describe the differences between sign, symbol, and metaphor as they relate to the visual arts and aesthetic perception.
  10. Demonstrate the qualities of various visual art media while acquiring techniques for controlling media for expressive purposes.
  11. Utilize visual elements to create a sense of static or dynamic balance, unity, dominance, and implied movement and rhythm.
  12. Create images and forms in visual art media which range from realistic to nonobjective
  13. Identify schools, traditions, and forms, or idiomatic styles associated with particular works of art history and cultural context.
  14. Identify visual art works associated with different cultures and describe how they function to express particular ideas, philosophies, religious beliefs or conventions.
  15. Describe properties in one’s own works, the work of others, and establish visual works of art.
  16. Evaluate works of visual art in relation to:  how well media are controlled; how well the organization translates into pleasurable feelings; the extent to which the art creates a vivid impression, message, or emotive mood.


Unit  VI - Connections, Relations, Applications

  1. Creation of works of their own design
  2. Development of personal quality standard
  3. Time management
  4. Collaborative learning in studio atmosphere
  5. Gallery and critiques
  6. Occupational and work related applications of visual artists
  7. Open exchange of ideas
  8. Participate in a group project



  1. Classroom participation, demeanor, and utilization of time management skills
  2. Written and verbal tests
  3. Critique by instructors and peers
  4. Portfolios
  5. Participation in public display
  6. Verbal and written reflections
  7. Effective use and completion of assignment rubrics