Arts & Sciences - Heritage and Fine Arts

Master Potter Certificate

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Participation in Program
The Master Potter Certificate is designed to give students the training and knowledge to open and operate their own studio based business in the field of ceramics. The certificate program consists of dedicated studio coursework as well as small business courses. Students must have successfully completed the core and electives for a total of 100 CEU’s in studio and business courses.

Students must successfully complete ALL of the following core courses (62 CEU’s):

  • Beginning Wheel I
  • Intermediate Wheel
  • Pottery Tool Making
  • Clay – Style Development
  • Ceramic Surfaces – Glaze Fabrication
  • At least 2 Ceramic Surfaces classes
  • At least 3 Firing technique classes
  • At least 6.0 CEU’s of Small Business Courses

Students may also select electives from the following (48 CEU’s):

  • ART 122 3-Dimensional Design
  • ART 283 Ceramics I
  • ART 284 Ceramics II
  • Any Clay classes, such as Handbuilding, Joined Vessels, etc.
  • Any Firing classes, such as Wood Firing, Raku, etc.
  • Any Ceramics Surfaces classes, such as Majollica, Liquid Clays, etc,
  • Any Clay Topics classes, such as Advanced Topics, Clay Containers, etc.

Please contact the program coordinator for any questions regarding the program or availability of classes.

Special Credit Students
With permission of the instructor and space permitting, students may register in classes without the intent of earning a certificate in the program. However to pass the course, they will subject to the same rigor as the certificate student.


Course Descriptions:

Clay - Beginning Wheel I: (7.2 CEU’s) This course introduces students to pottery making. They will learn to center up to 1.5 pounds of clay on a wheel, turn, trim, and glaze basic forms. Additional topics covered include throwing off the hump, the operation of a pottery studio, clay bodies, kiln loading and firing, basic pottery vocabulary, safety issues, along various firing techniques including oxidation, traditional raku, and horsehair

Clay – Beginning Wheel II: (7.2 CEU’s): Designed for the individual who’s only exposure to the wheel was in Beginning Wheel I, this course allows the student to continue to develop the all important centering and basic and throwing skills, increasing the production of finished pieces.

Clay - Intermediate Wheel: (7.2 CEU’s) This course covers the basic elements of designing and producing thrown pieces with an emphasis on increasing production, enhancing design, reducing clay waste; and wall/bottom thickness. Lidded vessels, surface decorations, the use of sketching to enhance design, and the use of the torch in throwing are introduced. At the conclusion of the course students should be able to center up to 6 pounds of clay, produce a variety of functional pieces including bowls, pots, plates, platters, casseroles, stemware, pitchers, and bottles; apply surface decorations, apply glazes, assist with the operation of an electric kiln including shelf maintenance, and use of the pug mill. Prerequisites: Completion of Beginning Wheel II or special permission from the instructor.

Clay – Handbuilding: (4.2 CEU’s) Students will concentrate on a variety of handbuilding techniques including pinch pots, coils, strips, slabs, extrusions, and chunks. Topics covered will clay bodies, bowls, vases, bottles, tiles, sculptures, handled items, jewelry, stamping, incising and a variety of glazing and firing techniques. At the conclusion of the course students will have completed a number of projects demonstrated proficiency in handbuilding.

Clay - Lidded Vessels: (4.2 CEU’s) During this course students will concentrate on lidded vessels with an emphasis on good design and production. Topics include sugar bowls, casseroles, lidded candy dishes, lidded canisters, lidded bottles, butter dishes, and teapots. The use of the extruder and slab roller will be incorporated into the design of items. At the conclusion of the course students will be proficient with at least four lid forms, including cutting lids from closed forms and the use of hand-building tools. In addition, students will have enhanced their surface finishing techniques including glazing. Prerequisites: Completion of Intermediate Wheel or special permission from instructor.

Clay – Joined Vessels: (4.2 CEU’s) This course will concentrate on the design and production of joined pieces including large footed pieces, large pitchers, stemware, teapots, and handled items. The use of the extruder and slab roller will be incorporated into the design of items. At the conclusion of the course students will be proficient in throwing a variety of joined pieces and utilization of handbuilding tools. In addition, students will have enhanced their surface finishing techniques including glazing. Prerequisites: Completion of Intermediate Wheel or special permission from instructor.

Clay – Distorted Vessels: (4.2 CEU’s) Students will concentrate on distorting the thrown vessels producing ovals, squares, and amorphous shapes from the thrown article. At the conclusion of the course students will have produced a variety of functional pieces which have taken on a secondary form from the original and enhanced the surface with a variety of glaze and finishing techniques. Prerequisites: Completion of Intermediate Wheel or special permission from instructor.

Ceramic Surfaces – Majollica: (4.2 CEU’s) Using an old Italian style of painting with glazes, students will enhance their sense of color and design of the surface in this course that focuses more on the surface than the article itself. Prerequisites: Completion of Beginning Wheel I or special permission from instructor.

Ceramic Surfaces – Altering: (4.2 CEU’s) During this course students will concentrate on a variety of techniques for enhancing the ceramic surface. These include cutting, carving, surface expansion, faceting, piercing, sprigging, stamp making, stamping, paddling, and cracking. At the conclusion of the course students will have a body of work which demonstrates knowledge of a wide variety of surfacing techniques. Prerequisites: Completion of Intermediate Wheel or special permission from instructor.

Ceramic Surfaces – Liquid Clays: (4.2 CEU’s) Students will learn the use and application of several liquid clays including terra sigillatas, slips and engobes, mocha diffusions, casting slips, Egyptian paste, naturally colored clays, neriage and nerikomi. At the conclusion of the course students will have produced a body of work that demonstrates mastery of the use of a variety of liquid clays as decorations to the ceramic surface. Prerequisites: Completion of Intermediate Wheel or special permission from instructor.

Ceramic Surfaces – Glaze Fabrication: (4.2 CEU’s) The fabrication of a variety of glazes for use on a variety of clay bodies will be the focus of this course. Particular emphasis will be placed on safety and function. At the conclusion of the course students will have produced a body of work that demonstrates mastery of developing, mixing, and firing custom made glazes. Prerequisites: Completion of Intermediate Wheel or special permission from instructor.

Ceramic Surfaces – Brushing, Trailing and Soft Stamps: (4.2 CEU’s) During this course students will learn a variety of glaze application techniques including brushing, dotting, resisting, banding, use of crayons, screening techniques, ceramic pencils, and underglaze pens. At the conclusion of the course students will have produced a body of work that demonstrates mastery of a variety of glaze surface techniques. Prerequisites: Completion of Intermediate Wheel or special permission from instructor.

Ceramic Surfaces – Spraying: (4.2 CEU’s) Students will learn the use of airbrushes and spray guns for the application of glazes and underglazes with particular attention to safety during application. At the conclusion of the course students will have produced a body of work that demonstrates mastery of a variety of spraying techniques. Prerequisites: Completion of Intermediate Wheel or special permission from instructor.

Firing – Beginning Raku: (4.2 CEU’s) Producing items for raku firing, developing raku glazes, applying raku glazes, building a raku kiln, firing, and safety will be the focus of this course. Prerequisites: Completion of Intermediate Wheel or special permission from instructor.

Firing – Advanced Raku: (4.2 CEU’s) During this course, students will concentrate on finishing and surface techniques, post-firing techniques, and be introduced to raku jewelry. Upon completion of the course students should have produced a body of work that demonstrates technique, form, and design. Prerequisites: Completion of Beginning raku or special permission from instructor.

Firing - Horsehair & Pit Firing: (4.2 CEU’s) Students will concentrate on the design, production, and finishing of a variety of non-functional horsehair items and construction and use of pit kiln. Topics will include form, terra sigillatas, pit fire kiln construction, firing, and application techniques. At the conclusion of the course students will have a body of work that demonstrates mastery of the technique. Prerequisites: Completion of Intermediate Wheel or special permission from instructor.

Firing - Wood Firing: (4.2 CEU’s) During this course students will concentrate on fabrication of pieces, their glazing, and firing in a wood fire kiln as well as in construction and models of the wood fire kiln. At the conclusion of the course students will have produced a body of work that demonstrates mastery of wood firing. Prerequisites: Completion of Intermediate Wheel or special permission from instructor.

Firing – Salt/Soda Firing: (4.2 CEU’s) During this course students will concentrate on fabrication of pieces, their glazing, and firing with the use of salt, soda, and other additives to the kiln. At the conclusion of the course students will have produced a body of work that demonstrates mastery of salt and soda firing. Prerequisites: Completion of Intermediate Wheel or special permission from instructor.

Pottery Tool Making: (4.2 CEU’s) The design and construction of simple tools for use in the studio, including wedging tables, cut-off tables and wires, extruders, hand tools, and kiln furniture will be the focus of this course. Emphasis will be placed on skills and use of the tools, materials, and construction. Upon completion of the course students will have constructed a variety of tools.

Clay – Special Topics: (Various CEU’s) From time to time guest artists will demonstrate and lecture in areas of their expertise. As a result, students will be exposed to a variety of clay artists from across the country.

Clay Design – Special Studies: (7.2 CEU’s) This course provides a format for students to explore personal interests in clay design with the assistance, guidance, and approval of the instructor. Upon completion of the course students will have completed a body of work as specified in the student-instructor – designed contractual agreement. Prerequisites: Special permission from instructor.

Clay – Style Development (Festival Planning, Execution & Participation): (7.2 CEU’s) This class will give the intermediate and advanced student an opportunity to plan, develop and participate in a pottery festival. Students will be expected to engage in self directed work in creating a body of work to sale and present. Emphasis will be place on quality, clean work and a high level of surface decorations, glazing and firing techniques. Cost of materials not included. Prerequisites: Beginning & Intermediate Wheel and Instructor's Permission.

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