Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Course Number:
ART 256B
Course Title:
Ceramics II
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Introduces middle-advanced level ceramics processes, techniques, and concepts while addressing historical and contemporary issues. Develop a middle-advanced level of creative problem solving and kinetic skills with clay forming and finishing techniques, including hand building, wheel throwing, use of plaster molds, and surface treatments. Includes critiques, discussions, and presentations to establish critical skills necessary to evaluate ceramic works, explore artistic intent, examine aesthetic and structural solutions and expand perceptual awareness. This is the second course of a three-course sequence. Prerequisites: ART 256 or ART 256A or instructor permission. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Students will be able to:

  • Research and develop middle-advanced level creative ways to solve ceramic process problems using a variety of strategies for making ceramics.
  • Create personal ceramic artwork, which demonstrates a middle advanced level of ideas, processes, materials, and techniques associated with hand building and wheel throwing processes.
  • Ask meaningful questions, identify ideas and issues, and be able to actively participate in a critical dialogue about ceramics with others using middle-advanced level vocabulary.
  • Understand, interpret, and appreciate ceramics of the past and the present from different cultures to initiate a lifelong process of expanding knowledge on the diversity of perspectives in the human experience.
  • Develop, through the experience of making and studying ceramics, an awareness of the relationship of human beings to the physical world, and our positive and negative impact.
  • Employ self-critiquing skills to demonstrate autonomous expression in ceramics, while recognizing the standards and definitions already established by both contemporary and historical works of art from different cultures.
  • Develop a somewhat cohesive body of artwork that is presentable to galleries, school programs, art organizations and to professional artists.

Course Activities and Design

  1. Create ceramic works that demonstrate the experience of a variety of technical skills, coupled with an awareness of the inherent characteristics of
    different ceramic processes.
  2. Build upon current skill sets with the intent of working towards a professional proficiency.
  3. Practice safe studio practices in regards to the handling of tools, chemicals and machinery within a communal studio space.
  4. Utilize the necessary vocabulary specific to ceramics when participating in class critiques and discussions.
  5. Assess and self-critique personal work to strategize creative solutions.
  6. Develop personal work with an awareness of historical and contemporary artists working in ceramics.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

  • Complete and present individual work within a professional studio critique.
  • Understand the vocabulary and concepts necessary to engage within a studio environment.
  • Demonstrate appropriate techniques in middle-advanced level ceramics and studio habits beyond the classroom studio.
  • Demonstrate ability to meet deadlines with proper time management and craftsmanship.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

  1. Visual awareness and ability to see.
  2. Methodologies for designing and creating a ceramic work, which may include hand building and wheel throwing techniques, and the use of plaster molds.
  3. Challenges of translating vision to form specific to ceramics.
  4. Language of ceramics and the qualities that distinguish it from other three-dimensional media.
  5. Ceramics in history.
  6. Options and possibilities for original work.
  7. Evaluating ceramics.
  8. Safety.
  9. Environmental concerns related to proper recycling or disposal of waste.
  10. Non-traditional media and combined techniques (e.g., paint, metal, wood, glass).


  1. Demonstrate ability to successfully create personally directed ceramic
  2. Investigate process and alternative solutions for creating complex
  3. Demonstrate sound glazing techniques such as dip, dunk, pouring,
    sponging, brushing and spraying that is appropriate for the body of work.
  4. Demonstrate familiarity with historical styles by comparing ceramic
    works to those of other periods.