CCOG for ART 253A Summer 2024

Course Number:
ART 253A
Course Title:
Ceramics I
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:

Course Description

Introduces ceramics through hands-on making and critiques. Explores beginning-level ceramic processes, techniques, and concepts while addressing cultural, historical, and contemporary issues. Investigates beginning-level creative problem solving and kinetic skills for clay forming and finishing techniques, including hand building, wheel throwing, and surface treatments. This is the prerequisite course for all other Ceramics course offerings and is foundational for students who identified an interest in further exploration in the ceramic arts. Recommended: ART 117. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon completion of the course students should be able to:

  • Create works in clay that demonstrate an understanding of the materials, tools, techniques and processes in ceramics.
  • Utilize safe practices surrounding silica dust and other hazardous ceramic materials in the studio.
  • Identify relevant questions, ideas, concepts and issues pertaining to the ceramic arts while using appropriate ceramic vocabulary.
  • Investigate personal and cultural themes through the making of ceramic works of art.
  • Evaluate the quality of personal work as it pertains to the practices and standards of ceramics.

Integrative Learning

Students completing an associate degree at Portland Community College will be able to reflect on one’s work or competencies to make connections between course content and lived experience.

General education philosophy statement

The study of Visual Arts is essential to the development of the individual and one’s meaningful participation in society. At the heart of artistic practice is the ability to organize experience and recognize its meaning. The creation of artwork and appreciation of aesthetics is a source of great pleasure and also a valuable means to effective visual communication. Participating in Visual Arts is an important way for individuals to connect to the past and respond to the present with a stronger sense of engagement with culture and society.

Aspirational Goals

Acquire a heightened appreciation for ceramics and for the importance of art to culture.  A life-long curiosity to discover art through art making and/or regular visits to shops, galleries, and museums.

Course Activities and Design

Primary course activities include: Technical and material demonstrations, lectures, group critiques, one-on-one instruction and feedback to students, in-class project work time, and open lab outside of class-time.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Students will do the following in order to be assessed:

  • Make creative and well-crafted ceramic responses to assignment challenges and prompts using various clay working techniques, ceramic materials, and tools.
  • Apply analysis of ceramic ideas, techniques, and issues through participation in formal critiques and discussions while using appropriate ceramic vocabulary.

  • Explore conceptual ideas through the practice of creative research and preparatory studies (e.g. sketchbooks, journals, maquettes, models, writing assignments, presentations, technical practice tests, etc.).

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)


  •      Visual communication
  •      Contextual awareness


  •      Form and aesthetic considerations
  •      Purpose (such as function, content, or meaning)
  •      Craft, skill building, technique, style, and material choices


  •      Safe studio practices
  •      Processes and material science, including their potential and limitations
  •      Personal expression
  •      Audience


  •      Wedging
  •      Wheel throwing
  •      Hand building
  •      Scoring and slipping
  •      Glaze application
  •      Ideation strategies (e.g. models, sketches, studies, journal writing, collage, etc.)
  •      Critique and self-reflection strategies