CCOG for ART 255 Summer 2024

Course Number:
ART 255
Course Title:
Ceramics Wheel Throwing
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:

Course Description

Explores ceramics work through research of techniques, stages, and concepts related to the ceramic process, with a focus on the use of the potter's wheel. Investigates problem solving skills while exploring the relationship between form and function in ceramic art making. Analyzes ceramic work through critiques and research, by exploring its role in our daily lives, in human culture throughout history, and by addressing issues in the contemporary ceramic art world. This course is part of a sequence that includes ART 253A, ART 254, ART 255, ART 256A, and ART 257. Prerequisites: ART 253A or instructor permission. Audit available.

Addendum to Course Description

This is a follow up course to ART 253A. Students who have identified an interest in exploring the creative process in the context of the potter's wheel will have the opportunity to practice and develop their knowledge and skills in this medium. 

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon completion of the course students should be able to:

  • Address functional and aesthetic issues of various ceramic forms, created primarily by the use of the potter's wheel.
  • Apply knowledge and skills in the various steps of the ceramic process to create well-crafted works of art.
  • Ask relevant questions, identify ideas and issues, and utilize ceramic vocabulary to actively participate in a critical dialogue about ceramics with others.
  • Create personally expressive works in clay, and evaluate their relationship to historical and contemporary ceramics.
  • Conform to all studio safety protocols, as well as consideration for the environment and community impact.

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

  • Produce a portfolio of creative work that expresses the student's ideas and aesthetic sense.

  • Acquire a heightened appreciation for ceramics and for the importance of art to culture. 

Course Activities and Design

Primary course activities include: Instructor lectures and demonstrations on concepts and techniques, 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:

  • Create expressive ceramic pieces, employing good craft, in timely response to assignment challenges and prompts. 

  • Participate in classroom activities, including group critiques, class discussions, alternative firings, glaze testing etc, and follow all safety and cleanliness guidelines.

  • Develop ideas, concepts, and ceramics vocabulary through research and practice, (sketchbook, journal, written assignment, maquettes, experimentation and play).

  • Demonstrate consideration for responsible making (i.e. respect for the classroom community, studio safety protocols, and environment impact).

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)


  • Visual communication

  • Contextual Awareness


  • Form and Aesthetic considerations

  • Function/Non-functional, Content, Meaning

  • Craft, Skill Building, Discipline, Technique and Material Choices


  • Process and Materials; limitations and possibilities

  • Personal expression

  • Audience/Intent

  • Safe Studio Practices

  • Scale


  • Clay preparation

  • Wheel throwing skills – centering, opening, pulling up the walls

  • Trimming

  • Glazing

  • Alternative firing processes

  • Surface treatment – carving, engobes, stamps

  • Mark making – stains & underglazes

  • Understanding aesthetic choices

  • Critique and self-reflection strategies