Colorado Mesa University

Course Syllabus Spring 2012

Course name:  Workshop III: Intermediate Throwing            

Course number:          ARTS 342             Room: FA 111

Hours:             9:00-11:15 a.m. MW   Semester credit hours: 3

Textbook:              Mesa State College Ceramic Shop Notes (Required)

                             Hands in Clay by John Toki (Optional, but recommended)

MSC Shop Notes are available for purchase for $5.00 from the Art Desk on the 2nd floor of the Art Building.  Hands in Clay can be purchased at the MSC Book Store at

Course description:   A continuation of the throwing process involving more complex vessels and techniques using lids spouts and pedestals.  Assignment to firing teams for studio production of high fire clay.  This Fine art course designed to give you a general introduction to the media, techniques, and history of wheel thrown ceramic art and create a deeper appreciation of the creative ceramic process and unlock YOUR own potential for innovative thinking.       

Instructor name:                                   Jake Allee

Office Telephone number:                       (970) 248-1797


Office number:                                       Art Building 112

Office Hours :                                        8:00-9:00 a.m               Monday Wednesday

                                                            10:00-11:00 a.m            Tuesday Thursday

Please contact me with any questions, comments or concerns you may have.  I welcome your input.

Course grade: 100 point scale 90 and above = A, 80-89 = B, 70-79 = C, 60-69 = D, 59 or below = F.  Grades will be determined from the average of 5 to 6 projects given throughout the semester. 

Methods of evaluation: Evaluation is based on your ability to demonstrate learned topics, terminology and aspects from the course through hands on projects, class participation and discussions.  A written test may be given at any time and will count as a project grade.

Methods of instruction: Topics will be covered by a variety of demonstrations, presentations, lectures, and reading assignments from handouts geared towards student production of assigned projects. Suggested books and internet websites, videos, class discussions and trips to media related sites will be used to reinforce instruction.

Student purchased materials will be needed for exploration of ideas and different creative projects throughout the semester (example: clay, tools, etc.).

Student Learning Objectives:

           1.    Utilize a working vocabulary of basic ceramic terms and processes associated with    
                throwing on the potter’s wheel.

2.    Understand the firing processes associated with finishing thrown work: Electric kilns and Gas Fired Reduction Kilns

3.    Learn the techniques of making multiple wheel thrown pieces with similar design relationships.

4.    Learn advanced techniques of surface decoration in various stages of the ceramic process:  (slip and engobe decoration, relief decoration, advanced brush decoration, wax resist, latex resist, and tape resist) 

5.    Advancement of basic design principals and expression of personal aesthetic through thrown objects.  

6.    Develop an advanced knowledge of glaze application for high fired ceramics.

7.    Documentation of personal hands on process through written explanation and photography geared towards personal artistic focus and development in ceramics.

8.    Involvement and firing and loading of kilns:  Loading and firing bisque firings, and the loading and firing of gas kilns with approval of your instructor.

9.    Understanding how to mix a glaze, the basic function of glaze materials, and the pursuit of glaze calculation on a limited basis

10. Utilization of photographic documentation for promotion of your artwork

11. Development of a personal blog that shows your artwork


April 30           Last Bisque Fire                                  Only dry pieces will be loaded

May 3              Last Glaze Kilns loaded                      No firing allowed beyond this date

May 8              Portfolios Due                                     Grades Lock at 4:00 PM


Attendance: You are required to attend each class meeting and to stay for the duration of each class.  Most lectures, demonstrations and explanations of class projects will occur at the beginning of class periods and will not be repeated for students who arrive late.  A written test over the vocabulary covered in class may be presented at any time.  You must consult with me when an absence occurs.  Make-up assignments are given ONLY for excused absences and at the discretion of the instructor and must be turned in promptly.  Incomplete or late work will not be accepted.  Make-up tests will only be given with an excused absence.  I reserve the right to have make-up tests be all essay or practical demonstration.  People not registered in the course are not allowed to be in the classroom.  Absolutely no cell phone use, text messaging or otherwise disruptive behavior allowed during class. 

Withdrawals: If at any point you consider dropping the course please consult with me.  Alternative options or help may be available.  I will make every reasonable effort to assist you in completing this course within the parameters of the established class meeting times and my office hours.  Students wishing to drop should consult an academic advisor.  If you stop attending class after the MSC established last day to drop with a ‘W’, you will receive a performance grade most likely an ‘F’.   
ADA Statement:

Please notify the instructor if you have a disability that requires accommodation. It is recommended you register with the Educational Access Services office (EAS) for Disability Accommodation.  Reasonable accommodations will be provided for qualified students with disabilities.  The EAS office is located in Houston Hall Suite 108.  The telephone number is 248-1826. The Please meet with the instructor the first week of class to discuss accommodations for your educational needs.

Please get the name and phone number from at least one other person in class in an effort to communicate should you miss class.


1              Attendance is mandatory.  On the 4th absence your grade will be dropped one letter.  Every 3 late arrivals to class constitute one absence.

2              Grading is based on attendance/participation in the class and completion of required assignments. 

3              Attention to “housekeeping” and or cleaning of studio spaces

4              The class final will consist of your efforts during the prescribed clean up day.  Attendance is mandatory during the cleanup day as determined by the finals schedule.  If you do not attend and participate in the clean up day, you will receive an ‘F’ as a final grade.

 Grading and Evaluation:

As a student enrolled in this course you must understand your performance and final grade are your responsibility.  No projects executed for other coursework will be accepted for this course. Please recognize the course objectives and comprehend the commitment the course will demand.  Address any questions or concerns to me promptly and be aware that all aesthetic grade decisions are at the instructors discretion.  No assignment will be accepted late. Final grades will be available only when the registrar posts them.  If at any point you are unsure of your progress or need to know what your course grade is consult with me immediately.  Concluding course grades are final and will not be reconsidered.  No Exceptions.