Ontario College Certificate in Ceramics Curriculum
Accepting Applications for January 2021
Vocational Learning Outcomes
- Use knowledge of key artists, movements and innovation in both contemporary and historical ceramics in order to inspire and inform design decisions.
- Use the principles and elements of two and three-dimensional design in the conception, construction and assessment of ceramic works.
- Use knowledge of the characteristics, properties, qualities and behaviours of clay and associated materials in the design, formation, and assessment of ceramic forms.
- Identify personal interests which may develop into themes for creative expression through ceramics.
- Know the health and safety risks and environmental impacts of specific materials and equipment used by ceramic artists and ways in which to manage, reduce, or eliminate, that risk.
- Use tools, equipment and studio appropriately and maintain them in optimum condition.
- Critically analyze and evaluate the technical attributes, content, and aesthetic effectiveness of ceramic forms through individual and group discussion and written comment.
- Develop a basic portfolio and artists documents that can be maintained and updated for promotional and application purposes such as grants, commissions and juried shows.
- Summarize personal interests and choices in continued studies and /or career in ceramics.
Courses and Descriptions
This course is designed to give students a broad understanding of the use, making, and design of ceramics art from its earliest application to the present. With a special emphasis on historically significant styles, techniques, and artists, students will be encouraged to recognize and use specific elements of design in a way that may inform their own work. Exploration of both the design of the form and interpreted meaning of historically significant ceramics will be through student research, presentation and hands-on clay work.
Students will develop the skills needed to decorate and glaze ceramics appropriately according to function, design and aesthetic considerations for the piece. Thematic meaning will be influenced by pattern, colour and textures, according to the condition of the clay (wet, leather hard, dry or bisque). Glaze application methods will include dip, pour, brush and spray. Demonstrations and lecture will include proper preparation for firing.
As a foundation experience for the ceramic artist, this course will provide students with an introduction to the operations and maintenance of a ceramic studio, including basic tools and equipment. Construction of clay forms using hand building techniques will establish a sound understanding of the characteristics and working properties of clay. Particular focus will be given to considered ergonomics for a ceramic artist. Health and safety issues are an integral part of all aspects of this course and will be addressed regularly. Successful assessment of safe practices is prerequisite to continued studio work.
In this continuation from Ceramic Processes I, students will advance their skills and techniques in the construction of clay forms through processes in throwing, with particular address of trimming and refining forms in preparation for firing. Students will continue to develop more in depth consideration for ceramic studio design and the use of the kiln as they begin to investigate basic firing cycles for bisque and simple glaze firings using samples from their studio exercises.
In this continuation from Ceramic Processes II students will continue to advance their skills and techniques in the construction of more complex clay forms. In class discussions will address a more considered use and understanding of studio workflow processes as well as the examination of clay works for technical structure and aesthetic design.
In this continuation from Ceramic Processes III students will continue to advance their skills and techniques in the construction of larger more refined and yet more complex clay forms. In conjunction with creative explorations based on research and faculty discussions, students will design, execute, and decorate a form based on the assembly of a variety of components. Personal observations regarding preferences in process will be discussed in conjunction with an emphasis on more consideration in the design phase of ceramic pieces.
Students will expand personal expression and employ competent design and decoration processes while developing greater sensitivity to the properties and potential of tools, applications, and clay media in this first project course. Ceramic form(s) of interest to the student will be developed through the phases of concept design, prototype development, production and critical review. Design parameters will be established in consultation with faculty. In on-going class discussions and critiques students will be encouraged to begin to identify personal interests and themes in their work.
With support from the instructor, students will develop individual projects in their chosen area of exploration. Students will design a workflow process leading from conception to pre-production to completion of significant art-work or works. Group and individual discussion will support the development of the work and identify personal interests as well as the context of the work within the field of ceramic art. Presentations by the instructor will provide an overview of important topics in ceramics that may be of interest to students in future study. Students will be expected to maintain a creative journal as well as present research on ceramicists with interests related to their own.
Using skills developed through the courses to date, students will respond to challenges in the design and execution of an innovative art project to explore personal statements and the meaning of their work. Trends and practices in contemporary ceramics will be discussed, and alternate modes of artistic dissemination will be explored. Students will be encouraged to use non-traditional considerations in clay including mixed media as well as performance, space, time based media.
Students will apply the principles and elements in the design process as they investigate possibilities for creative ceramic pieces. By combining a basic understanding of pottery-making with design principles, issues of form and function, appropriate decoration, as well as choice of production methods, considered concepts for potential translation into studio work will be developed. Students will draw upon sources from natural and manmade objects, as well as referencing historical and contemporary works in ceramics as they begin to identify appealing elements which will contribute to the beginning of their own personal style. Consideration will be given to the identification and discussion of signifiers which support the content of a piece of ceramic art.
This course will engage the student in basic drawing processes as they relate to the art of ceramic design and description. Using line, value, texture, colour and proportion students will focus on concept sketches, working drawings and presentation renderings. Basic colouring techniques and colour theory will be applied during the creative design process, while exploring personal style, in a series of clay works. Students will use journals to gather research material and concepts. An introduction to CAD software will be covered to prepare students for digital options in Ceramics.
In this course, students will be introduced to a range of bisque and glaze firing processes using an electric kiln. The proper use of kilns with respect to loading and unloading, firing, firing control, maintenance, cleaning and minor repairs will be covered. Health and safety issues are an integral part of all aspects of kiln firing ceramics and will be addressed as an ongoing part of this course.
In this course students will be introduced to the science of glazes by mixing basic glaze formulas. Examples will be presented to demonstrate that glazes can be designed and adjusted. The characteristics and choice of raw materials and their roles will also be demonstrated. As the chemical properties and mechanical properties of glaze materials can be extremely hazardous, ongoing information will be presented during this course to maintain the highest possible standards in health and safety practices.
Practicing artists can choose from many different paths to advance their personal and artistic goals in artistic practice, education, presentation skills, and promotion and marketing as entrepreneurs. Each student will establish their own specific focus for continuing their artist's practice. In class sessions will involve online research, writing, digital photography, presentation, and critical discussion. Pre-course assignment work will provide the data for artist documents and digital images of their work for the development of a portfolio. Students will show their work in an established campus venue as a culmination to their certificate program experience. Certificate students who have already completed the first two semesters of the Visual and Creative Arts Diploma Program will complete this course mainly as independent review and revision of their portfolio and artists documents in collaboration with faculty.