Course Description:

Ceramics involves the use of fundamental design principles and skills to construct clay forms, some of which are utilitarian in purpose and others, which are most sculptural in nature.  Design problems are presented to the student enabling him/her to develop creative ideas into ceramic forms through the use of basic design concepts, skills, and techniques. 


Course/State Objectives and Descriptions: 

This course is designed to provide a fundamental experience in ceramic design and provide an outlet for expression.  Knowledge of three-dimensional design is important in the making of ceramic forms because it allows us to intensify our powers of perception.  Ceramics provides the student with a chance to invent and express original ideas through a highly tactile medium.  Backed with historical to present day artists, the student is assured uniqueness by imposing his or her own order to the material.  Our principle target is creative, conceptual problem-solving, achieved through an awareness of design. 


Various glazing techniques are presented to the student as a means of finishing and decorating ceramic forms. 


Craftsmanship, design quality, and sound construction, along with a familiarity of the tools and terminology is the central focus of the course. 






Course Outline and Schedule:


Wedging & Thumbnail Sketching-

Clay Generals

Video Demonstrations:   Reclaim     Pugmill

Great Clayucational Sources-

episode 1

  Digital Photographic Documentation



Social Media Journal-

-Please post a picture once a week (due Tuesdays)

                                                of what you're working.

-Please write a sentence or two about what you’re doing….

-Tag me (@sandburgartdepart)...

          ...and using the hashtag #madeatsandburg

-Also tag the school, the principal, the superintendant, and local newspapers, the mayor, state art groups.....ummmm everyone!  (@SandburgHS@jltyrrell8, @D230_Supt, @OPPrairie, @OrlandParkPatch, @VillageOrlandPk, @OPArtsAlliance, )

 Video Demonstrations:   part 1   part 2 


Scroll over....


Stamp Making- Carved Initials 



Students will plan, shape, and carve their initials into clay making a tool which they will USE sign their pottery.

Video Demonstrations:   Part 1   Part 2


Signature Tile- with underglaze!  

     Video Demonstrations:   How to use the Slab Roller!   


Alternate Slabbing Tech-neat-toes! 

    Slump Molds       Easy Slab Makin'    

  Texture & SHAPE MUGS:  

Students will learn how to use the slab roller, prep slabbed clay, and drape it around a cylinder form to take its shape. Students will then learn how to “pull” a handle and attach it to their cylinder body to make a mug form. We will also discuss alteration techniques such as “darting” to change the shape and take their mug to a new level!

Video Demonstrations:  Prep!   Part 1: Collecting Parts   Part 2: Assembling!   

                                            Part 3:                         Part 4: Attaching the Handle

other PDF worksheets: 

Altered Cylinders by Deb Schwartzkopf
Simple Seams     by Deb Schwartzkopf

-with Pulled Handle

  Face MUG!    

Students will learn how to break down the facial features into manageable, sculptable parts. 

Video Demonstrations:  1.  Eye Dents       2. Assembly         3. Nose!   

                                  4. Lips           5. Eyes          6.Ears        7. Extras


“What glaze is?”:

Glaze is a clay blend, more similar to glass than clay, which is added to the surface of a (bisque fired) constructed form, fired in the kiln, and fused to the form.

Underglaze Demonstration:

What is Underglaze?  

How to apply underGlaze

glaze Demonstration:

What is glaze?  

How to apply Glaze

Extra Vids: (the techinques below are more geared towards painting with UNderglazes!)

          Bubbles!     Rolling     Gallaxy      Ombre          

Coil PotEgyptian Canopic Jar w/ cap lid 

             Canopic Jar

...sometimes things expolde...

      ...it wasn't my fault...     

Video Demonstrations:  Part 1   Part 2  Part 3

After studying Egyptian Canopic Jar Sets, students form small groups and develop a unifying theme.  From there they pull their own ideas; design and construct their jar using the coil method.  

  Press Mold-   Vase  



Students will use a preformed bowl as a mold to form the two halves of their vase.  Before assembling the body of the vase, students will learn a faux version of wheel throwing by using the banding wheel to make the “foot” and “neck” of the vase.  After these parts are made, the body will be assembled and decorated.

Video Demonstrations:  Part 1   Part 2   Part 3   Part 4

3D Potter-


Students will learn simple CAD software to design and produce 

 an object via the 3D Potter.  

Video Demonstrations:  

Clay Sources in the Chicagoland Area! 

In our studio, here at Sandburg, we use 

Standard Clay, white stoneware, #240, ^6

   We purchase our clay from: 

             Chicago Ceramics Supply

This is my buddy Carl Mankert who does our equipment repair. He's a great resource for answering general clay questions, making connections to people and equipment, and generally knows everything! 

Other Local Resources:

The Center- Has many different art classes...including Ceramics!!

Masion Crafts- Various painting classes, including painting on bisqued ceramics...and I've heard they have a potter's wheel and offer studio time.....

Orland Park Arts Alliance- local art group supporting,connecting, and producing events for the south suburban community. 

"Make ART everyday!" 

13300 S. LaGrange Ave. Orland Park, IL 60462

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