Ceramics I


  2. A. Course Title: Ceramics I
    B. Course Number: AR 213B - 10163
    C. Semester: Spring 2019
    D. Days/Time: T Th 1:00:00 PM - 3:50:00 PM
    E. Credit Hours: 3
    F. Instructor: Kaufman, Dustin
    G. Office: Mary Hagelstein Instructional Arts Center (AC) 105A
    H. Email Address:
    I. Office Phone: (575) 492-2736
    J. Office Hours: Monday: 12:00:00 PM-02:00:00 PM (MST);
    Tuesday: 8:00:00 AM-9:00:00 AM (MST); 12:00:00 PM-1:00:00 PM (MST); 4:00:00 PM-5:00:00 PM (MST);
    Wednesday: 8:30:00 AM-10:30:00 AM (MST);
    Thursday: 8:00:00 AM-9:00:00 AM (MST); 12:00:00 PM-1:00:00 PM (MST); 4:00:00 PM-5:00:00 PM (MST);
    (Virtual message feedback response time approximately 24 hrs. Grade posts approximately 120 hrs.)
    K. Time Zone: Mountain Time
    L. Prerequisite(s): None
    M. Corequisite(s): None
    N. Class Location: HAC108

    This course is an introduction to the medium of clay as a material. Instruction in various hand forming techniques and wheel throwing will be provided. Emphasis will be on the aesthetics of sculptural statements in clay and the importance of the utilitarian aspects of clay. Students will be exposed to the numerous firing techniques possible in the ceramic discipline. This course is repeatable, but may only count one time for degree requirements. This is a three credit hour course.


    Ceramics is the art of making objects from clay. There are several good reasons for taking a course in ceramics. One is that it enables us to better understand the world about us. We are surrounded by ceramic pieces, whether they are handmade “art” or the commercially made dishes we eat from. Second, we can understand history better, as we can trace economic and social development through ceramics. Third, we can develop an appreciation for the skills and the abilities of other who “do ceramics.”
    The course will have ready transferability to the state’s four-year schools, as it is a basic introduction to the ceramics discipline. It satisfies three hours of the Humanities requirement here at NMJC.



    Tools the student will need to purchase or collect include, but are not limited to include the following items:

    1. Pointer, biology needle, or needle tool
    2. Loop trimming tool
    3. Wooden knife
    4. Elephant ear sponge or other small sponge
    5. Cut-off wire
    6. Wooden rib
    7. Metal rib
    8. Plastic bucket
    9. Sketchbook

    Optional supplies the student might collect :
    1. Plastic spray bottle
    2. Wooden paddle
    3. Comb
    4. Fettling knife
    5. Rubber kidney
    6. Tablespoon and fork
    7. Rolling pin
    8. Plastic baskets or bowls for use as armatures
    9. Various devices to use for stamping or imprinting
    10. Large clean-up sponge
    11. Etc.


    Nelson, Glenn C. and Burkett, Richard, "CERAMICS: A Potter's Handbook", Wadsworth/Thompson Learning, 6th ed.

    You can buy your books online at the NMJC Bookstore.


    Students attending New Mexico Junior College will be evaluated according to the following grading scale:

    						90 - 100%	=	A
    						80 -  89%	=	B
    						70 -  79%	=	C
    						60 -  69%	=	D
    					 	 0 -  59%	=	F

    Early Alert at NMJC:

    Students will receive graded feedback on a course activity within the first two weeks of class. Grades will be posted in the course Canvas course shell by the end of the second full week of class.

    Semester grades will be determined by the instructor based on a subjective evaluation of each student's completion of the specific course objectives, classroom procedures and attendance.

    These items will be weighted as follows:

    Specific Course Objectives 60%
    Classroom Procedures 20%
    Finished Work 20%

    In addition, the student may miss no more than 3 class meetings for an A, Students that miss demonstrations may or may not receive a repeat demonstration.


    New Mexico Junior College’s institutional student learning outcomes represent the knowledge and abilities developed by students attending New Mexico Junior College. Upon completion students should achieve the following learning outcomes along with specific curriculum outcomes for respective areas of study:


    At the conclusion of the course the student should understand
    A. The chemistry and properties of clay.
    B. The general chemistry and the proper application of glazes.
    C. The process of firing the clay pieces.
    D. Good ceramic design concepts involving form and surface treatment.
    E. The many construction techniques possible.
    F. The wide range of firing possibilities.

    At the conclusion of the course the student should know
    A. The general history of ceramics.
    B. The terminology of ceramics.
    C. How to do slab and coil construction.
    D. How to center and throw clay on the potter’s wheel.
    E. How to glaze ceramic pieces.

    At the conclusion of the course the student should feel
    A. A kinship with potters everywhere, for even though potters use different tools and techniques, and have different perceptions and skills, all potters use the same basic medium, and all face similar constraints.
    B. A sense of respect for all well-done ceramic pieces and for those who made them.

    At the conclusion of the course, the student should be able to
    A. Properly wedge clay.
    B. Construct basic slab and coil pieces.
    C. Effectively use the potter’s wheel to produce and trim pieces.
    D. Use discretion in decorating and glazing ceramic pieces.

    Students will perform or create a piece of work that embodies skills and competence in their area of focus.

    Students will demonstrate the ability to use a variety of techniques to create a successful piece of work.

    Students will identify the effective reasoning and rationale behind decisions made during the production of their work.


    By the end of the course, the student will have completed through the glazing process all of the following.

    A. Five hand-built pieces, utilizing pinch, coil, and slab method of construction.
    1. One pinch pot of high quality
    2. One lidded container (pinch method)
    3. One slab vase (supported method) with two pulled handles
    4. One slab built cup
    5. One non-functional visual object

    B. Five wheel-thrown pieces:
    1. One mug or cup with a pulled handle
    2. Two bowls
    3. One pot
    4. One combination using coil, pinch, and wheel-thrown methods


    A. All personal materials and tools will be stored in the lockers or taken with the student when leaving class. Personal tools should be uniquely identifiable.
    B. All items of departmental equipment will be cleaned and replaced in their proper places by the student who uses them.
    C. Every student will clean his or her work area before leaving for the day.
    D. Students should “check in” with the instructor if they arrive late or if they must leave early.
    Excessive tardiness or leaving early may count as absences.
    E. Every item of ceramics will be clearly marked with the name, initials, or logo of the owner.
    Time to do this? Before the pieces dry out. Where should they be marked? Usually on the outside bottom.
    F. Pieces not appropriately prepared for firing will be rejected. Sanded and smooth before bisque firing, no loose joints, cracks or chips. For the glaze firing, there should be a proper footed area, ¼” to 3/8” from the base free of glaze, no cracks or severe chips, glaze not too thick, glaze not too thin.
    G. Handle only your own ceramics.
    H. All students must participate in the group activities, taking turns in mixing clay, stirring glazes, loading and unloading kilns, and cleaning (during and at the end of the semester) whether the student is taking the class for credit or is auditing.
    I. Cooperation with the professor and maintaining a courteous and professional attitude is mandatory and can affect the outcome of your grade.
    J. No work is to be produced for the sole reason to sell.


    Students will be held responsible for the information on these pages.

    Academic Honesty
    Each student is expected to maintain the highest standards of honesty and integrity in online academic and professional matters. The College reserves the right to take disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal, against any student who is found guilty of academic dishonesty or otherwise fails to meet these standards. Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, dishonesty in quizzes, tests, or assignments; claiming credit for work not done or done by others; and nondisclosure or misrepresentation in filling out applications or other College records. Cheating or gaining illegal information for any type of graded work is considered dishonest and will be dealt with accordingly.

    Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Information
    Any student requiring special accommodations should contact the Special Needs Student Services Coordinator at (575) 492-2576 or by e-mail at

    Attendance Policy
    Attendance is required at every session of each course for which the student is enrolled. When unavoidable circumstances make attendance impossible, students must provide a satisfactory explanation of their absences to their professors. College-sponsored activities are considered excused absences and the appropriate sponsor of those students who will be absent from class will notify professors. Students having absences due to college-sponsored activities will need to make arrangements with the affected classes / professor to take care of required work; however, arrangements for make-ups should be made within a reasonable time frame, usually within one week of the absence. Regarding make-up work, absences due to late registration are considered the same as regular absences.

    Cell Phones/Pagers
    All cell phones and pagers must be turned off when the student is participating in any lecture, laboratory, or other learning activity.

    Classroom Conduct
    The professor is responsible for maintaining a class environment best suited for effective learning. By registering for this class, the student is assumed to have entered into an agreement with New Mexico Junior College and the professor to attend the class regularly and to behave in an appropriate manner at all times. Disruptive behavior may result in the student being removed from the class.

    Food and Drink Policy
    Food items and soft drinks may not be consumed in NMJC classrooms. Students are also discouraged from bringing food and drink items into the classroom even though these items remain in sealed packaging. Bottled water is permissible.

    No Children in the Classroom
    In order to adhere to instructional procedures as well as maintain the safety of children, NMJC’s policy of no children in the classrooms (lecture, lab, etc.) will be followed.

    Offering the work of another as one’s own, without proper acknowledgment, is plagiarism; therefore, any student who fails to give credit for quotations or essentially identical expression of material taken from books, encyclopedias, magazines and other reference works, or from the themes, reports, or other writings of a fellow student, is guilty of plagiarism. Plagiarism violates the academic honesty policy and is considered cheating.

    Smoking/Use of Tobacco
    New Mexico Junior College is cognizant of the health hazards associated with smoking / use of tobacco for the smoker, as well as the non-smoker. In an effort to provide a healthy environment for students, employees, and others who may frequent the campus, NMJC prohibits smoking / use of tobacco inside any campus building or facility.

    Tutoring Assistance
    Free tutoring services are available to all NMJC students through Brainfuse and the Academic Success Center located at the Pannell Library on the 1st floor.

    Withdrawal Policy
    Regular, punctual attendance is required for all classes at NMJC. Although the professor has the right to drop any student who has missed the equivalent of 2 weeks of instruction (based on a 16 week semester) whether it’s a face to face, online, or a hybrid course, it is not guaranteed that the professor will drop the student. If the student chooses to stop attending a class, he/she should withdraw from the class by accessing your student account in the T-Bird Web Portal at, or submitting the required paperwork to the Registrar’s Office by 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 18, 2019. All students are encouraged to discuss their class status with the professor prior to withdrawing from the class.


    The course will begin its work in clay with the making of hand-built objects.
    A. Pinch pots
    B. Solids made from pinch pots
    C. Coil construction
    D. Slab construction
    E. Combination objects made using supportive devices

    After approximately the first six weeks spent working with hand-building, instruction on the potter’s
    wheel will begin, starting with a basic cylinder. Students will work at their own pace, completing the
    cylinder first. Then instruction will be given in making various forms, including vases, bowls, and
    lidded pieces. Trimming the pieces will be addressed, as well as various ways to decorate the work. Pulling
    and applying handles to cups and pitchers will be demonstrated.

    The application of glazes and stains will be demonstrated.

    Students will assist in mixing clay, and in loading and unloading the bisque and glaze kilns.