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Ceramics III

Course Details

Course Number
Art 3613
Section Number
Art 3613
Spring 2014
Fain Fine Arts Center
Classroom Number
Days & Times

Tuesday and Thursday 9:30 to 12:20

Steve Hilton (view Profile)

Course Attachments


Course Objectives
  1. Demonstrate an understanding of equipment safety and possible health hazards associated with ceramics
  2. Maintain a clean working environment
  3. Describe, recognize and utilize ceramic tools
  4. Use surface treatment and decoration on ceramic surfaces
  5. Demonstrate knowledge of kiln firings to include oxidation and reduction (atmospheric) methods
  6. Demonstrate skill on working select hand building techniques
  7. Demonstrate the procedure for loading and firing kilns: glaze and bisque
  8. Demonstrate advanced hand-building skills
  9. Demonstrate advanced glazing and surface decorating methods
  10. Demonstrate your understanding of glaze mixing by mixing one class glaze
Course Expectations
Grading Standards
Final Exam 05/07/2013 9:30 AM
Submission Format Policy

Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.
Late Paper Policy
Plagiarism Policy

Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception.

Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters.

We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student.

We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed.

Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, (940) 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement

The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor

All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Attendance Requirements

Attendance Policy:

You are expected to attend and participate in every class. There are no excused absences . . . an absence is an absence. If you miss class five (5) times which is about 20% of the course, you will receive an automatic F for the semester. For each absence after three (3) you will receive a one-letter grade penalty off of your final grade. (two tardies or leaving early equal an absence)

• Example: after your 4th absence, a 90% will become an 80%

• Example: after your 4th absence and 2nd tardy, your 80% will become an F


Other Policies

Midwestern State University

ART 3613 – CERAMICS III (Wheel)

 (Spring 2015)


Steve Hilton                                                                                                 (940) 397-4270 office

9:30 to 12:20 Tuesday/Thursday                                                                   Ceramics Studio/C119                                                   


Office Hours - C119:

7:00 PM to 10:00 PM Monday/Wednesday

8:30 PM to 9:30 PM Tuesday/Wednesday

1:30 PM to 2:00 PM Monday through Friday

Or by appointment


Campus police: (940) 397-4239                                                 9-911 (call if any emergency occurs)


Course Description

A continuing introduction to ceramic materials and techniques of handbuilding, surface decoration, glazing and loading and firing of kilns. Includes an introduction to glaze formulation.


Course Objectives:

1.     Demonstrate an understanding of equipment safety and possible health hazards associated with ceramics

2.     Maintain a clean working environment

3.     Describe, recognize and utilize ceramic tools

4.     Use surface treatment and decoration on ceramic surfaces

5.     Demonstrate knowledge of kiln firings to include oxidation and reduction (atmospheric) methods

6.     Demonstrate skill on working select hand building or wheel throwing techniques

7.     Demonstrate the procedure for loading and firing kilns: glaze and bisque

8.     Demonstrate advanced hand-building or wheel throwing skills

9.     Demonstrate advanced glazing and surface decorating methods

10.   Demonstrate your understanding of glaze mixing by mixing one class glaze

11.   Begin to help with the firing of kilns


Textbook: The Art and Craft of Clay (4th Edition), by Susan Peterson (not required)


Clay and Glaze Fee: You need to call Trinity Ceramics on Thursday of next week with a credit card and be prepared to pay $48.02 (with tax this will be $50)


Building Use Hours:

  1. The Art building is open “7 days per week 24 hours per day” with access by your student ID

  2. The use of this and all art studios should be considered a privilege, if this is abused, it will be revoked.

  3. The studio door code is    543       . Please do not share it with anyone outside this class.



Choose a locker that has nothing in it and put your lock on it. Put your name on the locker sign-up list


Attendance Policy:

Students enrolled in the Juanita and Ralph Harvey School of Visual Arts must comply with the following department-wide Attendance and Lateness Policy:


·       Students arriving ten minutes after class begins will be considered late, and will be counted absent.

·       THREE late arrivals count as an absence.

·       Students may be absent from class THREE times without penalty and without providing any documentation regarding the absence.

·       If students incur a FOURTH absence, their final course evaluation will be reduced by a full letter grade.


·       If students are absent or late FIVE times, whatever the reason, they will receive a FAILING GRADE, be dropped from the class roll, and be asked to stop attending class.

·       Example: after your 4th absence, a 90% will become an 80%

·       Example: after your 4th absence and 3rd tardy, an 80% will become an F and you will be dropped



You will have homework in this class . . . except you will be doing most of it in the studio. You should spend a minimum of 6 hours in the studio outside class time to be successful. The more time you spend in the studio the more successful you will be. If you make more . . . You will learn more!


Grading Policy:

Each assignment should be evaluated and graded as it is completed. It is your responsibility to show me each assignment as it is completed.


Since ceramic work has two stages of completion, you will be graded on turning your completed greenware in on time, and you will be graded on your glazed work near the end of the semester.


As art is subjective, I will be grading your assignments with some of the following criteria (depending on the assignment):

1.     Is it innovative/experimental

2.     Does it communicate your intention/content

3.     Does it accomplish the assignment

4.     Is it aesthetically pleasing . . . and is it designed well

5.     Craftspersonship

6.     Attention to detail(s)

7.     Technical elements and mastery

8.     Growth of your work

9.     Time spent on assignment(s)

10.   Sketchbook


Your final grade will be determined by a formula similar to the one below:

Points earned divided by points possible (1400 pts ) All projects will be self assigned.

Assignments (you will have a minimum of 6 assignments)  1250 points

Critique (4 critiques minimum)                                         60 points

Participation (clean-up, helping out)                                    40 points

Sketchbook                                                                    50 Points



If you have a question/problem with the material or a technique, please see me as soon as possible. If you wait until the last week of the semester, I might not be able to help you.


Any student who feels she/he may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact me privately to discuss your specific needs.  Please contact Disability Support Services at 940.397.4140 in room 168 of the Clark Student Center to coordinate reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities.


Studio Etiquette:

It is everyone’s responsibility to help keep the studio clean. Do not leave without making sure all materials, tools, and artwork are properly stored. Your grade will be lowered if you do not clean up after yourself.

The last 12.498 minutes of class is devoted to cleaning up, with everyone assisting.

• The floors need to be mopped every class period and every time you throw on the wheel

• There will be one mandatory all studio clean-up in the middle of the semester and the final clean-up on the first day of finals, May 6, at 9:30 AM . . . this is your final, if you miss the cleanup, you will lose one letter grade from your final grade!

• During the semester, everyone will be asked to help maintain the studio

• Turn all cell phones to silent while in the ceramics lab . . . this includes texting ****


Decorum and Academic Dishonesty:

Students will abide by all MSU rules, regulations including the Student Honor Creed, and will thereby earn all the student’s rights as noted in the MSU Student Handbook. Cheating, collusion, and plagiarism (the act of using source material of other persons, either published or unpublished, without following the accepted techniques of crediting, or the submission for credit of work not the individual’s to whom credit is given) is academic dishonesty.

I reserve the right to drop any student with an F grade, or recommend other sanctions, if she/he engages in any form of academic dishonesty.


Student Honor Creed: “As an MSU student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else to do so.”



  1. Some materials in the studio are toxic. If you are uncertain of the nature of a material, PLEASE SEE ME and/or see the Material Safety Data Sheets in the folder by the front door.

  2. Students are expected to take the utmost care in working with kilns and all power equipment.  Do not use any equipment, including kilns, without being properly trained and signing a training document.

  3. Always wear a respirator and rubber gloves when working with any toxic materials.

  4. Always wear a respirator when sanding ceramic material and spraying glaze.

  5. Always sand ceramic material outside

  6. A list of all materials used in this studio is available in the yellow folder next to the front door.

7.     TAKING THIS COURSE IN THE ART DEPARTMENT AT MSU MEANS THAT YOU ASSUME RESPONSIBILITY to use all equipment, tools, and materials related to the course in a safe manner.  If you have any health-related problems that would be adversely affected by taking the course, you should consult with me at the end of the first day of the class.

8.     Please tell me about any accidents, no matter how small.


Return and Retention Of Student Work

If work is left in the studio longer than (1) one week after the end of the semester, the department has the right to dispose of or use the unclaimed work for any purpose.  The department also reserves the right to retain student work as desired for reference or exhibition purposes. 


Materials/Tools (not optional – 10 points for completion):

1.     pottery tool kit (KT means Kemper Tools) (KTPTK Kemper PTK) (wire, needle tool, wooden rib, metal rib, trimming tool, sponge) available at the bookstore, local art store or online. (Due next class)

2.     rubber rib: available online at Buy the yellow Sherrill Mudtool, 3.5” x 1.75” (Due next class)

3.     loop tool kit (KTMRS Kemper MRS) (Due next class)

4.     metal scraper (KT S10): (Due next class)

5.     small bucket: less than a gallon (Due next class period)

6.     combination lock

7.     large sponge for clean-up (Due next class period)

8.     assortment of inexpensive brushes (1/4 inch, 1/2 inch, 1 inch)

9.     green scrubby

10.   respirator (Due next class period)

11.   sketchbook (at least 8.5” by 11”) (Due next class period)


Important Dates:           

Final Clean Up – Tuesday, May 11 at 8:00 AM (the time of our scheduled final)

NCECA – March 25 to March 28


** This syllabus may be changed to best meet your needs, or for other reasons as I see fit. This includes the changing or deleting of assignments. If for some reason the assignments administered total something other than 1450 points, the method of obtaining the final grade will remain essentially the same: the total points achieved will be divided by the total points possible to obtain a percentage and a grade will be assigned according to the percentage scale outlined above.


*** By staying enrolled in this course, you are indicating you understand and accept the terms of ART 3603 and this syllabus


**** Assignments are due at the start of the class period on the due date. Any assignment submitted after that time will receive a penalty of 10% per day, with the total penalty not to exceed 50% of the points available for the assignment. The only accepted excuses for late work or missing a test/quiz/critique/class are requests from an academic dean, or a documented medical situation. There will be no exceptions, so please do not ask.




All deadlines are at 9:30 AM on due date.   You will have two teacher assigned projects. All others will be self-assigned.


• Sketches for Assignment 1                                due: January 23


• Assignment 1                                                  due: February 5 (coincides with cylinders)


• Sketches for assignment 3                                due: February 5


Assignment 2 - Glaze Test Tiles                         due: February 10


• Assignment 3                                                  due: February 19 (coincides with 1st handbuilding)


• Sketches for assignment 4                                due: February 19


• Assignment 4                                                  due: March 5 (coincides with 2nd handbuilding)


• Sketches for Assignment 5                               due: March 5


Assignment 5                                                   due: March 31 (coincides with cups)


• Sketches for Assignment 6                               due: March 31


• Assignment 6 (x 2)                                          due: April 21 (coincides with bowls)


• Last Day for wet clay                                       due: April 26


• Last bisque kiln                                              due: May 1


• Last glaze kiln                                                 due: May 4





















• Dornith Doherty, Photographer, January 30, 6:00-8:00 PM, Juanita Harvey Art Gallery


• Andrea Rich, Printmaker, February 18, 6:00-8:00 PM, WFMOA@MWSU, "An Abundance of Riches"


• Marc Burckhardt, Painter, March 6, 6:00-8:00 PM, Juanita Harvey Art Gallery


Departmental Policy for Gallery Openings

• Students enrolled in studio or art history courses must attend every gallery opening.

• At every gallery opening, the student will receive a comment sheet.

• During each opening, the student must fill out and submit the comment sheet.

• If a student does not attend the show nor submit a paper, their final grade will be dropped 3.3% per gallery opening.


• If a student misses all of the gallery openings and does not write a paper for each required exhibition, the student’s final grade will be dropped by 10%.


• If the student cannot attend the gallery opening, they must meet following requirements:         

1.     The student must write a paper on the artist exhibited in the Juanita Harvey gallery.

2.     The paper should emphasize the student’s reaction to the work.

3.     The paper must be formatted in Times New Roman, 12pt font, and be double-spaced.

4.     The paper must consist of 500 words.

5.     The paper must be submitted to the art office one week after the exhibition opening.

6.     If the exhibition extends past the final class day of the semester, the paper will be due one week before the final class day of the semester.


Writing Proficiency Requirement

All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed the 6 hours of Communication Core and and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.

Campus Carry

Senate Bill 11 passed by the 84th Texas Legislature allows licensed handgun holders to carry concealed handguns on campus, effective August 1, 2016. Areas excluded from concealed carry are appropriately marked, in accordance with state law. For more information regarding campus carry, please refer to the University’s webpage at

If you have questions or concerns, please contact MSU Chief of Police Patrick Coggins at