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Art 3603 Ceramics II

Course Details

Course Number
Art 3603
Section Number
Art 3603
Fall 2015
Fain Fine Arts Center
Classroom Number
Days & Times

Tuesday/Thursday 9:30 AM to 12:20 PM


Steve Hilton (view Profile)

Course Attachments


Course Objectives

Course Description

A continuing introduction to ceramic materials and techniques of throwing on the potter’s wheel, 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 the procedure for loading and firing kilns: glaze and bisque
  7. Demonstrate intermediate wheel techniques
  8. Demonstrate basic glazing and surface decorating methods
  9. Demonstrate glaze mixing by mixing one class glaze
Course Expectations

Tentative Calendar  (1st half of semester)

1. Assignment 1: cylinders – 6 inches tall(15) 150 pts

• Lecture on ceramic material and safety

• Introduction to the wheel (demo)

2. Assignment 1 continued:

• wheel demonstration


Lecture on kilns and firing

3. Assignment 2: cups (20 required: 5 with handles, 10 with surface decoration) 200 pts

cup demonstration


• make test tiles/demo

4. Assignment 3: bowls (20 required) 200 pts

bowl demonstration


critique leather hard/ dry cups

5. Assignment 4: glaze tests – test 5 new glazes 50 pts

glaze lecture

• Finish/catch up on all prior assignments

critique leather hard/ dry bowls

6. Assignment 5: plates on the wheel (15 required/make 15) 150 pts

plate demonstration

7. Assignment 6: lidded forms (10 required) 100 pts

lid demo

critique leather hard/dry plates

Grading Standards
Final Exam 12/08/2015 8:00 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

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.

For Electronic work:

• save your work often

• back it up often (in two places)

• save it with a different name periodically (with the date in the name)

• email it to yourself after making large changes

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


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 (1450 pts )

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.


If you have a documented disability, please speak directly to the Disability Resource Center and myself as early as possible so accommodations can be made.


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 all studio clean up during the semester and one on May 7.


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 (not optional – 20 points for completion):

  1. rubber rib: available in the book store (Due next class period)
  2. small bucket: less than a gallon (Due next class period)
  3. combination lock
  4. large sponge for clean-up (Due next class period)
  5. assortment of inexpensive brushes (1/4 inch, 1/2 inch, 1 inch)
  6. green scrubby
  7. respirator (Due next class period)
  8. sketchbook (at least 8.5” by 11”) (Due next class period)


Important Dates:           

Final Clean Up – Tuesday, May 12 at 9:00 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.

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