Ceramics IV

Course Details

Course Number: Art 4603  Section Number: 201

Spring 2012

Location: Fain Fine Arts Center

Classroom Number: C119

Days & Times:

Tuesday and Thursday 9:30 to 12:20

Course Attachments


MSU Faculty Member
Steve Hilton   
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Course Objectives
  • Demonstrate an understanding of equipment safety and possible health hazards associated with ceramics
  • Maintain a clean working environment
  • Describe, recognize and utilize most ceramic tools
  • Use advanced surface treatment and decoration on ceramic surfaces
  • Demonstrate knowledge of kiln firings to include oxidation and reduction (atmospheric) methods
  • Demonstrate skill on working “any” hand building or wheel throwing techniques
  • Demonstrate the procedure for loading and firing kilns: glaze and bisque
  • Demonstrate advanced glazing and surface decorating methods
  • Demonstrate your understanding of glaze and clay calculation by formulating glazes and clays

Course Expectations

Grading Standards

Final Exam5/7/2011  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, 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. If you miss two or more classes you may be dropped from the course, or by the discretion of the instructor, your final grade will be lowered one letter grade for each subsequent absence after the second absence. Two tardies or leaving early two times could count as an absence. Please speak to me about any extenuating circumstance.


You will have homework in this class . . . except you will be doing 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!


Other Policies

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 work in on time, and then you will be graded on your glazed work.


As art is subjective, I will be grading your assignments with 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      (750 pts)

Assignments (6 self-assigned projects)         600 points

Critique                                                           60 points

Participation (clean-up, helping out)               40 points

Sketchbook/Notebook                                     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 December 5.

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


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 facemask and rubber gloves when working with any toxic materials.

3.A list of hazardous materials is available next to the front door.

  1. 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 the instructor at the end of the first day of the class.  (Also see MSU policy #4.123 on accompanying page)
  2. 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 (Due by next class period . . . this is not optional):

  1. pottery tool kit (wire, needle tool, wooden rib, metal rib, trimming tool, sponge) available at the book store
  2. small bucket
  3. combination lock
  4. large sponge for clean-up
  5. assortment of inexpensive brushes (1/4 inch, 1/2 inch, 1 inch)
  6. sandpaper/green scrubby
  7. respirator
  8. sketchbook (at least 8.5” by 11”)


Important Dates:

Final Clean Up – Monday May 7 at 9:30 AM (the time of our scheduled final)

NCECA – March 28 to March 31

** 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 1125 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 3613 and this syllabus


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 English 1113 and English 1123 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 http://academics.mwsu.edu/wpr, or call 397-4131.