Summer Ceramics 2020

My ceramics artwork from summer 2020


In order to prepare for university, I decided to take two classes this summer at my county college to get some extra credits completed at a lower cost. These classes were a history of Western civilization class and a ceramics art class. The history class was fine, but nothing in particular to post about without just posting my assignments (not the best idea). My ceramics class was online via Zoom calls up until a few weeks ago when students were allowed to come on campus to drop off our projects.

I made my pieces at home while in class, and then let them all dry a bit. Before being put in the kiln, the clay is still wet, as shown here:

Somewhat damp clay project

The clay then dries a bit, but can be made pliable again if water is put on it. After my projects reached this dry stage, they were brought into the classroom and fired in the kiln. At this stage all my projects looked like these unglazed stamps (if they are glazed, they are not good for stamping wet clay as the two will stick together and not be functional):

Unglazed ceramic stamps

After being fired in the kiln, a piece is then dipped in glaze for around a second, then removed and let dry (which only takes fifteen seconds or so). The color of the glaze in its liquid or dried form has no bearing on what it looks like after being fired in the kiln. A gray-looking glaze can turn out red. While a piece with glaze on it is in the kiln, the glaze melts and solidifies into the final piece. Here are (most of) my final pieces.

(Note: Click images to open full resolution, unedited version)

A small, red, unadorned cup A small, green cup with shapes etched in the outside surface
A red, etched triangular prism A green triangular prism
A black oblong object with three basins A multicolored teacup with handle, lid, and plate
A tall, multicolored vase A swirling, multicolored box form with open top

This class was really fun, and I greatly improved over having no skill at all with ceramics. If I take the next level of this class again next summer, which is fairly likely, I’ll be even better. I struggled a bit with creating decent circular shapes, which is probably due to me moving too fast with my work and not letting it dry enough between work sessions to let it retain its shape.

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