Colorado Mesa University

Course Syllabus 

Course name:  Workshop VIII: Production Throwing              

Course number:          ARTS 443             Room: FA 111

Hours:             9:00-11:15 a.m. MW   Semester credit hours: 3

Textbook:               Colorado Mesa University Shop Notes (Required)

                             Hands in Clay by John Toki (Optional, but recommended)

MSC Shop Notes are available for purchase for $5.00 from the Art Desk on the 2nd floor of the Art Building.  Hands in Clay can be purchased at the MSC Book Store at

Course description:         Using the potter’s wheel to develop a production style involvement in the throwing process.  Discussion of marketing and establishing a studio to create clay art.  Develop skills to create thrown multiples in clay.

This Fine Art course is designed to give you a general introduction to the media, techniques, and history of wheel thrown ceramic art and create a deeper appreciation of the creative ceramic process and unlock YOUR own potential for innovative thinking.       

Instructor name:                                   Jake Allee

Office Telephone number:                       (970) 248-1797


Office number:                                       Art Building 112

Office number:                                       Art Building 112

Office Hours:                                         reference paper syllabus

Please contact me with any questions, comments or concerns you may have.  I welcome your input.

Course grade: 100 point scale 90 and above = A, 80-89 = B, 70-79 = C, 60-69 = D, 59 or below = F.  Grades will be determined from the average of 5 to 6 projects given throughout the semester. 

Methods of evaluation: Evaluation is based on your ability to demonstrate learned topics, terminology and aspects from the course through hands on projects, class participation and discussions.  A written test may be given at any time and will be counted as a project grade.

Methods of instruction: Topics will be covered by a variety of demonstrations, presentations, lectures, and reading assignments from handouts geared towards student production of assigned projects.  Suggested books and internet websites, videos, class discussions and trips to media related sites will be used to reinforce instruction.

Student purchased materials will be needed for exploration of ideas and different creative projects throughout the semester (example: clay, tools, etc.).

Student Learning Objectives:

1.    Utilize a working vocabulary of basic ceramic terms and processes associated with throwing on the potter’s wheel.

2.    Understand different firing processes associated with finishing thrown work: Electric kilns, Gas Fired Reduction Kilns, Low fire atmospheric and Raku firing.

3.    Understand multiple thrown and altered techniques associated with forming techniques of throwing on the wheel.

4.    Learn the techniques of making multiple wheel thrown pieces with similar design relationships and making sets of matching utilitarian objects.

5.    Utilize advanced techniques of surface decoration in various stages of the ceramic process:  (slip and engobe decoration, relief decoration, advanced brush decoration, wax resist, latex resist, and tape resist) 

6.    Advancement of basic design principals and expression of personal aesthetic through thrown objects with a focus on developing a personal style.  Development of object design to maximize kiln space.

7.    Utilize an advanced knowledge of glaze application for high fired ceramics.

8.    Documentation of personal hands on process through written explanation and photography geared towards personal artistic focus and development in ceramics.

9.    Involvement and firing and loading of kilns:  Loading and firing bisque firings and the loading and firing of gas kilns with approval of your instructor.

10. Understanding how to mix a glaze, the basic function of glaze materials, and the pursuit of glaze calculation on a limited basis


April 25th        Last Wet Clay Day                              No forming or trimming

April 30th        Last Bisque Fire                                  Only dry pieces will be loaded

May 3rd           Last Glaze Kilns loaded                      No firing allowed beyond this date

May 9th           Portfolios Due                                     Grades Lock at 4:00 PM


Attendance: You are required to attend each class meeting and to stay for the duration of each class.  Most lectures, demonstrations and explanations of class projects will occur at the beginning of class periods and will not be repeated for students who arrive late.  A written test over the vocabulary covered in class may be presented at any time.  You must consult with me when an absence occurs.  Make-up assignments are given ONLY for excused absences and at the discretion of the instructor and must be turned in promptly.  Incomplete or late work will not be accepted.  Make-up tests will only be given with an excused absence.  I reserve the right to have make-up tests be all essay or practical demonstration.  People not registered in the course are not allowed to be in the classroom.  Absolutely no cell phone use, text messaging or otherwise disruptive behavior allowed during class. 

Withdrawals: If at any point you consider dropping the course please consult with me.  Alternative options or help may be available.  I will make every reasonable effort to assist you in completing this course within the parameters of the established class meeting times and my office hours.  Students wishing to drop should consult an academic advisor.  If you stop attending class after the MSC established last day to drop with a ‘W’, you will receive a performance grade most likely an ‘F’.