Chicago 
Field Trip Assignment for 
Advanced Ceramics
Due in class on the week following the field trip. Make the final draft on a word processor (pencil sketches are to be added or attached).


Clay RecipeSyllabus - 204 Ceramics
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Chicago Assignment for Beginning Ceramics

It is quite legitimate and more creative to be inspired by the thinking of a painter, the thinking of an architect, or the thinking of poet. Art concepts do not need to originate with ceramics that you see. When potters look for inspiration only in the work of other potters they are more apt to imitate the look or the surface of something. When we find the core of inspiration from another artist's motivation and purpose, we are forced to see the work as a creative process rather than an imitative product.

Chicago assignment:
Advanced Ceramics students should  sketch and describe an idea or a series of ideas of something that you think you might make in ceramics. It (they) grow(s) out of art forms other than ceramics. It does not look like the artwork seen, but it comes from ideas similar to ideas behind non ceramic artwork seen in Chicago.

Step 1.
Spend time studying and thinking about artwork in any media that you find particularly creative. Look for art concepts that you feel you could express in your clay work. While you may be interested in examples of ceramics, do not use ceramics for this assignment. Feel free to study ceramics for your own enjoyment and education, but not for this assignment.

Step 2.
After finding non ceramic artwork you find engaging, study and think about the work.

Speculate about:

  1. objectives of the work - what is it supposed to express, say, or feel like?
  2. motivations of the artist - why did she do it?
  3. how does society or individuals benefit from work like this?
  4. what inspires work like this?


Step 3.

Sketch one or a series of things to be made in clay. Your idea(s) should not look anything like the thing you see in Chicago. It should grow out of the seeing the thing. You should write an explanation of how your creative process moved from what you saw to what you sketched.

Step 4.

Write a the story of your looking, thinking, and creative insights. Use a word processor for this. Print it and add your sketches or attach them to the written work. Hand it in.

Step 5.

If you are inspired to do so, definitely create the work in clay. It will be an original and it might be very good. Who knows, it may launch your art career as the next Viola Frey or Peter Voulkos.


All rights reserved. © 1999 Marvin Bartel, Instructor. One copy of this page may be printed for personal use by Goshen College ceramics students. Others must obtain permission from the copyright holder for any use.
e-mail: marvinpb@goshen.edu
Clay RecipeSyllabus - 204 Ceramics
Home WWW Clay Links  |  Syllabus - 304/404 Ceramics
Chicago Assignment for Beginning Ceramics
updated 9-99