© 1998, 2000
Marvin Bartel

Field Trip
Assignment for
First Term Students in Ceramics

Due in class within a week following the field trip. Make the final draft on a word processor (pencil sketches may be added or attached).

Clay Recipe | Field Trip paragraph in Syllabus | Syllabus - 204 Ceramics
Home | WWW Clay Links
Chicago Assignment for Advanced Ceramics students

Step 1.
Survey all the ceramics you can find on exhibit.

Step 2.
Study the Ceramics (including educational materials provided or posted) from at least two different time periods, or important styles of work (possilby two different cultures).

Step 3.
Identify and compare a common thread that is important to both syles or cultures being studied.

Step 4.
Write a comparison of the way in which potters or clay sculptors expressed the thread that is common to both of the two styles or cultures. Supplement the writing with sketches or diagrams.

  • Identify one or two examples from each of the two styles or cultures to explain this.
  • Document, describe, and sketch the examples
  • Use selections that contain the same thread, but achieve it differently.
  • Summarize the similarities and differences in ways they deal with the common thread.
Step 5. Your creative response
Describe an idea relating to the same thread for a clay piece you could make today. Base the design on things from your culture - not the artist's culture.

Add a sketch and/or a diagram to clarify your idea. You are encouraged to make this piece for your course grade, but the actual production of the piece is not required for this assignment.

What are Common Threads in artwork?

In ceramics common threads could relate to needs that are important to the culture in which the work is done.

Here are a few functional examples:

  • Need for storage of food for out of season use so it is safe from rodents, moisture, and contaminants
  • Need for serving utensils used at meals
  • Need for containers to transport goods from place to place
  • Need other than those above - specify a functional need _________
Here are some non-functional needs:
  • Need to celebrate and commemorate important occasions
  • Need to clarify and communicate religious beliefs
  • Need to provide containers and supplies for the afterlife
  • Need to commemorate and remember leaders or friends who have died
  • Need to appease the gods or deities
  • Need to symbolize and communicate everyday events
  • Need to provide status for the owner of the artwork
  • Need to express transcendent beauty
  • Need to express the joy of the material and how it responds in the maker's hands
  • Need to express emotions
  • Need to express ideas of power, friendlyness, welcoming, and so on.
  • Need other than those above - specify a non-functional need __________

All rights reserved. © 1998, 2000 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.

updated 8-2000