FA 107: Hand Building


FA-107: Intro to Hand Building

Designated University Core

This course will introduce students to basic hand-building construction techniques in clay while exploring and executing a variety of vessel shapes.  Students will also learn about and participate in the fundamental elements of the ceramic process such as glaze application and firing.

 “I find ceramics to be challenging but in the best sense of the word, you never stop trying new processes.” Lizee Muller Class of 2015 



Vessel Projects

  1. Pinch technique: Produce 5 open vessel forms and 5 closed vessel forms.
  2. Coil technique:  Produce a form or vessel using clay coils. Explore surface treatments such as paddling, scraping, or smoothing.
  3. Hard Slab technique:  Produce a form based on the cube using hard slabs of clay.  This technique uses semi-dried clay slabs resulting in a more rigid material for constructing straight geometric forms.
  4. Soft Slab technique:  Produce a cylinder form using soft slabs.  Soft slabs allows for more fluid forms to be made, but requires more skill than hard slab.
  5. Proposed Projects (Combination of techniques): Produce a form or vessel using any technique or combination of techniques learned in all of the previous projects. Each project will begin with a one-page proposal, including sketches, submitted to the instructor.  Each proposal will be approved from the instructor before the student will begin any project.


 “You never stop learning how to manipulate the material or create something new, and it’s exciting.”-Maura McCandlish, Class 2014

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