Courses & Independent Studio

Fall 2018 (September 4 - December 1, 2018) course registration will be done online
and will begin at 11am on Monday, July 9, 2018.

No in-person, on-site registration. No checks or cash accepted. Credit card only.
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Fall 2018 Course List - Registration is now CLOSED

Absolute Beginners

Semester: 

Fall

Dates: September 22 - November 17
Days/Times: Saturdays, 10:00am - 1:00pm
Level: Beginner
Instructor: Colby CharpentierThrowing on Wheel

Course description:   Ready to try your hand at the wheel? Explore the basics of wheel throwing in this fun and casual class. The instructor guides you through a variety of forms to then decorate and glaze as well as introduces you to the studio. A great way for Harvard students to take a break and explore your creative side in this fun introduction to clay! (9 classes/10 weeks)
... Read more about Absolute Beginners

Advancing Glazes

Semester: 

Fall

Dates: September 10 - November 26Advancing Glazes
Days/Times: Mondays, 6:30 - 9:30pm
Level: Intermediate - Advanced

Instructor: Matthew Katz/Casey Zeng


Course description:  This course is the next step after Glaze and Clay Body Chemistry and is led by Alfred University instructor Matthew Katz, facilitated by Ceramics Program staff member Casey Zeng. Advancing Glazes will take an intensive approach to the study and analysis of glazes. Students will research the nature of glaze effects, surfaces, and colors. The focus of the course is to provide students with technical and empirical knowledge about the composition, application and fired effects of ceramic glazes and ultimately, to aid them in making better-informed decisions as they strive to realize their vision. The ceramic artist strives to create glaze surfaces that, as a component of concept and content, enhance form through texture and color. The beauty of ceramic glazes comes from subtle nuances of chemistry. The intermingling of silicate bonds, crystallization, and kiln atmospheres dictate the qualities of the glaze. A fundamental understanding of the principles and properties involved in glaze science is essential if the ceramic artist can exert any control in the successful outcome of the work.

... Read more about Advancing Glazes

Basics and Challenges

Semester: 

Fall

Dates:  September 10 - November 26Basics with Steve
Days/Times: Mondays, 6:30 - 9:30pm
Level: Beginning - Intermediate
Instructor: Steve Murphy

Course description: Demonstrations, individual critiques, and lots of hands-on time will engage students in learning the basics of wheel throwing, hand building, and surface decoration. Creative approaches to altered and combined elements will provide challenges for more experienced students. (12 classes/13 weeks)
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Basics and Challenges

Semester: 

Fall

Dates: September 7 - November 30Basics and Challenges
Days/Times: Fridays, 6:30 – 9:30 pm
Level: Beginning - Intermediate
InstructorZac Mickelson

Course description: Demonstrations, individual critiques, and lots of hands-on time will engage students in learning the basics of wheel throwing, hand building, and surface decoration. Creative approaches to altered and combined elements will provide challenges for more experienced students. (12 classes/13 weeks) Note: There is no class November 23rd for the Thanksgiving Break.

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Basics and Challenges

Semester: 

Fall

Dates: September 6 - November 29Basics and Challenges
Days/Times: Thursdays, 6:30 – 9:30 pm
Level: Beginning - Intermediate
Instructor: Denny McLaughlin

Course description: Demonstrations, individual critiques, and lots of hands-on time will engage students in learning the basics of wheel throwing, hand building, and surface decoration. Creative approaches to altered and combined elements will provide challenges for more experienced students. (12 classes/13 weeks) Note: There will be no class on Thursday, November 22nd for the Thanksgiving Break.
... Read more about Basics and Challenges

Basics and Challenges

Semester: 

Fall

Dates: September 4 - November 20Stephanie Young
Days/Times: Tuesdays, 6:30pm - 9:30pm  
Level: Beginning - Intermediate                      
Instructors: Stephanie Young

Course description: Demonstrations, individual critiques, and lots of hands-on time will engage students in learning the basics of wheel throwing, hand building, and surface decoration. Creative approaches to altered and combined elements will provide challenges for more experienced students. (12 classes/13 weeks)
... Read more about Basics and Challenges

Ceramics as Sculpture

Semester: 

Fall

Dates: September 5 - November 28
Beginner - Advanced
Ceramic Sculpture
Days/Times: Wednesdays, 6:30 - 9:30pm
Level: Beginner - Advanced
Instructor: Natalia Arbelaez

Course descriptionJoin 2018-19 Artist in Residence Natalia Arbelaez with this introduction to ceramic sculpture including pinch, coil and slab building, surface modeling and design. Works may be inspired by both three-dimensional form, animal imagery, imaginative creatures, the human form as well as the vessel. Use of molds, slab roller and extruder will be demonstrated and wheels can be accessed during class. Surface techniques will be explored and a range of slips and glazes will be introduced. Potters may find this class a great way to integrate handbuilt elements to their thrown work (wheels are available though basic instruction on throwing will not be a focus of this class). Note: No class will be held on Wednesday, November 21st for the Thanksgiving Holiday.

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Combined Methods

Semester: 

Fall

Dates: September 5 - November 28Combined Methods
Days/Times: Wednesdays, 6:30 – 9:30 pm
Level: Intermediate - Advanced
Instructor: Kyla Toomey

Course description: This course is primarily a studio class structured around student proposals for a current body of work in combination with thematic assignments. Assignments will highlight and examine advanced process-based learning involving surface techniques, altered or complex forms, basic mold making and glazing techniques. (8 classes/10 weeks) Note: There will be no class on Wednesday, November 21st for Thanksgiving Break.
... Read more about Combined Methods

Constructed Vessels

Semester: 

Fall

Dates:  September 5 - November 28Colby Charpentier
Days/Times: Wednesdays, 10:00am - 1:00pm
Level: Intermediate - Advanced
Instructor: Colby Charpentier

Course description: Work with 2018-19 Artist-in-Residence, Colby Charpentier, learning approaches to building complex forms from multiple parts. An amalgam of techniques will be demonstrated with the idea of expanding our studio practice. We will aim to exploit the material properties of clay with the goal of better executing our vision in clay. A variety of building and forming techniques will be encouraged (wheel and hand building). We will address all parts of the artistic process, starting with ideation, building, and eventually learning approaches to surfacing sculptural work. This class is open to a wide range of skill levels. While technique will be a core focus, we will aim to push ourselves off-balance and create situations where creative problem solving is requisite. (12 classes/13 weeks) Note: There will be no class on Wednesday, November 21st for the Thanksgiving Break.
... Read more about Constructed Vessels

Explore Soda Firing

Semester: 

Fall

Dates:  September 7 - November 30 Denny McLaughlin
Days/Times: Fridays, 10:00am – 1:00 pm
Level: Intermediate - Advanced
Instructor: Dennis McLaughlin

Course description: Explore nature-inspired visual and tactile surfaces on wheel thrown forms by using soda slips and washes as well as patterns and textures. Fresh spontaneous approaches on soft clay, as well as more structured methods of building functional work with thrown forms will be developed. A three-dimensional artist, from either clay or another discipline will be selected by each student to inspire the development of new methods that go beyond the familiar solution in making a soda fired functional pot.  The experience of building a larger vocabulary of soda firing possibilities and results will lay the groundwork for new directions for functional work. (12 classes/13 weeks)
... Read more about Explore Soda Firing

Harvard Student Ceramics Lab

Semester: 

Fall

Dates: September 10 - November 26Harvard Student Course
Days/Times: Mondays, 6:30 - 9:30pm and by appointment.
Level: Beginning - Advanced
Instructor: Kathy King

Course description: This non-credit, directed study course is designed to assist Harvard undergraduate, graduate students and fellows with academic projects that utilize ceramic materials and their applications. Students will work with Director of Education, Kathy King, to gain access to the studio and be given orientation and training for all materials and equipment. Establishment of project goals, work flow and instruction on construction methods will be provided. If students wish to receive credit for their work at the Ceramics Program, they would need to contact their advisor to arrange this with Director King. Students who cannot make the Monday, 6:30 - 9:30 meeting time can arrange individual appointments with Director King. 
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Independent Studio

Semester: 

Fall

Dates: September 4 - December 1 Independent Study
Days/Times: N/A
Level: Advanced

Course description: Self-directed work for advanced participants previously enrolled in a Ceramics Program course and who have passed the Electric Kiln test. Independent Studio students have proven that they are capable of processing their own work. This course includes studio access and other opportunities. (13 weeks) ... Read more about Independent Studio

The Figure

Semester: 

Fall

Dates: September 6 - November 29Claudia Olds Goldie
Days/Times: Thursdays, 6:30 - 9:30pm
Level: Intermediate - Advanced
Instructor: Claudia Olds Goldie

Course description: While learning to create figures that are proportionate, expressive, and anatomically correct, we will explore the connection between animals and humans in sculpture.  Looking at images of historical and contemporary sculpture, we will consider human/animal narratives, the emotional impact of these cross-species relationships in art, and anthropomorphic inventions.  We will work primarily from photos and imagination. (12 classes/13weeks) Note: There will be no class on Thursday, November 22nd for the Thanksgiving holiday.
... Read more about The Figure

Tile Mural

Semester: 

Fall

Dates: September 4 - November 20Marek Jacisin
Days/Times: Tuesdays, 6:30 - 9:30pm
Level: Beginning - Advanced

Instructor: Marek Jacisin


Course descriptionDiscover the various techniques to design and produce one of a kind and multiple low relief, clay tiles. The class will include design techniques, working on a primary sketch, transferring the image onto clay, carving and cutting the tile using an assortment of tools. Simple and more advanced decorating techniques will be introduced including the use of mold-making. In addition to their own creations, students will design and make a mural intended for outdoor installation. Use of multimedia techniques such as using lightweight concrete or epoxied polystyrene boards will be discussed. (12 classes/13 weeks)
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Time Travel with the Vessel Form

Semester: 

Fall

Dates: September 4 - November 20Natalia Arbelaez
Days/Times: Tuesdays, 1:00pm - 4:00pm
Level: Beginning - Advanced
Instructor: Natalia Arbelaez

Course Description: In this special course, students will explore different hand building and image techniques in both utilitarian and decorative vessels with 2018-19 Artist in Residence, Natalia Arbelaez. Students will utilize the collections of the Harvard Museums of Science and Culture and the Harvard Art Museums to draw inspiration and select works to be viewed up close in a study lab. Part of the class will focus on observing and recreating a historical vessel while implementing the possible ancient methods of creation. Students will also create their own designs and personal narrative with a contemporary approach. (12 classes/13 weeks)

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Wheel Intensive

Semester: 

Fall

Dates: September 10 - November 26Steve Murphy
Days/Times: Mondays, 10:00am - 1:00pm
Level: Intermediate - Advanced
Instructor: Steve Murphy

Course Description: Focusing primarily on the wheel, this class for intermediate to advanced potters will explore size, form, refinement and surface. Students should arrive with an ideas of what forms and/or techniques that they would like to improve upon during this class. Special attention will be given to creating larger vessels and lids, pouring vessels, multiples and executing more sophisticated forms. Class demonstrations will be given based on student input with the remainder of the class being one-on-one help. (12 classes/13 weeks)

... Read more about Wheel Intensive