Clay is a material rich in history and possibilities for art making. Ceramics at The Crucible offers a unique place to learn the different building techniques of pinching, coiling, using slabs, in addition to press molds and slip casting with plaster molds. Students have the opportunity to explore different glazing techniques in low fire, high fire, and other firing alternatives such as raku firing. From functional tableware and vessels to sculpture and installations to mixed media, the possibilities in ceramics are endless for both youths and adults.
Current Classes at a Glance
Please see the Current Class Index page here.
Try your hands at making sculptural and functional forms in clay. This introductory class covers the traditional hand-building and surface treatment techniques while pushing the boundaries with unconventional methods. You’ll leave with a solid foundation in working with clay and the ability to apply your new skill-set to other three-dimensional work and materials.
Explore the art of china painting. We’ll focus on how to mix powdered china paint with a water based medium, basic brushing technique and layering of the paint. China painting is a traditional technique that is still appreciated by many people in current days for its dimensional images and delicate expression on a porcelain base. During this 5-day workshop you can create your own design on a large porcelain plate.
Create ceramic multiples! Whether you’re interested in making multiple vessels or sculptures, this class covers the basic mold-making techniques with plaster. We’ll make simple press molds and multi-piece molds for slip casting, then bring the clay through the traditional ceramic processes of hand-building, firing, and glazing.
Labs are supervised environments in which you can practice and perfect the skills you learn in class while working on class assignments or your own projects. Labs do not include instruction or materials, but are great opportunities for informal tutoring and mentoring.
Youth Clay Critters (Ages 8 – 11)
Explore clay as a sculptural material to create critters of your own imagination. We’ll focus on hand-building techniques, mold making with plaster, and surface treatments with traditional glazes and non-traditional approaches. You will get the chance to include other materials such as, fabrics, metal, and wood into your critters.
Use hand building techniques to make contemporary busts out of clay. This class is great for youth interested in using clay to sculpt portraits and take clay skills to the next level! We will finish the class with raku, a hands on firing technique involving fire and smoke to create beautiful metallic glaze finishes.
The Figure in Clay
Sculpt the human figure. We’ll focus on human anatomy and proportion while encouraging you to push the limits of your imagination by abstraction and exaggeration. By the end of this class, you will have a solid understanding of the human form and the skills to construct the ceramic version of your vision. Prior experience working with clay preferred, but not necessary. Live model present.
This class is an introduction to china painting. Students will learn how to mix powdered china paint with a water based medium and use different paint layering techniques to create beautiful images on porcelain. During this 5 day workshop, students will be able to create their own designs on a large porcelain plate.
Clay Together: Parent & Child 3-Hour Taster
In this three-hour class, parent and child pairs will create “animal bowls.” An animal bowl is a bowl that is shaped like an animal! Students will learn basic hand building techniques to sculpt their animal bowls, and then use underglazes to paint them. Based on interest and time, we can also incorporate using the potter’s wheel. These unique pieces will be food safe.
Ceramics II: Sculpture & Surfaces
Designed for intermediate to advanced students, this class will go beyond basics to explore all the various surface treatments and alternative firing techniques in ceramics. Through understanding all the different possibilities in clay, from using terra sigillata to raku firings, students will be able to further use the material to express their individual visions.
CeraMix: Mixed Media & Sculptural Clayworking
This class is ideal for those wanting to explore clay as a sculptural material for the first time and for artists interested in incorporating clay into their body of work. There will be a strong emphasis on hand building techniques (slabs, coils, etc.), mold making with plaster, and different surface treatments, with traditional glazes and non-traditional approaches. We will discuss how to incorporate other materials, such as fabrics, metal, and wood into our ceramics.