Montclair Public Schools
Montclair High School
Principal: James N. Earle
100 Chestnut Street, Montclair, NJ 07042
8:00 AM - 2:33 PM
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MPS Home ➤ Schools ➤ Montclair High School ➤ Arts ➤ Visual and Performing Arts ➤ Ceramics


Level: Academic (Honors by contract)

Credits: 2.5 Visual/Performing Arts

Course Description: This studio course is designed to give students a hands-on introduction to clay and techniques, with an emphasis on traditional hand building techniques that have developed over time. Students will gain a historical perspective of the role of both clay and potter through the study of various world cultures. The role of decorative surface treatments and glazing methods will also be studied; students will employ these methods in the completion of their own three dimensional clay works.


  • Standard 1.1: The Creative Process – All students will demonstrate an understanding of the elements and principles that govern the creation of works of art in dance, music, theatre, and visual art.
  • Standard 1.2: History of the Arts and Culture – All students will understand the role, development, and influence of the arts throughout history and across cultures
  • Standard 1.3: Performing – All students will synthesize skills, media, methods, and technologies that are appropriate to creating, performing, and/or presenting works of art in dance, music, theatre, and visual art.
  • Standard 1.4: Aesthetic Responses & Critique Methodologies – All students will demonstrate and apply an understanding of arts philosophies, judgment, and analysis to works of art in dance, music, theatre, and visual art.

Supplementary Materials:

  • Artist and Art Movement Videos and DVDs
  • Current Art Publications/Artist Biographies
  • Internet Resources

Units of Study

  • Art History – the influence of world cultures and their contributions to the ceramic arts
  • Traditional hand building techniques – pinch, coil, and slab construction
  • Principles of three-dimensional design
  • Surface treatment and glazing techniques
  • Studio safety – materials, tools, and techniques
  • Critique

Proficiencies: By the end of this course, students will:

  • Demonstrate proficiency in three traditional ceramic hand building techniques (pinch, coil and slab construction.)
  • Demonstrate proficiency in decorative surface treatment and glaze selection, using a variety of techniques.
  • Show familiarity in preparing vessels and sculptures for firing, and knowledge of the firing process.
  • Demonstrate safe art making practices in the studio, including awareness of the dangers associated with handling ceramics materials.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the influence of an artist, movement, or culture.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the creative process and understand the value of critique.
  • Evaluate ceramic works according to a set criterion for hand building and surface treatment techniques.
  • Identify potential career paths that may be taken in the ceramic arts.
  • Refine their perceptual, intellectual, physical, and technical skills through art creation.
  • Have an understanding of art in a historic context and an appreciation for artistic accomplishments throughout the ages.
  • Think, write, and speak about artwork critically and fluently.

Evaluation & Assessment:

  • Projects (40%) – projects are assigned as both instructional tools and instruments for assessment. Projects are assessed on an individual basis and evaluated based on the following criteria: following instructions, skill and development, creativity and originality, craftsmanship, and completion of the project.
  • Class Work (30%) – an integral aspect of the learning process, allowing students to demonstrate their ongoing understanding of content and concepts taught.   Class work includes demonstration of a cooperative attitude and contribution to the learning process of the class, proper utilization of class time, attendance and punctuality, proper use of materials and supplies, studio set-up and clean-up, and participation in class discussions and critiques.
  • Tests/Quizzes (10%) – an assessment of cumulative knowledge and understanding of a unit of study/evaluation of short-term knowledge and understanding of homework assignments and class lessons.
  • Homework (10%) – enables students to exercise and reinforce their knowledge and understanding of skills taught in class, as well as preparation and/or research for projects to be executed in class.
  • Final Exam (10%) – a culminating assessment of skills and knowledge administered at the end of the semester’s coursework.


Updated: 9/26/2017