ART10a: Cultural History of Ceramics

               STUDIO RM AR101 (main campus)  TuTh 

6 -9:05pm  3 units


KC Gonzales




Office: AR 110, Message phone: (408) 848-4833

Email: <>

Tu/Th 5-6pm, appointment may be arranged by email

PREREQUISITES None.  This course fulfills general education transfer requirements.


Art 10A is an introduction to the historic developments and cultural influences of ceramic art, as well as an introduction to ceramic techniques through actual clay projects. 



Hands in Clay, An Introduction to Ceramics, Charlotte F. Speight and John Toki  5th ED

ISBN: 0072950706


Click HERE for a list of supplies.

Clay may be purchased at school. Recycled is $1/log, new bag is $9.00. A basic clay kit consists of a bucket, small sponge, cutoff wire, metal probe, metal rib, wooden rib, wooden knife. If money is an issue you can borrow tools for the day. Pencil, permanent marker, ruler. Binder hold notes, handouts, glaze log, and sketches.

LOCKERS Available on a first-come-first-serve basis and must be shared. Sign up is taped to the lockers near the slab roller.










Grade is determined by the points accumulated / points possible. 


a) 45%

Clay projects

b) 15%

Written Tests

c) 10%

Participation: attendance, effort, class discussions, activities, assignments and willingness to engage in learning.

d) 25%

Written assignments: ethnic study, gallery report, self-critique, studio journal

e)   5%

Oral Critique


Projects will be evaluated on the following criteria:

a) Appropriateness. Project fulfills the criteria of the assignment.

b) Originality, imagination, quality of communication

c) Application of design principles and historical relevance

d) Craftsmanship (tool usage, materials application, quality of construction, presentation)

e) Effort to create a personal voice.

f) Turned in on time.



Attendance is mandatory. After three absences the grade will be dropped one letter. Students that miss more than 5 classes will be dropped. This applies to excessive tardies and early departures. Just going to class is not enough, however. You must work and complete assignments in order to get a satisfactory grade..

EXTRA CREDIT may be earned, speak to KC.


Students are expected to exercise academic honesty and integrity. Violations such as cheating and plagiarism will result in disciplinary action which may include recommendation for dismissal.








Mandatory. (see grading policy)

The success of the class depends on student participation in the form of class discussions and studio projects. 

Online participation will include tests, copies of lectures, journal notes of personal experiences and an exchange of ceramic websites.

The studio portion is NOT home study. Art is hands on and best completed at school. The class environment is an essential element of learning. It is unique to the students who enroll each semester. Teacher demonstrations, tutorials, guests, as well as fellow students' unique thought and work process will create a unique learning environment. The student who is present and observant of the different activities going on in the studio will learn much more than what is listed on the syllabus. Our studio policy is to allow all registered ceramic students to enter other ceramic classes if there is space, and if the visiting student conducts himself in a respectful manner. A student who miss a class may make up the time in another ceramic class. Studio projects are time consuming and often require additional time to complete.


Mastery of artistic skill develops with many hours of practice. A good idea does not guarantee a good outcome. Be patient with yourself, projects rarely come out as first envisioned. Time and effort are critical to artistic growth. Procrastinating doesn't work, you can't pull an all-nighter. The various stages of clay make it impossible to rush.

It's difficult getting started sometimes, but I can not emphasize enough that you do not leave assignments until the last minute. It's best not to compare yourself with your neighbors. The class is mixed -- there are people with no previous experience, others with some, and others with a lot. It's best to set your own high marks and pace.

Students requiring special services or arrangements because of hearing, visual, or other disability should inform the instructor, the counselor, or the Disabled Student Services Office.