The Making & Meaning pod offers the opportunity both to create and to examine cultural objects. The Meaning of Things considers broadly how we value and give meaning to material objects–individually, culturally, and historically. In Pottery, students will hand-make objects for daily use in considering whether a handmade cup can save the world. Together the courses provide context for and examples of the concepts at hand–craft and curation, making and meaning–creating a complementary and synergistic combined study.
Enrollment Requirements and Options:
Students are highly encouraged to co-enroll in both courses in this pod. Being a TA for one or both courses is possible with previous experience. This pod is not a good fit for students wishing to take an additional class or independent study.
Mondays, all day: Pottery
Tuesdays, all day: Meaning of Things
Wednesdays, all day: Pottery
Thursdays, all day: Meaning of Things
Friday: flex time and work day
This pod includes the following courses:
HM481B The Meaning of Things
This seminar explores how we give meaning to material objects–individually, culturally, and historically. It will be both theoretical and practical, looking at how these ideas play out specifically through museums (how things are displayed, what meaning is given to them, how choices are made about what to display, etc.), as well as the cultural and ecological impacts of the ways in which museums construct and value meanings. It will be a writing-intensive course (and also reading intensive!). There will be a number of field trips to local museums. Each student will curate an exhibition of their own design on campus as a final project (in response to a question developed by the group). Prerequisites: One Foundations course, one 200- or 300-level writing-intensive course, and Junior or Senior status.
HM272G Wheel Thrown Pottery
A challenging hands-on, wheel throwing class. Students will explore and develop some mastery with a range of pottery forms and techniques. This is an intensive, studio based, skill building workshop in wheel throwing techniques. Students should expect to spend at least 3-4 hours a day outside of class time in the studio to complete assignments. Through demonstrations and individual instruction, plus plenty of practice time, students will explore and create a variety of primarily functional forms in clay. Students will keep a collection of sketches and images and glaze notes for self reflection, goal setting and exploration in design. Two small research papers prepared by each student and shared in class will enhance each potter’s understanding of the clay world.
By the end of this course, students will be able to throw a variety of basic pottery forms including bowls, mugs, tumblers, lidded jars, pitchers and candleholders. Students will have some proficiency in a variety of surface decorating techniques including altering, carving, stamping, and glazing. Students will develop a vocabulary to discuss and critique pottery in terms of anatomy, form, craftsmanship, style and functionality. Students will have a good feel for the nature of clay.