Ceramics Oral Report Project

Ceramics Oral Report Project
This assignment is designed to stimulate a deeper interest in ceramics by focusing on
one aspect from the vast history of ceramics. This history is a fascinating cross-cultural
development of arts and culture, as materials and secret technologies were traded
across the Silk Road for thousands of years and driving economies across ocean trade
routes beginning in the 16th C. The desire for beautiful and functional ceramic artworks
has driven this quest:
 To build shrines and statuary for religious ceremony
 To map geologic exploration for clay and glaze materials
 To develop chemistry in the glazes
 To develop effective kiln technology
 To develop durable architectural materials for interior and exterior application
 To produce affordable functional mass-produced tableware
 To produce highly durable material for laboratory, medical and hygiene
In the 20th and 21st Centuries, ceramic technologies serve a promise for great future
development in Space Age technologies as well as electronics to computer technologies.
The Oral Report Project can be researched and presented by a team of students, or
individually (allow 2-3 minutes per person). You may choose to visit a site to examine
antiquities from Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, or the Americas at the Seattle
Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park on Capitol Hill or at the Seattle Art Museum in
downtown Seattle. You may also consider visiting a crafts Gallery or
private studio. Photographs are not allowed in the museums and most galleries. Visual
images can be borrowed from the SPU Library books or periodicals, Inter-net resources
or actual examples of pottery.
Some research questions to address on your topic:
1. What type of clay was used?
2. What technique was used of forming the object: hand,
3. potter’s wheel, or slip-cast?
4. If there is surface decoration, how is this achieved?
5. What type of glaze is applied?
6. What type of kiln, fuel and length of firing?
7. Is the work functional or decorative?
8. How is the item marketed?
Suggestions for possible topics:
Ancient or traditional potters
Classical styles of pottery
The Americas: Anasazi, Arizona USA
Aztec, Mexico
Mochican Peru
Rookwood, Ohio, USA
Asia: Jomon Period, Japan
Porcelain development, China
Middle East: Biblical Period Potter
Tablets of clay
Glaze Development, Persia
Africa: Egyptian Paste
Invention of the potter’s wheel
Europe: Ancient Roman, Greek
Salt glazing, Germany
Sevres porcelain, France
Wedgewood Pottery, England
Maiolica, Portugal, Spain, Italy, France
Contemporary Potters
and Sculptors
Shoji Hamada, Japan
Bernard Leach, England
Peter Volkos, USA
Lucie Rie, Sweden
Patty Warashina, USA
Kilns: pit, raku, saggar, wood, electric, gas
Glaze: high temperature,
low-temperature, over-glaze, salt, crystal
High technology/ Space Age ceramics
Clay in architecture, Tiles Kohler Porcelain
Written Paper Option-If one is unable to make the written paper deadline,
a 2 page paper with visuals and resource included will be accepted.