About the Ceramics Program

Shadow Mountain's ceramics program prepares students to creatively and technically to express their emotions, ideas, or inner visions by producing art works out of clay and similar materials. The course provides instruction on hand-building skills and wheel techniques; molding; slips and glazes; trimming and decorating; firing and kiln operation; oxidation; mixed media; ceramic murals; and personal style development.

Student Acquired Skills

Students who are enrolled into the ceramics program will acquire skills that will transfer into the student's everyday life. Students will continue to build and enhance many of these skills, enabling them to effectively communicate with others verbally as well as through written forms of communication.

  • Creative flair
  • Practical ceramics skills
  • Time management
  • Ability to work to deadlines
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Organizational ability
  • Attention to detail
  • Patience
  • Design skills


Ceramics Course Plan

Ceramics 1-2

Beginning ceramics students concentrate on developing skills in three dimensional design (sculpture) and hand building techniques using clay as a medium. Students also experience a variety of glaze and firing techniques as they learn about the process of wet collection of minerals (clay). Both sculptural and functional works are produced using the hand building skills they acquire throughout the year. Use and function of the potter’s wheel is introduced to create traditional functional forms such as mugs, bowls, vases and lidded vessels. First year students also learn about people from various cultures around the world who have been using clay as a medium for artistic expression as well as for functional works for over a thousand years.


Ceramics 3-4

Second year students build upon the skills acquired in the first year class and move on to more advanced hand building and potters wheel techniques. Larger format and complex sculptural forms are created in this class. Functional forms on the potter’s wheel are larger and more complex as the student gains the experience necessary to manipulate the material. Traditional vessels such as teapots, jars, plates and goblets are examples of the functional forms made by the second year potter. Students explore the use of clay as an architectural medium and are introduced to the development of glazes and firing techniques. Students will examine the development of ceramics from a historical perspective and how the use of this medium has influenced the development of civilizations.


Ceramics 5-6

Third year students continue their course of study by building on the skills acquired in the first two years. Personal artistic expression is an important part of all work created in this class. Large outdoor sculptural works made of interlocking components, complex architectural tile installations, sculptural works created by joining forms made on the potter's wheel are examples of projects completed by the third year student. Third year students help to manage the ceramics studio by assisting beginning students, helping to mix glazes and fire the kilns. Also, an in-depth study of the cultural and historical foundations of ceramics is a part of the third year curriculum.


Ceramics 7-8

Fourth year students may choose from a variety of projects that are designed to further develop their skills. Fountains, portrait heads, outdoor sculptures and architectural structures are an example of the options open to the fourth year student. Potters wheels are used to create sets of functional wares. While skill development continues to be an important goal, creative expression is also a strong focus.

Successful Career Pathways

  • Ceramics Teacher
  • Art Teacher
  • Craft Artist
  • Fine Artist
  • Painters
  • Sculptors
  • Illustrators
  • Music Teacher

Ceramics Instructor

Tiffany Weatherly

Tiffany Weatherly