• Studio In Ceramics

    Mr. Martin

    email: tmartin@newpaltz.k12.ny.us

    voicemail: 845.256.4000 ext. ext. 69520

    availability: daily 2:20-2:45 Art Wing


    The visual arts have roots in every culture and historical period throughout the world. They reach across stereotypes, religion, socioeconomics, and prejudices, allowing everyone to be more globally connected. Visual arts are fundamental if students are to become informed and contributing members of the world community. - excerpt from the New York State Learning Standards for the Arts


    The word Ceramics comes from the Greek keramos, and refers to the art of making both useful and beautiful objects and artifacts. Both pottery and ceramic are general terms that describe objects which have been formed with clay, hardened by firing and decorated or glazed. 

    Clay is a natural material created by weathered rock. When moist,  it is soft, malleable and will permanently harden if heated at high temperatures, making it a practical material to produce functional and sculptural wares. 


    In Ceramics, students will extend the study of the visual arts through a ceramic medium using introductory pottery skills. In doing so, students will expand their artistic skills analytically, conceptually, and technically and will further develop their visual arts vocabulary. Students will be using hand-building and throwing techniques, and/or a combination of these methods to produce works in clay. Students will learn to create ceramic works as both functional pieces and as aesthetic sculptural forms. The material learned in the foundation classes and other art courses should be applied to all works in regards to the elements and principles of art and design.



    Students are expected to follow the Code of Conduct

    The art studio is essential for each student to work on projects as well as participate in maintaining the studio space, engage in the process and share experiences/strengths with other art students. The art studio is a shared area so we must respect each area as such. 

    Respect is essential to success in an art studio – for artwork, materials, procedures, learning and most important of all, for each other!


    As a student in this class you are expected to:


    • Arrive to class on time. If you anticipate being late, get a pass from the teacher, counselor or administrator you are with. Three unexcused tardies will result in a student/teacher meeting.

    • Be prepared for class with all necessary tools for the current project and current homework.  (Your sketchbook, a pencil and your Chromebooks are required every day.) Your sketchbook will be collected at least twice quarterly for a grade. 

    • Be responsible for the care and maintenance of all equipment, tools and the classroom as a whole. Use tools as intended. Clean them up when done and put them in their proper place.

    • Complete all class assignments as well as homework on time.  Lateness will be penalized. (Absence or special circumstances must be discussed on an individual basis with me.)

    • Do your best at all times. We are all learning and things will be difficult at times. 

    • Be engaged and actively listen during lessons, presentations and while anyone is speaking/presenting. 

    • Use class time to its fullest extent, as well as participate in discussions and critiques.

    • Work the entire block. No wandering or sleeping. 

    • Not use your cellphone and any of its functions unless previously discussed on an individual basis with me.

    • Make use of library and classroom resources in conjunction with various projects.

    • Use Open Studio hours as needed (after school Tuesdays until 4pm). If you miss a day of class, you should stay after for Open Studio to make up for that time. 

    • Be respectful to everyone at all times. RESPECT YOUR TEACHER, YOUR CLASSMATES, AND YOURSELF!




    We will follow the NYS Learning Standards for the Arts:

    The four artistic processes of Creating, Performing/Presenting/Producing, Responding, and Connecting will be incorporated into instruction simultaneously. Lessons and units will move fluidly between the processes, rather than address them in isolation.


    This class is designed to lead you through an in-depth exploration of basic clay methods and techniques, and to immerse you in the process of creating ceramics; from research & design to product completion.

    In this course you will be encouraged to take a risk with your art making, to push your art to a new level. 


    Areas of study and exploration in this course may include but not limited to:

    -The nature of clay

    -Glazing and finishing techniques

    -Firing techniques – electric and primitive 

    -Studio equipment

    -The history of ceramics


    Ceramic construction including:

    -Three-dimensional design


    -Decoration and texture techniques

    -Pinch and Modeling Methods

    -Coil Building

    -Slab Construction

    -Drape and Press molds

    -Throwing on the wheel

    -Sculptural Construction


    Your grade will based on the following:

    ·        Participation

    ·        Creativity

    ·        Classwork

    ·        Homework

    ·        Effort

    ·        Craftsmanship 


    Each project will be graded based on a self-assessment rubric.  The rubric will be completed by the student and handed in with the completed assignment. 

    The rubric may change depending on the criteria of a particular assignment, but the main categories are generally: Composition, Creativity, Effort, Craftsmanship and Classwork. 



    - 9” x 12” sketchbook. Spiral books hold up better, but any type is allowed.  This will be your sketchbook/journal. Please email or see me if it is a problem for you to get one. 

    - Potter’s apron or an old shirt – optional 

    - Two-pocketed folder for handouts and class work - optional



    -Notify me immediately of any accidents or injuries. 

    -Notify me immediately of any broken tools or equipment.

    -Do not use any equipment that you have not been trained to use. 

    -No eating or drinking in the art room. Wash your hands at the end of every class. 

    -Use tools only for their intended purpose. Don’t know how to use a tool? Ask for help.

    -You should always wear an apron and wash clay off your clothes regularly. 

    -When working on the wheel, students must keep their hair pulled back. Dangling jewelry and rings are not allowed while throwing on the wheel. 

    -Keep loose, dry clay off the floor if possible. 

    -Never sweep clay or blow clay dust; rather, clean with damp sponges and wet paper towels. 

    -Stay away from the kiln unless you have permission to assist in loading and unloading it. Always stay away from the kiln when it is on. All students should help in keeping the area around the kiln free of papers and combustibles.




    Art Open Studio hours are Tuesdays after school until 4:00. Please note that the late bus leaves at 3:45. Anyone wishing to stay until 4:00 must have a ride scheduled in advance. 


    This is a time for students to work in the studios on either class projects or independent work.


    This is a great time to work on a project as well as get direct input on a specific issue you may be having with a project. 


    If you miss a day of class, you should stay after for Open Studio to make up for that time. 




    Course information and assignments can be found on the Google Classroom. Links will be provided. 


    Student grades will be posted online in Grade Book


    The best way to contact me is via email at tmartin@newpaltz.k12.ny.us with any questions or concerns.


    You may also reach me by leaving a message at (845) 256-4000 ext. 69520


    I encourage a strong parent/teacher relationship and thank you in advance for your support and cooperation and look forward to meeting you at OPEN HOUSE, Wednesday September 21st.


    Per Code of Conduct


    Section A, number 6.

    Unless authorized by a district administrator for use as academic technology, or using cell phones, using digital music players or other personal entertainment devices is prohibited. Misusing computer or electronic devices, including unauthorized use of computers, software, or an internet or intranet account; accessing inappropriate websites, or any other violation of the district’s acceptable use policy is prohibited. In addition, communication devices must be silenced and cannot be used at any time during an emergency situation to ensure the safety of all individuals in the school building, unless authorized to do so.


    I understand the need to communicate with your student during the day for a variety of needs. Please encourage your student to communicate with me when this is necessary. 


    Students are expected to follow the Code of Conduct


    “The problem is never how to get new, innovative thoughts into your mind, but how to get old ones out. Every mind is a building filled with archaic furniture. Clean out a corner of your mind and creativity will instantly fill it.” – Dee Hock