2012-13 Catalog

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Offering Description

Rites of Passage: Ceramics and Fine Metalwork

Fall 2012, Winter 2013 and Spring 2013 quarters

Jean Mandeberg visual art, metalsmithing , Evan Blackwell visual arts, ceramics
Fields of Study
aesthetics, art history, visual arts and writing
Preparatory for studies or careers in
arts and humanities.

Our long lives are marked by celebrations, ceremonies and often age-related events that we remember years later through associated objects and images. Artists are the ones who make the plaques, gravestones, amulets, awards, medals, lockets, etc. that pass through the memories of generations, and these objects are often made using ceramics or precious metals. Clay and metal are the materials we will focus on in this studio art program as we explore materials and technical processes that express our understanding of rites of passage. Which rites are public and which are private across cultures? How have these commemorations changed over time and been influenced by travel and technology?

This will be a rigorous studio-based program where students will spend one quarter focusing on ceramics and one quarter focusing on fine metalworking while continually experimenting with mixing media. There will be particular emphasis on the relationship between these two studios and the way surfaces such as glazes and enamels are fired over dimensional forms, and ways the process of casting can be used in either metal or ceramics. We will consider political aspects of the collection and processing of our materials, as well as the meaning associated with them in particular commemorative forms.

Art historical examples such as memento mori ("Remember your mortality") or milagros and ex votos will be closely examined through weekly writing, extensive readings and lively seminar discussion. Students should be prepared to constantly juxtapose theory and practice as they address both individual and collaborative assignments during fall and winter quarters.

During spring quarter each student will either pursue a theme-based project or an internship with a practicing artist or regional arts organization. It will be the student's responsibility to write a detailed proposal for an individual project and faculty will assist students in locating and developing internships. Both paths of study in the spring will build on the conceptual framework, technical skills and studio work ethic established during fall and winter. We hope spring quarter will be a time for students to connect their visual work to the social and political realities of these ideas outside the studio.

Online Learning
No Required Online Learning
Greener Store
Required Fees
$100 per quarter for materials and supplies in the fine metals and ceramics studios. Students will take projects and unused supplies with them at the end of the program.
Internship Possibilities
Students may choose an internship with a practicing artist or regional arts organization in spring.
Offered During