Ceramics: Intermediate / Advanced Handbuilding

This course expands upon basic hand building skills by introducing more advanced forming techniques, surface treatments and design considerations. Students in this class will learn to use a variety of ceramic production methods and gain an understanding of the elements and principles of three-dimensional design. The focus in this class is on the design of hand built ceramic forms. This class will serve as a platform for exploring design methods, materials and strategies in the creation of functional and/or sculptural form.

Class Meetings
Greenwich House Pottery
16 Jones St, 3rd Floor Front, New York, NY 10014
Tuesday, September 12, 2017-Tuesday, December 05, 2017
Meets 10:00 AM-1:00 PM
The first portion of each class session will generally include demonstrations and discussion format.
The second half will generally be used for project work and one-on-one consultations.

Exhibition: True Believers

During Bushwick Open Studios join us at M. David Studio, 56 Bogart Street, David & Schweitzer Contemporary
Opening reception Friday, 22 September 6pm-9pm

Learning Outcomes and Assessable Skills

Prerequisite skills for this class include:

Students are invited to develop an independent project of their own design. Using art and design research methods we can explore not only how we make ceramic forms but also what, where and why we make them and who we are making them for. Your challenge is to employ various ceramic hand building and sculpture methods in the creation of new functional and/or sculptural work. The goal of this exercise is to simultaneously challenge our selves with ceramic making methods and learn about the elements and principles of design.
Recommended Reading
“The Complete Practical Pottery”, by Josie Warshaw, hermes House Publishing
“Hands in Clay", Charlotte Speight
“Hand Building”, by Shay Amber, Lark Ceramics
“Postmodern Ceramics”, author Mark DelVecchio, Thames and Hudson, New York, NY, 2001
“Modeling and Sculpting the Human Figure”, by Lanteri, Dover Publishing




1. Orientation, course logistics.
Project kick off
Discuss principles and elements of three dimensional design.
• Demo wedging, slab, slab roller
• Materials and methods exploration and states of clay

2. Discuss inspiration and mood boards.
Discuss design proposals, considering form, function, context and complimentary materials.
• Tar paper construction
• Begin design research, explore techniques
• Ceramic Saggar Firing

3. Review design research and sketches
• Demo extruder, coil and slump/drape molds
• Maquettes: design and method explorations

4. Discuss surface design
• Demo Stencil, transfer, and printing on clay

5. Discuss kiln types, firing atmospheres and cones
• Demo modeling and decoration.

6. Surface texture and design.
• Demo applique, sprig and stamp molds

7. Color in and on clay
• Demo stains, oxides

8. Surface color and design
• Demo wash, slip, terra sigillata and sgraffito

9. Surface color and types of glazes
• Demo glaze application methods, brush, wax resist, dip, pour, spray…

10. Under-glazes
• Demo mason stain painting

11. Over Glazes
• Demo majolica glaze painting

12. For our final class we will take some time to look at and discuss our projects. We will also have an opportunity to document our work and take time to break bread and celebrate our accomplishments.
• Looking, assessing, and documenting our work.


Slab forming sculptural vessel by Jerilyn Virden.

A short video demonstrating the use of paper or plastic templates used to support clay slab vessel forms.

A film by the potter Hsin-Chuen Lin, demonstrating spiral wedging, a technique used to prepare clay and remove air bubbles before you begin to throw or form with in.

Recommended Readings

Related Links


Collections and Exhibitions


Faculty: Andrew Robinson

Andrew is a contemporary artist who creates sculptural assemblages comprised of ceramic and mixed media. His work is often based on memories from his childhood or on historical subject matter that he revises through the artifacts he creates. Andrew began his ceramic education in his youth during an eight-year apprenticeship in a production pottery before studying ceramic sculpture at the Glasgow School of Art and the Maryland Institute College of Art where he received a BFA. He was awarded an MFA from the School of Visual Arts. He has been featured in several publications including Sculpture Magazine, Huffington Post, Hyperallergic, Art Info, et al. He has participated in curatorial and research projects and was a participating artist in Debtfair a project in the 2017 Whitney Biennial. Andrew has also worked on collaborations with designers such as Donna Karan’s Urban Zen project where his work in ceramics led to workshops with artisans in Haiti and the creation of a ceramic studio in Port au Prince. He has received an Edward F. Albee fellowship and was a visiting artist at the Agastya Foundation, in Bangalore, India. He is the recipient of the Urban Glass Merit Scholarship, and several grants for his work in the arts. Andrew is a member of the faculty at Parsons School of Design and Greenwich House Pottery in New York City. His work has been presented with the Anna Kustera Gallery, David & Schweitzer Contemporary, Christopher Stout Gallery, Joyce Goldstein Gallery, Spring Break Fair, Satellite Fair, Baltimore Contemporary Museum of Art (Maryland), Ross Art Museum (Ohio), the Crafts Council (United Kingdom) and many more. He lives and works in New York City.

© 2017 acrStudio is the arts + crafts research Studio, an atelier of Andrew Cornell Robinson
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