Ceramics II is a chance for students to move beyond the basic acquisition of skills and techniques. At this level, students have the opportunity to use their previously learned skills to create more personal and expressive art. Twice during Ceramics II, students complete what I call a Sculptural Response project where they find inspiration in the artwork of a different media and transform the ideas expressed into a three-dimensional sculpture in the round. The first time students do this, they work from a piece of two-dimensional art. The second time, I ask them to choose an inspirational song, film, or literary piece.
After finding their inspiration, it is up to the students to determine which Ceramics techniques are best-suited to their desired goals. They may opt to hand build or to throw on the wheel. Their work can be representational or abstract. They can choose to paint with glazes or acrylics. The open-ended nature of these two assignments allows the students to express themselves in a personal manner, while also demonstrating their ability to build in the round.