Ceramic Arts is the study of age-old methods of making pots and ritual objects from clay and hardening them with fire. Virtually all cultures have used clay as an expressive medium and as a medium for making utilitarian objects. The clay artist of today often refer to these past objects as a source for new inspiration. Clay pots are excavated in digs that date to at least 6,000 B.C. and the expertise of these so called primitive cultures was not matched in Western cultures until the 20th century. Many artist from other fields draw on these pieces of art from the past for ideas today. Even if one is only making pots it is surprising how much they can tell you about the maker. With a few years of experience, pots will become uniquely yours---the expression will be recognizable as your work. Working with clay, gives one the strong sense of participating in a tradition centuries old and still going strong. Join us at Mt. Hood Community College!
The lead ceramics instructor is Joe Davis.
Email Joe or call 1-(503)-491-7149. For information concerning class costs, registration, scholarships and work-study, begin by browsing our web site and then call the Admissions office at 1-503-491-7392 .
We have a very well equipped studio with 24 Brent wheels, a 14" Brent slab roller and access to a 30" Brent roller, three 4' by 9' hand building tables, a Venco de-airing pug mill, a Walker Jamar recycle pug mill. The studio is light and airy with plenty of good north light. Our kilns include five electrics, one raku, three gas high-fire (one of which is a large car kiln), a Peg Udahl-style wood kiln and and a caternary soda fire. There is some interest in building a wood soda combination kiln in the near future.
We schedule Ceramics Classes to accommodate both the full-time employed and full-time student. There are classes Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday mornings, afternoons and evenings.
Lab time is available and essential to your success. Lab is open for practice Tuesday and Thursday afternoon and all day Friday.
The Ceramic Club runs a club lab on Saturdays.
Our Ceramic Club functions as a group of interested students who want to have additional practice time and also are willing to do hold fundraisers, organize workshops, build kilns and more. In the last five years the club has raised enough money and built both the wood kiln and the soda kiln. This club and the energy they provide is essential to this studio. We are considering building a wood-fired soda kiln. Please contact us if you are interested in working on this project.
Last summer, the Ceramics Club and I built an Anagama wood-fire kiln up a hillside in my orchard in Brush Prairie , Washington. With the help of the Master Kiln builder, Donovan Palmquist from Minnesota, we managed to put the 18 foot long kiln together in six days and with luck on our side, picked the only six dry days of June. Our first firing of the kiln was last November on the 4, 5, 6 and 7. It took roughly 80 hours to fire and we used four cords of wood. The kiln worked beautifully. The process of making and the enjoyable commandeer of the group and a job well done was the icing on the cake. I intend to use this kiln with students in the club, as long as there are students that are seriously interested in exploring some of the possibilities of extended wood firings. Ever since I was introduced to making pots, many of my favorite historical pieces were from old Japanese, Korean or Chinese kilns. We will be firing again this April. I'll be posting some pictures of the firing and as well as some pots from that kiln on this site.
Visiting Artist Program Workshop
Each school year we invite two or three nationally known potters to do either two- day (observation only) or four-day hands on workshops in our studio. It is very inspirational to be able to watch an artist you admire do their work and make the kinds of pieces they might make in their own studio. The opportunity to ask questions and exchange ideas sometime provides the necessary weight to tip you into ceramics as a life long pursuit---be it as a recreational activity or as a serious studio potter or teacher. Artist we have had here in the last few years include John Leach, Jack Troy , Mary Law, Jeff Oestreich, Dan Anderson, George Kokis, Josh DeWeese, and Joe Bennion. We also ask our regional artists to do workshops and those have included Barb Campbell, Terry Inocome, Dennis Meiners, Roberta Lambert, Craig Martell and Hiroshi Ogawa. We try and keep the costs low so all students can participate.