Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Units: 4
Hours: 3 lecture, 3 laboratory per week (72 total per quarter)
Prerequisite: ART 45A or 45B.
Advisory: This course is included in the Ceramic Surface family of activity courses.
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Non-GE
Transferable: CSU/UC
Grade Type: Letter Grade (Request for Pass/No Pass)
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • The student will be able to demonstrate technical proficiency in utilizing the five types of firing techniques including electric kiln oxidation, low-fire soda, luster/decal firing, raku, and pit/saggar firing.
  • The student will be able to demonstrate the ability to glaze or prepare the surface appropriately for each type of firing.


Studio practice in the glazing and firing of ceramic pieces using four low-temperature methods: electric kiln oxidation firing, luster firing, raku firing and pit firing.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:
A. demonstrate technical ability in using the four types of firing techniques.
B. demonstrate the ability to glaze appropriately for each of the types of firing.
C. understand basic glaze properties, and how to formulate and alter these properties to fit their artistic purposes.

Course Content

The instructor will lecture, demonstrate, use audio-visual aids, and present projects for students to do. Topics to be covered are:
A. Oxidation glaze mixing and firing
1. Learn to mix low-fire glaze using a triple-beam-balance scale
2. Learn to adjust color and glaze surface through glaze material alteration
3. Learn to make test tiles and properly apply glaze test to tile
4. Learn to load and fire test tiles into oxidation kiln
5. Critically analyze results and adjustment
B. Raku firing
1. Raku glaze mixing
2. Raku glaze application techniques
3. Raku glaze surface alteration
4. Raku kiln loading and firing
5. Raku reduction material use
6. Analyze finished raku results
C. Luster and decal firing
1. Surface preparation
2. Luster application techniques
3. Iron decal creation and application
4. Luster and decal loading firing procedures
5. Analyze results
D. Pit firing techniques
1. Pre-firing surface preparation
2. Burnishing technique
3. Terra sigillata application techniques
4. Pit-fire materials and pit preparation
5. Firing the pit
6. Critically analyze results

Lab Content

Supervised studio practice in ceramic processes, related to assignments, skills, and materials. Students work independently, with individual guidance from an instructor on a need or request basis.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

A. Raku kiln, electric kiln, glaze mixing room, an off-campus pit-firing location.
B. When taught via Foothill Global Access: ongoing access to computer with email software and capabilities; email address; JavaScript-enabled internet browsing software.

Method(s) of Evaluation

Methods of Evaluation may include but are not limited to the following:

Evaluation will be by critique of fired pieces by using criteria presented in class. Pieces to be graded by instructor.

Method(s) of Instruction

Methods of Instruction may include but are not limited to the following:

A. Lecture
B. Discussion
C. Laboratory
D. Demonstration
E. Field trips

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

There is no required text for this class. The in-classroom library will provide a variety of historical, contemporary, and technical ceramic books for student use.


Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

A. Weekly reading assignments from selected contemporary ceramic books and periodicals

B. Research and writing assignments about specific ceramic sculpture or hand-build ceramic pottery from an art gallery or museum

C. Weekly process video viewing assignments

D. Sketchbook of forms and ideas applicable for classroom assignments