Julie Crosby's serving bowl, 8 in. (20 cm) in diameter, wood-fired stoneware.

Julie Crosby's serving bowl, 8 in. (20 cm) in diameter, wood-fired stoneware.

This Project Will Help Students

  • Develop throwing skills on larger bowls, and refine their trimming skills
  • Consider ceramic form and profiles that continue or complete the form as expressive elements in making personalized bowls
  • Develop surface strategies that reinforce decisions in form
  • Learn about reduction firing at cone 10, and glazes for that process


  • Robin Hopper’s Functional Pottery : p. 20, Eating; p.35, Feet, p. 133-137 Base Terminations: Bottoms and Feet; p. 36 Handles and Lugs; pp. 154-157, ch 10, Pots for Eating From: Bowls; p. 183-4, Ch. 16, Considerations
  • Philip Rawson, “Expression of Shape” from Ceramics.
  • Anthony Quinn, Ceramic Design Course, pp 1-23.

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Serving Bowls – Continuation or Completion

Lisa Buck's truffle basket, 8 in. (20 cm) in height, earthenware fired to cone 04 in an electric kiln.

Lisa Buck's truffle basket, 8 in. (20 cm) in height, earthenware fired to cone 04 in an electric kiln.


  • What kind of attitude or feeling do you want your bowls to have? How will you use the foot, rim, and curve to establish your idea? For example, a bowl that expresses hearty, comforting sentiments would look different than one that conveys a pristine elegance.
  • What is the function of your bowl, and what considerations are necessary in form for this (e.g. size, shape of curve—offering, enclosing/containing), etc.? Mixing bowls meant to contain liquid contents during stirring have a different shape than serving bowls that are meant to invite the hand to select something from the bowl. What other serving considerations come to mind?
  • What personal content/tone/attitude do you want to express in your bowls? Choose your personal content. You may do a similar attitude for all, or two different choices.
  • How do the ideas of continuation/completion interact with function? Surface? Aesthetic expression of personal content?
  • Choose a function or two functions for your bowls. Decide on your content/aesthetic concerns for you bowls.
  • Choose one theme/content/attitude for your bowls, or at most two ideas. Your bowls should be research within that idea, and should be variations on that idea.
Find and Bring to Class

  • 2 images of objects or actual objects that suggest completion
  • 2 images of objects or actual objects that suggest

Give yourself room to sketch. Tiny sketches seem cramped. Expand your sketches to at least fist-sized.

  • 1 historic and 1 contemporary example of completion in ceramic form and 1 historic and 1 contemporary example of continuation in ceramic form —4 sketches
  • 4 personal ideas each of continuation and of completion in bowl forms—8 sketches. Use these sketches to explore ideas and brainstorm in a variety of ways.
  • Develop one idea for a form that shows continuation, and one that implies completion in 4 sketches each – 8 sketches. Consider how you will foot the bowl, what kind of edge or rim the bowl will have, what kind of surface (Slip? Carving? Stamping? Glaze on glaze?) and the relation of these things to a form that implies continuation, or a form that implies completion.

  • 8 bowls, thrown from 5 pounds of clay
  • 3 bowls should imply completion
  • 3 should imply continuation
  • 2 of your choice
  • Your bowls should be at least 8 in. in one dimension.
  • A minimum of two must use slip decoration
Technical goals

  • Throwing smooth, continuous curves from the center to the rim. Even wall thickness. Effective foot trimming or treatment.
  • Trimming should be done to create even wall thickness and stable footing for your bowl. This should produce a bowl of reasonable weight for its size, and a bottom that is about the same thickness as the walls.
  • Effective glaze application, including waxing of foot
  • Bowls should be functional for your desired purpose.
Aesthetic/formal goals

  • Appropriate, expressive choices to promote your personal ideas: your attitude expressed through scale, edge quality, form, foot treatment, proportion of bowl to foot, surface, and color.
  • Bowl series should have 3 that imply continuation, 3 that imply completion, 2 of your choice
  • Surfaces should reinforce the form and imply continuation or completion.
  • Bowls due as DRY greenware week after sketches are due.
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