I am member of the part-time faculty at Linn-Benton Community College. The main campus is located in Albany, Oregon but the ceramics studio is at the Benton Center which is a satellite campus located in Corvallis, Oregon. Currently I teach a community education class titled Clay Exploration which is comprised of beginning and experienced potters, young and older students all combined in the same class. The class is largely unstructured. Students work on their own projects using a pottery wheel or hand-building techniques. My emphasis is on wheel-throwing techniques and the instructional assistant in the class, Lynda Farmer, emphasizes hand-building techniques and Raku firing. An important component of the class is an emphasis on exploring and experimenting with clay and glazing as creative media.

Demonstrations are presented in each class that exposes the students to different techniques and procedures. Often there are both hand-building and wheel-throwing demonstrations during each class period. Participation in demonstrations is encouraged but is always optional for the students. Usually at the end of the quarter we have a critique of each students work combined with a potluck. Students are encouraged to participate in discussing each others work to help develop a language for describing their art in terms of procedure and intent. As with the demonstrations, participation in the critiques is completely optional. Informal “on-the-spot” critiques are available anytime.

Interaction between the students in the class is encouraged as part of my philosophy that you learn best by helping others. The basic fundamental goal is not to necessarily generate great potters but to have fun and develop the confidence to follow any path in clay that the student’s creative spirit might lead them. I view myself not so much as a teacher but as a facilitator of the journey.  The clay will teach you everything you need to know!


Listed below are handouts for the Clay Exploration Class.  New handouts will be provided when I finally get around to writing them.

PDF Format

     Clay Exploration Syllabus.pdf

       Glazing Handout.pdf


     Clay Exploration Syllabus.doc

     Glazing Handout.doc


2 Responses

  1. Hi Ted, great to see your web site, read your artist and teaching statement and get an idea of Linn Benton Ceramics. I’m really excited to be there next month. I’ve been feeling the same way about science, as you described your initial beginnings in ceramics. I’m not very literate. Ive been listening to genome books the past few weeks on tape, and have always loved geology and geography. Anyway, I also love d the pics with all the Ernst kids on it, wow! Hope to see you soon at Showcase,


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