Friday, July 29, 2016


hand dyed wool rovings, children's bouncy balls, lamp sockets, hot soapy water & misc. embellishments

It all started with a bouncy ball from the grocery store 
and lots of hand dyed roving choices.
Round and round the students went splaying out their roving 
to build up 3-4 perpendicular layers round their balls.
Then lots of hot soapy water to felt it down it with.
Those tables got clean, clean ,clean!

Let it dry out and cut an opening to remove ball as senior Hazel Cruz in doing here.

And then figure it out to to turn this hollow felt ball into a lantern.
Senior William Kim was acting as a mannequin for Hazel's jellyfish.

Let me show off a few of them.

I wish I'd have gotten a more focused shot of senior Kristine Luong's sweet bunny lamp.
At least the side view is a bit better.
Notice the areas that are more lit up?
These are areas that had a bit less roving built up which allows the light to shine thru.
Below you can see a part of the light socket that my husband picked up for the kids at Home Depot.
About $8.00 each.
And the man made the cording extra long 
so we were able to reach all the light sockets for Open House.
Thank You Jimmy!

Junior Shreya Sheth went all out creating a fish lantern,
complete with felted eyeballs and fins.
I like that she cut out some areas and replaced it with a sheer fabric.
We can also see some of her beading.
And underneath it all is a wire structure she fashioned so that it would keep it's shape.

Another class favorite was this one by senior Amber Wu.
She modeled it after a Chinese lantern,
and this one was really as light as a feather.
Super delicate and lovely when lit up.

And this last one was Will's.
He also based his on a Jellyfish and it was spectacular when lite up.

Thursday, July 28, 2016


It's all about SURFACE DESIGN!!

These 3 small pieces are more of my demos that I was able to finish up this year.

In this first vase form I simply rolled a Ball Stamp (one of my students)
around the neck area.
Thanks Manav!
hee hee

Inside this tiny bowl,
 I took one of my grandmother's lace doilies she crocheted,
and pressed it into the plastic bowl before the clay stiffened up.

And in this little cutie that I gifted to Alumni & Assistant  Alyssa Olea,
I first used my middle finger
 (while the pot was still on the potter's wheel before it had been cut off),
and pushed the clay outward in two places opposite each other.
Then afterwards when I could handle it without leaving fingerprints,
(right before it became leatherhard)
I used a couple of tools to stamp into the clay to accent a few places.


This was not an assignment but an idea that came to junior Shreya Sheth
after she finished the Eco & Rust Dyed Tapestry project. 
She enjoyed setting up a tapestry loom and weaving so very much that she 
took it upon herself to try another idea.
Here is her second tapestry woven with cotton yarns, twine & rags.

She grabbed some rusty things and clamps for resist,
and dipped the tapestry into the Indigo bucket.

And here is her very cool result.
Later in August I will post how she used this in her final piece.
Clever girl.
And she'll be back next year to try even more ideas.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016


Recently I posted these delicious little tapestries that my 2nd year 3-D kids made,
and I just came across some pix that show how they looked before the kids bundled them.

Sadly I don't have them in the same order,
and the reason they are a bit yellowed is because they had soaked overnight in soy milk

I really like all the rusty objects the students found to couch onto the finished tapestries.

And it's so interesting to see the marks these left behind on the finished banners.

This will definitely be a project that I will repeat next school year.


late spring blossoms from up at the cabin.






Sunday, July 24, 2016


This is my Demo Piece for the Stacked Porcelain Assignment.
Because it's only a demo I have to work quickly,
making a finished piece in 25 minutes or less.
these were my 2nd year clay kids and have much more interest patience with me,
so I actually was able to take about 45 minutes in the making of this footed bowl.

The kids are required to mix up at least 2 different colored porcelains to stack with.
Because of time restraints I only mixed up the one using Cobalt Carbonate,
a blue colored oxide.
Then I rolled it out into a long thin strip and stacked it with a white porcelain one.
I used a jelly roll technique to then roll these two stacked clays together.
Using the thin knife I cut nickel thick pieces off this roll and laid them randomly on my board.
Then a large white pre-rolled slab was laid overtop those,
 and the whole thing rolled together
to create an inlaid foundation.
I found a large newspaper mold and laid this onto.
Because the slab was so large,
 it wouldn't lay right so I crimped the lip in several places.
I also put a foot onto the bottom of the bowl ,
using the ends of the jelly roll which became slightly misshapen and interesting.
Sorry no pix.
And then two big revolting developments.
One of my senior boys,
accidently switched the labeled lids on the transparent and white glazes.
And me,
assuming that all was in order,
dipped this piece into the Transparent.
Only to find out after the firing it was really the White glaze.
I wanted to scream,
perhaps I did a bit to the Ceramic class.
I'm sure they thought I was foaming at the mouth.
You couldn't even see the Cobalt Blue design at first.
The other revolting development,
several of the inlaid pieces separated around their edges from the large white foundation piece.
I used my finger to put more glaze in the cracks and sent it thru the kiln again.
Then something good happened.
The refiring caused the blue to be more noticeable.
So I sent it thru at least 5 more glaze firings until the glaze took on a more transparent appearance 
and I was satisfied.
This turned out to be such a cool serving bowl 
that I'm thinking I'll gift it to my son and his girlfriend for their new home.

Saturday, July 23, 2016


porcelain clay, oxides & glaze

This project is all about surface design for my second year students.
They take our oxides and wedge them into pieces of plastic porcelain clay.
Required are two different colorways.
Then they roll them out into thin strips, 
cut & stack , 
and cut and stack some more until they get a cool design.
And that only the beginning,
or shall we we say Part I.
If you need a visual, 
look thru a Polymer Clay book for various ideas.
Only one slab piece was required,
 but superstar senior Celeste Zambrano created two.

In Part II,
the kids take super thin, sharp knife blades,
and cut off several thin slices of their designs,
and lay those down on their boards.
Then a large piece of white porcelain is rolled overtop these thin slices; 
thus these sweet little designs are inlaid onto a white base foundation.

Senior Efrain Quintero took a bit of a detour.
He chose a very elegant and simple arrangement.
You must look closely to see his two different colorways.
Love how he peeled the layers back along the lip area.

In Part III,
the students are required to build a slab construction with this large foundation.
Celeste made two very pretty lidded containers,
Efrain the lovely vase,
 and  below senior Sandhya Raghvan,
a very cool slab footed bowl.
Sorry Sandhya that the pix wasn't better.

Friday, July 22, 2016


and to her successful sustainable vegetable garden she started this year.
And I'm thrilled to say that she came to me to help her get started, 
and approved by our admin.
Not only did she raise funds for her project,
but she enlisted other like minded students to get involved 
in the care and maintenance of the garden.
Avanthi used her sister's truck to bring in all the lumber to build the two beds,
and got several stores to donate seedlings and potting mix.
In her first bed she raised veggies,
and in the second she grew pollinator plants
In a later post to come I will show off how huge these plants got.
My favorites were the beets she grew.  
Not only did we eat the beets but also the beet leaves.
Good for you and delicious!
Thank you Avanthi for getting me involved in this close to my heart project.

Thursday, July 21, 2016


gesso & acrylic paint

In the post from 2 days ago,
 I did a wee bit of ranting about how some art teachers 
have the kids do the exact same thing.
Brush this way, make the line curve this way, etc.,
 which brings me great distress.
Just like is done in those Wine & Paint places.
Though I have to admit,
it is fun to drink and paint.
I think in these two exercises below in acrylic,
 both boys have given a completely different flavor to their trees,
which makes my heart soar!
This was not an assignment,
but an exercise.
Both trees I felt were extremely lovely and sensitive.
Sadly we ran out of time to complete this exercise.
This was only the beginning.

Above is senior Elias Rodriquez,
and below is senior Jonathan Hsu.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016


clay, glazes & oxides

Coils of clay,
lots and lots of them rolled by hand.
But let's also do something interesting with them.
Spirals, stamp them, ball them up, separate them with negative spaces.
The list is long as you will see what these critical thinkers came up with.

We start with junior Kyle Sheu,
one of the nicest, 
most attentive and respectful young men I got to teach last school year.
The height requirement was at least 8 inches.
Kyle worked so hard that his was over 12 inches high.
And beautifully glazed.

This little cutie was created by junior Cathy Huang.
I believe she called it a "Norwal".
Correct me Cath if I'm wrong or messed up on the spelling.
She told me the backstory of this guy,
but I'm sorry to say I've forgotten.
But I loved the piece so much that I purchased it at Open House 
to teach with it next year.
Hopefully we will her back from her with an explanation.

Junior Nathan Lam,
one of my strongest critical thinkers,
came up with this fun tiki design.

And next up we have senior Andrew Chen and junior Anand Parthiban.
I really like the contrast that Andrew used in glazing and staining his piece.
And I felt that Anand's lip ending was brilliant.
It creates so much movement and directs the eye back down to take a second look at his pot.

These two lovelies were done by junior Edward Malacon and senior Francis Lee.
Loved how Edward moved his blues from cobalt to turquoise along that upper area.
And check out the moon baby (abstract figure) that Francis wrapped around her ending.
Very cool!

The dramatic beauties we see next belong to senior Casey Yoon and junior Brian Hu.
Both so very different,
both equally stunning in their designs and finishing.

And lastly senior Jonathan Hsu.
A very unique and more sculptural piece,
and a great way to end this post.

Monday, July 18, 2016



Watercolor is such a tricky/difficult medium to teach and work with.
To me it's like playing a round of golf.
You have the best intentions,
but the results are never the same,
no matter how much you practice.
Highly frustrating at times,
but when you nail it,
complete exhilaration!

The piece below by senior Bernice Lin reminds me of the Bette Midler song 
Wind Beneath My Wings every time I look at it.
Senior Katherine Ku posed for her.
This was by far one of the most stunning pieces of art done this year by a 2-D student.
It was also a favorite when it was displayed at the District Art Show 
and again at the Senior Awards Banquet nite.
You really outdid yourself Bernice!
You've managed to capture so many of the Design Elements and Principles;
movement, color scheme, value, balance, the list is long.

And now we take a look at Katherine's watercolor of Bernice.

What I love about teaching art is how no two pieces are alike.
I really loath how some art teachers try to have the kids all do the same exact thing,
leaving no room for creativity.

I really feel like Katherine has captured Bernice's inner angst,
not only in the drawing but in the color scheme she picked as well.
I also like that both girls did not try to watercolor over the entire paper.
I feel like leaving a bit of white paper showing helps the piece to pop,
and gives it that brightest value as well as more dimension.

Bravo to the both of you!
And know Kyla Balquin,
I wanted to include yours as well here but I couldn't seem to find the pix on my camera.
So I apologize to you my dear.
Klya also did Katherine,
and immersed her in a tranquil waterfall setting.
It was really lovely.
If I ever run across it I will be sure to finagle it in here.