Friday, April 18, 2014

Experimentation in Clay

clay, nails, oxides and glaze

Beginning clay student Priya Shah loves pushing the boundaries. 
And one of hr favorite things to do with her projects is insert various metals (findings from the hardware store) into her pieces.  
In this trail work she was experimenting with steel nails and what would happen to the clay when it was fired. 
What she found was that the clay shrinks as it dries, it shrinks more when it goes thru the first bisque firing, and then it shrinks even more as it is glaze fired.
The result was an interesting cracking of the clay reveling the metal inside.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A Taste of Paris & Barcelona

My stepdaughter Julie and her husband Mike
 recently came back from spending two weeks in Europe.
They brought us back the most beautifully made and decorated chocolates
 that I've ever seen and eaten.

And because it was my birthday they also brought me back this gorgeous handmade leather wallet.  
Julie said it reminded her of me and my love of patchwork quilting.
Do I have the best stepdaughter or what???

Monday, April 14, 2014

Extraordinary Watercolors

some pen & ink

It just blows my mind every year when the kids finish this assignment.
The pieces are so breathtaking, and I marvel at the level these kids are painting at.  
I partner them up with each other and give them each 8 days to draw then watercolor their partner.
Previously, in the Beginning level class last year, I spent 10 days teaching them several watercolor techniques.
I have them bring in a bit of watercolor to two other assignments before we do this one.   
So that's it, and they are painting like pros  :) 
In this first one senior Cathy Luo abstracted senior Justin Hwang and gave him a bit of a Jack Frost look. 
She totally nailed him in likeness to original, and his usual very thoughtful and serious expressive quality.

Senior Jasmine Zhao completely captured senior Heather Warner as well. 
 I believe Jasmine brought in a bit of pen and ink work with a very fine black marker to pull out the facial features.  
And again, super expressive.

Here is Heather's interpretation of Jasmine.  
Both Jasmine and Heather haven't been in the Beginning class since they were junior higher's. 
It's quite remarkable how they haven't lost any of their skills.
It's that right brain global learning thing.
Once you learn it you don't loose it.

Senior Alex Lee completely abstracted his watercolor of senior Anne Allan.  He was going after a recruitment poster from WWII I believe.

And then here is Anne's take on Alex. 
 Since he's so into war and guns she pulled that theme into her piece.
Both Anne and Alex also brought in some pen and ink work.
And here is a wonderful close-up of the Zombies in Anne's background.
So much fun!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

An Artfull Birthday Cake

I put another candle on my birthday cake this last weekend with my children and hubbies, and one of my best presents was this amazing cake made by my son Zach and his girlfriend Nicole, mostly Nicole I think  :)  
Made completely from scratch it took them two days, but was so worth it.  
A S'mores inside with chocolate buttercream filling and frosting, then 6 egg whites whipped to perfection for the outermost layer.  
Then the best part, they torched it!
Boy, oh boy, was I impressed!!!!!

Friday, April 11, 2014


featuring my seniors

This was a new assignment this year for my second year clay students.  
I had them wedge oxides into pieces of porcelain, then roll each piece out into a thin slab, stack them together, roll the entire stack as one, then build anything they pleased with these very special slabs. 
They chose to make vase, mug and plate forms, then glazed them with transparent to showcase their work.
The results were spectacular as you will see.
From left to right in the arc we have James Cho, Shamara Mustafa, James again, and the cutie in the front belongs to Tahnee Thantrong.

This very complex mug above was created by Aman Patel, and below we have the subtle stylings of Aditi Ramesh.

Then Aman again for this highly original molded bowl.
Check out his visual flow between the three appliqued pieces on the bowls edge and the feet below.
It's all about visual flow baby!!  LOL

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Extra Credit Opportunity Young Ones

For 10 Extra Credit Points
click on Extra Credit tab across top of Home Page for more info. At the 

 New exhibit -  AMOCA

Opening Reception April 12, 2014, 6-9 pm 2014

California Ceramic Academia


April 12- June 1, 2014

Presented in support of ceramic education, is a biennial exhibition that underscores the importance of college-level ceramics programs.  This Exhibition ranges from contemporary sculpture, to experimental clay, to conceptual ceramics, to traditional pottery. Everything on exhibit is for sale.
Featured artist for is USC and CSUN Adjunct Professor Tanya Batura.

Also on View: 

Palm Prints: Jamie Bardsley
"Sitting on the floor crossed legged for hours at a time, I would pound out little pieces of clay and then fold them into the palm of my hand.  These folds are made from various porcelain clay bodies, each with a slightly different hue.  The memory of the clay reveals the lines from my hand and records the making of each intimate piece. The folds became a driving force, the pieces themselves began making me; the quiet hours spent folding clay in the studio lead me to a meditative peace. " Jaimie Bardsley.  

Big Fish Small Pot: Sixth International Small Teapot Competition

Organized by Tony Huntley, Professor of Biology and Marine Science at Saddleback College, Big Fish Small Pot features over a 100 teapots selected by juror, Guangzhen Po Zhou. Po Zhou is a ceramic artist, writer, curator, a member of the International Academy of Ceramics.
AMOCA only serves as the host venue for the exhibition.
Emerging Artists: High School Exhibition
In this second annual exhibition, AMOCA invited over 400 high schools in Southern California to participate.  High schools from San Diego to Santa Barbara sent ceramic pieces by their star students to be exhibited in a museum show. Emerging Artists gives high school students a rare opportunity to interact with college level artists and professors in an effort to inspire further careers in ceramics.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Open House 2014 Tease

April 16th from 5:00-6:45
room 18
See seniors Kathy Luo and Megan Yeu's finished walls, along with all the others two weeks from tomorrow.
See ya there!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Cone Heads

charcoal on paper

It's that time again when we switch the 7th grade wheel students and I haven't even shown you all their work yet, so I'll try to get caught up this next week.  
I had many talented, sweet kids in this group, so let me share a few.
This first cone that looks like a pro crafted it was done by Victoria Tran.  She's showing us crazy good craftsmanship and solid design skills in her work.

Daniella Cruz made this next one and put it into an interesting format along with a quote by Onassis which I felt was very creative and thoughtful of her.

Sweet and talented Michelle Son made her cone into a crayola tip.  
Clever girl!
I used to love when my crayons were that sharp  LOL

And Emily Chen gives us her interpretation of Starry Night.
Too cute!

And we finish with Joseph Song's delious looking Hersey Kiss.

Great Job young ones, going to miss you!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Kaili Hamada - Handspun Yarn Superstar

Junior Kaili Hamada has been busy spinning up some delicious yarns.
Her next project, she wants to build a cardboard loom and weave herself a pouch with her handspuns.
She does this all on her own after learning to spin and weave in the Beginning 3-D class.
Go Kaili , go!

Friday, April 4, 2014

More Clay Please from My Seniors

clay, glaze, glass shards

Recently I've had a few requests for more clay projects from Ceramics teachers across the U.S. 
So here you go, Coil Trivets
I do this assignment as a prelude to Coil Pots so the kids get the hang of rolling out coils in clay.
I also have them carve out an area to learn to melt glass shards in during the glaze firing. 
The students did a really nice job of critically thinking thru their glaze finishing as yo will see.
This first cutie was done by Megan Yeu.  Yeap, she's also the youngster that painted her self-portrait in yesterday's post. 

 Jocelyn Kim consistently brings us well thought out designs with beautiful craftsmanship in both the construction and the glazing processes.

I really like Anne Allan's sun motif, a great subject to work with.

Fishes where very popular this year with our seniors.  This one was made by Norris Khoo

The this last sweet piece was created by Minette Tsang.

Sadly, these very talented seniors won't be back next year, but I hope all of you keep ceramics in your life.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Abstract Self-Portrait Based on a Master Artist's Work

acrylic on canvas board

As part of the California State Standards, it's important to tie in Art History to the hands on projects, so in this assignment the kids were asked to research a master abstract artist either current or past.  Then to write up a detailed summary of that artist's working style.  The subject matter is themselves.  They can work from a photo or a mirror.  The medium is acrylic or pastel depending on the artist they choose.  
Senior Jarick Symbol chose to research the art of Roy Lichtenstein's flat graphic style, use of primary colors, outlining, captions and dots.  Jarick really nailed his profile and that of his girlfriend.

Senior Megan Yeu chose two more contemporary artists, Native American John Nieto and Peter Max.

I feel like both kids did a great job, and it was fun putting them up on the blog to share.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

FIDM's Newest Student

Yeap, that's right, Dani has transferred herself out of Cal Poly Pomona and into the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising's extension campus in Irvine, Ca.  
She felt that Cal Poly wasn't meeting her needs, and her interest has shifted from fashion to beauty.
FIDM offers a B.A. in Beauty Industry and Merchandising, so she meet with the director yesterday and after 5 essays, 3 letters of rec., developing a new product line exercise, and a preliminary interview prior to yesterdays, not only has she been accepted but also offered a Merit Scholarship based on her grades from High School and College. 
Yippee!!  Cuz it' going to be one expensive ride.  :)

I'm so proud of you Danielle Rose Agrums, and may this next journey in your life be your best!
Love you!!!!!!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Ambiance is Key

featuring senior Karisma Dev
Karisma's assignment was to create a large felt sculpture that was very 3-d, so she decided she wanted to build a light into her piece.
She began with a child's large bouncy ball from the grocery store and first wrapped a layer of yellow roving around the entire thing, the then two more layers below with orange fleece.
Sadly, the ball popped during the weekend and she had to take the whole thing apart and start over.
So instead of building around a ball, she created her bottom circular layers first then put a brown plastic bag over top to separate her top layers.
Here is the piece below after wet felting.
She cut a hole in the center and is in the process of pulling out the brown bag.
I really like how her edges ruffled in the felting process.
You can also see below how she has made some cuts into the felt sides and is pinning areas that she wants to shape and flatten a bit, then go in with more wet felting.

The finished piece is absolutely gorgeous, and when lite creates the most atmospheric ambiance in the art room.  
Karisma created a wire structure on the inside to hold the piece's form.
And you can see how she added a bit of tulle to help cover the bulb fixture.
Then the finishing touch were the seed beads that she sewed on to bring a bit of texture and sparkle.
Can you believe this young woman is only 16 years old?
I can't even imagine what she will create when she goes off to collage and art school!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Magic Feather Project

Professional Fiber Artist Jude Hill of Spirit Cloth fame is getting close to finishing her Magic Feather Cloth.
Her goal was to collect 1000 embroidered feathers from her blog viewers to make a quilt from.  
So 3 school years ago (2011-2012), I offered up Extra Credit to my 3-D students to see if anyone wanted to participate.  I believe we sent her at least 8-9 feathers including mine which if you look closely you might be able to find.  Click here to see the original feathers we sent and the student artists names.  
After 3 years it's really exciting to see this piece coming along as beautifully as it is with many of our feathers gathered together.

You inspire us Jude everyday here at Whitney High School's Textile Dept.
We love you! 

Friday, March 28, 2014

Whitney's Japanese Garden

Several of my art students in addition to our Japanese Club students, worked this summer to design and scape our new Japanese Garden at our school.
It's such a lovely and tranquill area, and I was so impressed they were able to get this all done during some of our hottest months this past summer. 
A special shout out goes to seniors Justin Hwang and Alex Lee for donating the most hours and working the hardest to make this happen.
I'm so proud of you two!

Thursday, March 27, 2014


featuring Senior Megan Yeu

Using water based pastels, Megan has captured this mountain landscape beautifully.  It just seemed to flow out of her as she worked.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

My 7th Graders Rock!


Zentangling has become so popular here in the U.S. with adults, but the kids love it as well.  When I was growing up we called it doodling.  My students love this assignment.  They learn about color schemes and how to lay down a watercolor wash backdrop.  And they get to doodle to their hearts content.
I have them make 4 very small practice designs, then pick their favorite.  They must freehand that onto the watercolor background in ink pen.  No pencil sketching first (takes too much time and I only have them for 8 weeks)
This first one really stood out as being very sophisticated  in design.  It was made by Eugene Ho.

Marcos Patino created this striking piece above.  The students loved it!

This next very intricate piece was done by super star Victoria Tran. 

And these next two beauties were made by Daniella Cruz and Emily Chen.  What's so cool is how different they all are.  I hate it when art teachers make everybody paint the same picture.  :(

Omkar Hanamsagar and Alexa Cruz created these last two very thought provoking works.

You can really see I have a lot of new talent in this bunch, can't wait till they get older and come back for more art classes.