Friday, March 24, 2017


clay, glazes & oxides

Another prelude to building with slabs are these Slab Footed Bowls.
The slabs were used to try out their newly created Bisqued Stamps & Cylinder Rolls.
They were also used to learn the technique of using a rounded mold to form a bowl with.
There were many molds to chose from
 or they could have make their own out of crunched up newspaper and masking tape.
The underside of pre-existing bowls work well too turned upside down.

Senior Eunice Kim leads the way here with her striking bowl.
Loving the way our Turquoise glaze is breaking over top all the textural qualities
 she has stamped, rolled or thumped and dragged into her slab.
Learning and understanding glazing is challenging when you are high firing.
It's takes a good half year for the kids to "get it".
Breaking glaze means how it's going to behave when it melts and hits an obstacle
like a lump, crack, crevice, carved out or a stamped pattern area.
Look closely at the inside and outside of Eunice's bowl and you can see what I'm talking about.
Light areas, 
dark areas,
it's all cool and can be a bit uncontrollable.
Sometimes you just don't know what you are going to get,
which makes unloading a kiln a delightful surprise.

In this next piece by senior Vinaini Jayasinghe,
she has painted the entire piece with the oxide colorant called Cobalt Carbonate.
Then she has taken a wet sponge and wiped off the clay's surface 
so that the Cobalt says in the low areas.
You really notice it on the backside of her bowl below.
Because she has used a Transparent glaze
 we don't have to worry about how the glaze will break.

In senior Sahil Doshi's bowl you can really see the breaking.
It's so beautiful how our Cobalt Blue Gloss glaze goes black in the crevices and lightens slightly along the edges of the cervices.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017


My daughter Dan and her coworkers,
 recently took on New York City,
namely Times Square,
for their working convention with the Halo Hair Extension Company.

These are some of the pix she sent.
I personally have only been to N.Y. once in my early 20's for just a day,
but I have wonderful memories of this busy,
 fast-paced city.
I just love the colors in the backdrop of this picture.
She was there during the recent blizzard
and fortunately her plane departure was not delayed. 

With her girlfriends at night exploring the city.

Under the infamous bull on Wall Street.

Loved this black and white she sent me...

a well as her in snowy Battery Park right outside Wall Street.

She is headed for Chicago this weekend,
definitely on my bucket list.
Can't wait to see those pix.

Friday, March 17, 2017


graphite on paper with colored pencil accents

keep those doggies rollin,
Who remembers that T.V. show from the 1960's with actor Clint Eastwood?
Well let's see how the 7th graders are rolling their spheres.

Amy Wang is showing off her skills in this Harry Potter themed piece.

And Alexa Trinidad has created a wonderful border to frame her lovely drawing. 

Where borders required in this piece?
and no one did it better than Ivy Peng.
Incredible effort Ivy,
you border is sensational along with your entire composition;
and I hope will inspire many more 7th graders to come after you!
Extra Credit for you young lady!!

Thursday, March 16, 2017


clay, sawdust firing, metallic rubbing compounds, beeswax 

just know that I am currently running 3 months behind on my posts.
Like on these candlesticks.
You all made them in November and finished them in December and I'm just getting them up.
So with that said,
here we go.

Here is the fabulous group shot of them all with their self-evals underneath.

Self-evaluations are mandated by the State of California as part of the Arts Framework 
for students to learn to objectively evaluate and judge their own pieces.
At the end of each assignment,
 on the left side of their evals.,
I have the kids list out all the requirements with the points possible they could have earned.
On the right side they make two columns,
one for themselves and one for me.
Then they write in their column what point values they think they deserve for each requirement.
They give me both their project and their self-evals.,
 and I then write in my column what I think they deserve.
Most of the time they are right on and I agree with them,
or they are a bit too hard on themselves,
so in my column I will give them a higher point value.
Every so often one person might not take this part seriously 
and will give themselves a perfect score.
Once they get to know me,
 they will find that I can always find something wrong with a piece,
so that they can grow as artists.
So usually they only try that one time,
because I blast them for not taking the process seriously,
 and the next time they usually give me honesty.
But occasionally,
there will be a student or two that do earn perfect scores.
And I love when that happens!!
And sometimes,
 they go so above and beyond minimum requirements & they earn some extra credit points.
I always take the time to write at least on positive comment and/or a helpful criticism.
I had an alumni return after 20 years to visit 
and she told me she kept every single self eval. I ever wrote her
 because of my honest heartfelt comments to her.

This assignment was a prelude to working with slabs dimensionally.
They also learned some new surface design techniques with included embossing items into the clay like laces, feathers, burlap/fabric, cardboard shapes, leaves, flowers etc.
That had to happen on two sides of their candlestick.
On the other two sides they were asked to try out their new bisqued stamps & cylinders
they made that had just came out of the kiln.
The results were so lovely as you will see.

The ones above and below were done by sophomore Olivia Kruger and junior Sarah Oh.
Both girls added sculptural elements which I loved
and inspired me to add to next years requirements.
So thanks you two!

These next beauties were made by junior Vincent Nguyen 
& seniors Vinaini Jayasinghe and Lauren Kennedy.
In all of these pieces,
notice the cool ways the students choose to end the tops of their sticks,
and the delicate application of the rubbing compounds.

These next 3 stunning pieces were created by Olivia (her extra one),
and the other two by junior Simran Doshi.
Love those little balls Simi has added to the one on the right 
not only around the lip but around the bottom to balance her stick.
They look like little feet.
So sweet.
A  close up.

And aren't these pretty?
Also notice how complimentary the beeswax color choices go with their rubbings.
These three were done by seniors Reehan Ahmad and Sahil Doshi,
and junior Samuel Kim.

And I can't end without showing one of my favorites which was done by senior Lauren Kennedy.  .
I'm crazy about those wings.
They remind me a bit of Native American Totems.
Just fabulous design Lauren! 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017


bfl roving & spinning hook made from a coat hanger

Just found this great pix of Ms. Hall learning to spin & ply her yarn.
Sorry Donna for not finding it sooner and putting it into the original post.

First of all let me introduce you to jack of all trades,
Cross Country & Track and Field,
 Coach Milan,
a Paraeducator for one of my students who joins us everyday for the Beginning 3-D class.
Occasionally he gets to join in on an assignment,
and I'm discovering that he has an artistic gift for design & craftsmanship as well.
Here he is learning to spin yarn,
a very difficult global skill.

It takes extreme concentration to learn this skill as you can see.
The kids were totally unaware that I was even taking photos of them.

And here are the young ones plying their singles 
and using the sink facets to stretch their yarn from.
Of course their are lots of other ways to learn these skills but the coat hanger as spinning hook
and stretching out the singles seems to work best with the beginners.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017


pencils, paper, clip boards & prop

Just cuz I haven't posted about you guys,
doesn't mean I've forgotten you.  
Hold tight, 
you will be featured soon.
But in the meantime, 
enjoy finding yourselves in this pix.
Beginning 2-D students,
all 35 of them,
trying to find a place to sit and see the prop from 
so that they can learn to sight and draw in Negative Space. 
we are missing a couple of kids.
My camera lens couldn't fit them all in.
There were others off to the left sitting on top of tables,
and then more off to the right sitting behind the checkout counter.
I've never had this many kids in this particular class.
But they are a wonderful group of kids and I'm really enjoying teaching them to draw.
Just wait.
Their before & afters are not too far away.

Monday, March 13, 2017


My cutie patootie daughter (on the right) is stuck in Times Square 
at the Halo Hair Show Convention she is working there in NYC.
A snow blizzard is coming in tonight and the airport is shut down tight.
She already lost her I.D. in the city.
A good samaritan found it and gave it to an NYPD on patrol who then posted it on FB.
Dani saw the post and told the police where she was staying 
and the good looking Lieutenant Stan delivered it to her at her hotel in person.
How about that for service with a smile.

Last weekend she got to work a show in Washington D.C.,
and next weekend they are sending her to Chicago,
all expenses paid.
What a great ride she is on with this hair company.
Good luck getting home petunia.
They should just reroute you gals to Chicago. 
Love you to the moon and back!

Sunday, March 12, 2017


sharpened dowel, india ink, watercolor & paper collage

These pieces are so lovely in person
 that at Open House they sell like hot cakes if the kids choose to put them up for sale.
In fact,
our Principal's secretary,
owns at least 3 of them,
and recently framed them up so now they look incredible behind glass and over her desk.

No pencils or erasers are allowed in this assignment,
only wooden dowels that the students sharpen and dip into India ink to draw with.
really scary.
But they do a practice piece first 
in Modified Contour and find if they are silent and go deeply into Right Brian,
it can be relaxing and turns out surprisingly well.

I have the kids draw from real life.
 Senior Eileen Lee used one of my sea shells and silk flowers,
then filled in her negative space with the buoy and sun.
After the ink dries,
 the students are required to mix up 3 values of ink wash 
and brush them into areas of shadow.
They were also supposed to bring in watercolor and paper collage accents
 as you will see in all the pieces.
 Eileen also brought in real dried out rose petals that she glued down
for another delightful element to catch the eye.

Senior Jazzerie Lo drew this adorable crab lugging his shell around.
I love how she thought to do him separately and cut him out
 and then to glue him slightly over the frame's edge.
It was a good way to balance the two larger items in the picture plane.
And check out her attention to detail in the crab & shell.

This next sweet piece belongs to junior Samantha Tun. 
You can just feel the music wafting in the breeze.

Next we have senior Malaya Sithichai with this incredibly detailed drawing.
Her use of watercolor was perfectly placed,
and check out the ink washes as well in the wrinkles in the hand.
I just love the playful quality of this work and the colors she used.

In our next one,
 senior Ayesha Durrani has drawn treats everywhere for our eyes.
Check out the fun close-up below.
I'm starting to notice that in all of Ayesha's works,
 she sends a great deal of time on the backdrops.
Reminds me of the work of Alumni Brian Kesinger.
Perhaps there is a future ahead as a story board artist for Ayesha with Disney or Warner Brothers

Our last one by senior Kevin Mao is a beauty.
Great cast shadows, 
just the right amount of watercolor,
well balanced composition.
And the wonderful touches of paper collage in the plants stems.
Go Kevin,
go Kevin!

Saturday, March 11, 2017


clay, glazes & oxides

Just found this wonderful photo of a couple of missing Pinch Pots from 1st Quarter.
Sorry you guys for not putting them into the original post.

On the left we have this really well thought out design by sophomore Olivia Kruger.
She stained the outside with the oxide Cobalt Carbonate,
then dipped it into our Transparent glaze.

On the right we have junior Mire Modha who stamped and applied this playful design thru the middle of her pot.
She has glazed it on the inside with our Chili glaze, 
and on the outside poured another glaze in a loose free flowing way.

Friday, March 10, 2017


graphite on paper & colored pencil accents

Let me introduce my 2nd Quarter 7th graders.
They like my first group had a couple of real knuckleheads
 but overall,
another talented bunch.
Let me show a couple off.

Sabrina Liu starts us off with this adorable dragon.
And she's created values everywhere and has picked up a bit of extra credit for that.

Next is Amy Wang who obviously is coming in with some self-taught drawing skills.

And then we have Tyler Shin 
who created this super unique non-objective design with six value scales.
Impressive young man!
Extra Credit for you as well!!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017


Meet legendary English teacher Donna Hall.
She has been teaching at Whitney almost as long as I have,
33 years.
The kids adore her classes,
love hearing her stories,
and are especially enjoying having her join us for Beginning 3-D art.
If you've been following the blog this year you will have seen several of her  exceptional pieces.
Most recently you saw her gorgeous Eco-Dyed Banner,
and coming soon is her Circular Weaving. 

Well the other day I couldn't resist shooting this pix of Donna and two other students,
juniors Rachel Kannampuzha & Jullian Morris,
following directions and climbing up on a chair to be able 
to see how Ms. Hall's piece looks from a distance.
Squinting your eyes really helps as you are doing this.
Reason being is that you can't see proportions or visual balance close up.  
You must get away from you your work to judge those things.
This goes for any medium you might be working in,
both 2 & 3-D. 

If an admin. or another staff member had come by just then,
 I'm sure they would have gotten a big kick out of seeing Donna standing
 in the middle of the room on that chair.
As I did!
Ha ha

Tuesday, March 7, 2017


charcoal on Bristol & erasers

I wish all of you could see these in person.  
From a distance they look almost like photographs.
These students did an amazing job with this assignment.

The technique is to use a soft,
 thick stick of charcoal and turn it on it's side, 
and completely cover the entire piece of bristol board.
Then they have a choice,
to take a very soft tissue and gently circular rub the charcoal to blend it,
or to leave the charcoal just as is,
 very textural.
Then to use various erasers and draw/erase the image in.
This freaks them out at first,
but they end up enjoying the process for the most part.
We start with the work of senior Ayesha Durrani.
She picked an extremely challenging subject as well as background to work from,
but man oh man,
did she rocked this piece.
So proud of you girlie!
We all loved senior Jazzerie Lo's super cool model/subject,
and how he was laying on his back,
and the way he was gazing up.
Really makes us wonder what he's thinking about.
It was so different then everyone else's which of course I love.

Next we are seeing the class favorite.
this one done by senior Eileen Lee.
We loved her subject and how she brought him to life.
Older people with their life wrinkles make for the most interesting subjects.

And lastly we are looking at senior Malaya Sithichai's work.
Another captivating subject beautifully executed.

Great job all of you,
So proud to share these.

Monday, March 6, 2017


clay, glazes, oxides, glass shards & alphabet macaroni

This assignment is a prelude to working with slabs and coils.
But instead of doing it 3 dimensionally right off the bat, 
we combine the techniques and do it 2 dimensionally first.
These originally were made to be placed under hot cooking pots on the kitchen table,
but they turn out too beautifully,
 so here at Whitney we display them as wall art.

We start with this playful piece by senior Marjorie Balaoro.
Besides making a delightful piece,
I like how she spent a lot of time painting on her glazes to make it colorful.
This is an inlay technique where they roll out a slab of clay,
and cut out everything except an outside frame.
Then they inlay coils and slab pieces in various designs to fill up the frame.
After all the negative spaces are filled ,
the entire piece is scored and smoothed from the backside,
then flipped to the front.
Areas are chosen from the small slab pieces to carve away 
so that glass shards can be melted into those spaces after bisque firing.
And this year we added a new element,
text using alphabet macaroni.
The only problem was I went to several grocery stores and couldn't find the macaroni.
Finally found a huge selection at great prices on

And it burned/denigrated out really well as you can see,
leaving great shaped letters with no stamping marks around them like we usually get.

The one above was made by junior Ylia Madayag.
Check out her impeccable craftsmanship, 
just like her older sis Kline,
who graduated last year.
Innate art talent runs in their blood.

Here we have this fun hot air balloon by senior Lauren Kennedy.
She critically thought out her glazing.
She used both Red Iron & Cobalt Oxides to stain entire piece with,
then dipped in out transparent Blue-Green glaze.
And the final touch,
 melting her glass shards in a blue color to work with the staining of the Cobalt.
Well done Lauren.  

And our last one was done by junior Vincent Nguyen .
I love how he used various colors of glass shards
 so that the color gradually moves from greens to blues across entire piece.
And the contrast with the white glaze makes this a bold piece.
Bravo young man!