Thursday, March 31, 2011

Slab Wraps - Student Work

Going back to my Beginning Clay kids again for their very elegant slab wraps. It is a quiz with clay, where they need to follow very specific directions to make a vase form and only have one day to do it in. They begin with a huge slab of clay that they put a lot of stamping, cylinder rolling, and textural paddling into, then they thump and drag it on the cement outside my door. This stretches the clay and the textures into very pleasing shapes. Then they mold the huge slab over a rolling pin, blow dry the clay so it holds the curved form, take it off roller and continue to roll it up into a vase form with overlapped edges. They must also attach a base and do some additional stamping or applied decorations along the seam. What they end up with are very organic, elegant vase forms. At least most of them do LOL. These were my favorites this year. The top one was done by senior Raffaello Sampaga, and look at how beautifully he glazed it! These two were made by senior Matthew Ramos and junior David Hyun. David has been doing a lot of experimenting with steel findings and nails in his clay pieces. Steel is about the only thing that won't melt at cone 5 (2150 degrees F.), the glaze temp I fire to. Very cool pieces boys!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wire Knit & Crocheted Jewelry - Student Work

A really fun and easy project that I do with my 3rd year 3-D kids is to use 26 gauge craft wire and have them either use their knitting or crochet skills that they learned in 2nd year 3-D to craft wire jewelry. These gorgeous bracelets were crocheted by senior Olivia Hill. I really like how she varied the size of her beads and changed the color of her wire, such great design skills. This neck piece below also was made by Olivia. This bracelet and necklace set were designed and made by senior Angeline Tran. They look so lovely on her and are so very delicate.

And these pretty and colorful rings and necklace were done by senior Breeana Johng. All of these pieces will be on display soon for our Annual Open House Art Show. Please drop by and see all the pieces I've featured this year on my blog plus so much more!! Many of the pieces will be for sale as well. Open House is Wednesday April 13 from 5:30 to 7:00, so please come on by and say hello.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Slow and Steady - My Work

OK, so probably about a year ago I showed you (above) where I was at with this lap blanket, using up all my little bits of leftover yarns from other projects. And now I've gotten a little further along, but it's still taking me FOREVER, cuz I hardly ever work on in. But I really enjoy finishing things, so I continue to plod along at a very slow pace. So I'm hoping by next spring to show off a completed piece. Stay tuned :) Oh, and it wouldn't be this misshapened when I'm done, I will block it into the perfect rectangle, I hope. Wish me luck!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Professional Mixed Media Artist Loretta Grayson

I found the work of Loretta Grayson recently ( when I was perusing the blog of Lucy from Attic 24 in Yorkshire England. Loretta works is a wide range of media from yarns to watercolor and acrylics so her work is right up my alley. When I saw junior Michelle Lee in my 2-d class doing some very interesting scratch marks over top her preliminary oil pastel it made me think of Loretta's work so I showed it to my students. In the post below you can see Michelle's finished piece with all the effort she put into the pasteling and the scratching. Hopefully Michelle will be back next year, hint, hint! Loretta built the piece above with oil pastel, a watercolor wash over top, and acrylic paint. See her whole process on her blog ( It's fascinating and so lovely.

Preliminary Oil Pastels - Student Work

I haven't shown you lately what my Beginning 2-D kids have been up to, but they have been really busy learning how to draw. I'll be posting their before and afters in the next couple of weeks so you can see their progress. But in the meantime, here are some sweet little oil pastel exercises they just finished up. This is their first time to use this medium and they are really enjoying it, finding their own style, learning about highlights, reflective lights and cast shadows, along with including a wide range of value in their local colorway. After showing my students the work of Professional Artist Loretta Grayson from Australia (post above this one), junior Michelle Lee was inspired by her work and included lots of scratched in detail in her prelim. above. Incredible piece Michelle!

Above senior Jennifer Park did this stunning pea pod, and below senior Michelle Guan, junior Janice Min and senior Rachel Kim all have found their own working styles.

So have senior Karen Pan and junior Crislyn Ogawa. All of you are on a roll, can't wait to see what you all do with the gluelines you are working on now.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Short Road Trip

A couple of Sundays ago Jim had some business to do in Pasadena so I tagged along for the scenery. And was so glad I did. What a gorgeous day for a ride. The 57 Freeway was barely crowded...

there was tons of snow on the local mountains...

and the sky was crazy wild with thunderclouds.

I had forgotten how close Pasadena is to the mountains, and what a great downtown area they have for eating and shopping.

And since I was focusing on finding my muse for my sketchbook class, I just had to snap a shot of this cool grouping of rocks. Maybe I could use it to practice my sketching with.

I had also forgotten how interesting the architecture is in this older community.
But my favorite sight of the day was this sculpture, so monumental in scale, fabulous! For EXTRA CREDIT in my Beginning 2-D class only, on a piece of brown paper cut into the shape of a book, put the Chapter number from Art Talk on the back side of the book, the one that dealt with size, scale and proportions. On the front side put your name and period. A clue, it was one of the last Chapters I tested you on. :) Good Luck!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Coil Pots - Student Art

I have so many outstanding coil pots to show off this year from my Ceramic I kids, so let me start with one of my favorites this year made by senior Christine Castillo. Her piece was extremely difficult to built because she had to inlay the fish between the coils, no easy task, but she worked so hard to make it happen. She also spent twice as much time on the glazing of the piece. You've got an award winner here kiddo!

Another favorite was created by junior Joanna Paz. I just adore all her small intricate details she incorporated along with her coils. It has such a fun, spontaneous feel to it.

These 3 beauties were made by senior Christina Lee, junior Joan Kim, and senior Dong Song. It's interesting to see the different glaze solutions the kids pick for their pots. Many of them
chose to stain their pieces first and then dip them in a glaze to highlight their coil work. Below we have senior Mike Ng's very cool piece. I really like how he started off with a triangle but ended with a circle. It also has a lot of fluid movement to it which really appeals to the eye.

This one above belongs to senior Kevin Pascual and really reminds me of an ancient ruin in the jungles of Mexico. I saw something similar in my travels through Palenque and Merida. And below we have the amazing work of senior James Poupongtong. James has really been doing some great pieces lately and you will be seeing more from him in the future.

Above we have the works of seniors John Balagtas and Varsha Baheti. Both of them choose our gorgeous black glaze to finish their pieces off with. I don't know if you can see it but John also brushed a bit of rutile oxide over top his glazed balls to turn them a warm brown. Below we have the super stylings of senior Alfredo (Freddy) Perez. Freddy knocks himself out on every project to make his pieces as special and perfect as he can. He will work on something for hours and completely loose track of time; thats how into it he gets.

Another favorite of mine was done by senior Matthew Ramos. Again, the fluid movement really draws me in.

And lastly we have senior Andrea Acosta. What is so cool about her piece is the way she isolated her intricate designs. It really gives the piece a focal point. Andrea is another student who always gives me everything she's got on each of her pieces. These kids are so wonderful to work with, and I'm so very thankful I teach here at Whitney with these incredible children. I realize I'm a very lucky woman!! Thanks all of you for making such beautiful pieces for me to show off to the world. :)

For EXTRA CREDIT on a piece of yellow paper cut into the shape of one of these coil pots, put your name and period on the front side, and on the back the name of the person whose piece is your favorite.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Peek at my Spring Garden

Even though we had the first day of spring recently, our skies are still a bit cloudy and wet. But my sweet babies are thriving in the rain and the intermittent sunshine.

I planted this ginormous blub from Roger's Gardens that I picked up when Zach and I shopped there at Xmas time, and look at it now. It's supposed to grow to between 3-4 feet tall with it's flower stalk. Cool Man!! The little leafy thing on the side is a spider plant shoot.

My daffodils that I planted over 10 years ago at my ex's house continue to bloom this time of the year. Love how they keep multiplying.

Sometimes I like the buds better than the flowers. This is from a Wildflower packet that Zach planted in my summer patio garden at Jim's. It's finally just now blooming.

I always have a lettuce garden, this year I'm growing red leaf, along with Italian Parsley and Cilantro.

This was a struggling vine when I first met Jim, now with a bit more attention it's a thriving vine in bloom. The buds...

and the flowers from both angles, along with a pot of pansies I rescued from the cemetery.

And my favorite, Jim's Bird of Paradise that never bloomed till he met me. I worked my fertilizer magic on it, and wel-la, flowers!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Nude Coil Torso - Student Work

I'm featuring once again 2nd year ceramics student, Chareena Eleazar. This spectacular piece just came out of the kiln. It's coil constructed and is approximately 10" by 12", so done to a pretty large scale. Chareena had the choice of working with the male or female body and was to abstract it by building it out of coils so it would be more decorative.

She finished it off with a red iron oxide stain technique and our Cone 5 Blue Matt glaze from Aardvark Clay in Santa Ana.

It's so interesting no matter what angle you view it from.

This was probably by far her most challenging piece yet. You did a FANTASTIC job Chareena, I'm so proud of you!!