Friday, February 28, 2014

November Bouquet - My Work

Because I have fresh flowers in out mountain cabin year-round, I've decided to use them to eco-dye with at the tail-end of their freshness. 
 I divided this bouquet into 2 equal parts and used it on 2 vintage pillowcases I'd rescued from a thrift store.  Both cases had wonderful crocheted edge treatments that would also absorb the dye.  
Above is how they looked after day one of being bundled tightly around a copper pipe.
Below is after being left out of doors in the weather for a 2 week period. 
You can see mold beginning to grow.

Here they are right after I opened them up...
and a close-up.

Now I knew that after I laundered them they would loose a lot of the richness because I'm dealing with cotton.  
Silk and wool would have maintained the look you saw when I opened them because they are protein fibers.
But I'm still very pleased with the more subtle outcome...
especially close-up.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Speaking of Laarnie...


here she is with classmate Reis Misaka, both juniors.
I'm trying out a new assignment on them that I'm calling Felt Vessels. 
 I saw this in one of my feltmaking books.
Laarnie found two bouncy balls at the grocery store, and I gave them dyed roving to wrap around the balls in their chosen colorways.
You can see that Laarnie added handspun yarn to circle her rovings.
Next they wet felted the balls, the netting helps the initial starting so that things don't move around too much.

The finished products were wonderful!  I required that they have at least one opening that they coil a an edge to

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Shapes of Her Shadows - Student Work

Laarnie Barcelon Model

First off, I'd really like to thank my T.A. junior Laarnie Barcelon
 for agreeing to model for this assignment.  
It's a fairly challenging project in which Laarnie had to sit for 4 days straight in class without moving a muscle so the kids could draw only the shapes of the shadows on her face.  
We close some of the lights in the room and shine a spotlight on her so that the cast shadows are more visable.  
Then the kids come in with pen and india ink, as well as watercolor and collage.
First up is senior Justin Hwang. 
 Love how her drew her holding a flower, and his watercolor washes a very pleasing.

Senior Alex Lee brought in both watercolor and collage for a very thought provoking background.  
Plus he burnt a few of his edges, one of his signature stylistic moves.  
He also put a dried flower in her hair because Laarnie frequently wears them.

Senior Cathy Luo really gets into the recording of all the shadows in this very sensitive portrait. 
 And look closely at her gorgeous watercolor background.

Laarnie has a love of flowers so I really like how senior Heather Warner captured that by cutting out and collaging all those and more into her work for a stunning, vivid piece.

And senior Jasmine Zhao has also brought in the flowers and insects but in a completely different way.  
Just so clever and lovely.
 I am truly blessed by how much time and effort these young ones give me. 
Thank you all!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Which One Do I Choose George?

I adore the work of Muriel at Clothogancho, who paints with her naturally dyed yarns.  
Recently I have been in contact with her to purchase one of these amazing works of art.  

The colorways in both are so different yet so appealing, such a tough decision.  I've been debating for over 3 months now but I've finally made a decision.  Which piece would you have picked??
Let me know, then I'll tell you which one I bought.
Just wish I could afford both.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Missing My 2nd Quarter 7th Graders

3 assignments in 1

Yep, missing you young ones BIG TIME, but so glad many of you are stopping by to visit.
Love both Sara Ryave's box and pendant (above and below).  Her choice of colors, paper and textures really worked for me, and what a clever girl to use a safety pin as her pendant base. 

Madison Greenwald knocked it out of the park with her bold text and colors, whereas Ann Luong used a much more subtle approach, and was able to achieve just as satisfying a result (below).

Kyra Zazueta made this box above with her mother in mind. 
Divya Cowgill also has her mother as inspiration below. 
 Also check out Divya's clever pendant, how she is incorporating shells and buttons.

Next we have Mary Poppins' inspired text above by Stephany Arciga in a very pretty colorway.   You can also see her alternating stamped pattern in regular repeat.

I was so pleased how several of my students chose to use buttons in their pendants.  I love re-purposing buttons whenever I can, especially those belonging to family members who are gone now.

Above and below are the works of Valaree Villegas and Larissa Nguyen.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

But It's Not Spring Yet???

We've been having the warmest winter on record here, a very scary thing for us in Southern Cal. 
 In fact, my bulbs think it's spring already, 
they are bursting thru the soil in both pots and yard like gang-busters.

Up here in Crestline 
we were told recently that the owners before us had planted 100's of Daffodils, 
and that by March they'd all be blooming around our cabin...
but as you can see they started opening their sweet faces this last weekend.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Woo-Hoo, It Whistles!


One of the most memorable moments in the life of a Whitney ceramics student is when they get their clay pot to whistle.  It's an awesome ah ha moment in their young lives.  :)

They have choices as to how they finish them off after they've been sawdust fired.  With a glue/water solution to bring out the richness of the carbon or by rubbing with metallic compounds to add a touch of color.
Senior Anne Allan was fortunate, the gods smiled on her whistle to leave beautiful markings.

Both seniors Jocelyn Kim and Megan Yeu chose to add a bit of color for a very appealing look.

Then junior Erin Hsiao and Neha Jain went all out with their color for two very striking pieces.

And seniors Derrick Lin, Darren Fang and junior William Lin were blessed with lovely markings on their clay.  
Great job all of you on a very challenging assignment!

Friday, February 21, 2014

It's All About What's in Your Hearts

And these hearts were made for me by my sweet and thoughtful daughter Dani.  She made the watercolor ones 2 years ago, and she gave me the hearts with text last Valentine'd Day.
I saved them, knowing that I wanted to do something special with them for this year.
I had this very cool tye-dyed silk ribbon/yarn ball so I asked my trusty helper, Josh Berger, if he would string them together for me.
I loved how it all came together.
Thank you Dani for always giving me your heart, 
and a heartfelt thanks to Josh for turning them into this lovely tribute.

Love you puppy girl!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

From Pampered Pooch to Mountain Dog

Our sweet little girl is getting the lay of the land up top on our mountain.  This is the first time we've let her hair grow out this long, hoping it will kept her well insulated in the cooler climate.
Sadly, it's been a rather warm winter.
Here's hoping for more rain and snow, got my fingers crossed.
Got to get us out of this drought.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

It's All About Surface Design - Student Work


For my intermediate clay kids , I try to expand their surface design choices so that I bring in the more complex Mishima and Sgraffito techniques.  Already covered in Ceramics I were inlay, applied, pierced, carved, incised, and stamping.  All the techniques are done while the clay is either plastic or leatherhard.  Of course after bisque firing they can glaze and stain as well.  and after sawdust firing there is always the metallic rubbing choice.  So by now there is no excuse for a boring pot! 

What I really like that senior James Cho did with his plate was to trim the rim into an interesting geometric shape, then to mimic it with his sgraffito lines.

Senior Aditi Ramesh has a more organic edge with wonderful linear designs to delight our eyes.

Even though the bottom of senior Shamara Mustafa's bowl broke off (yes sometimes bad things happen with clay) she still has a marvelous night time cityscape inlayed into her clay.  And Aditi has given us a striking design thru contrast in her extra credit floral piece above. 

Senior Carol Oh has really knocked herself out with this amazing design above.  First of all a bowl within a bowl, very clever!  But for me it's all about her Mishima inlay that really pulls me in, and those ruffled edges.  
Love it!

But I've got to say that this little tiny bowl by senior Tahnee Thantrong has my heart.  So delicate and lovely with the scalloped edges and abstract human resting on the ledge, and then the beautiful finish of er choice of glaze.