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.

Monday, March 24, 2014

The Laarnie and Reis Show

featuring juniors Laarnie Barcelon and Reis Misaka

In the Intermediate class the students learn how to use a sewing machine, then go onto making an Art Quilt.  We use Professional Quiltmaker Gwen Marston's book "Liberated Quiltmaking" to work from which basically means using no templates, just free form cutting our edges.  This year we also worked out of Professional Quiltmaker Ricky Tims book "Convergence Quiltmaking".  
As always the quilts turned out delightful, creative and so unique.

First I'd like to show off Reis' extraordinary piece with his design based on Japanese calendar cards that he brought in to reference. 
He handstitched one for each month of the year, and then appliqued them to his liberated foundation.  
Talk about focused and time consuming. 
Here is a close-up below so you can see his attention to detail.
Truly amazing!

Laarnie was really inspired by Ricky Tim's work which is also based on free form cutting, but also on optical illusions.   If you look closely you will see a lot of tricky woven strips running thru the center area. 
Both kids worked from donated fabrics that they had to color co-ordinate for visual flow.
They also learned to machine quilt thru all 3 layers, and to applique a signed and dated label to the backside.
The final step being learning how to make and put on a binding edge, just like the pros.

Fantastic job you two! 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

My First Tulip

For years I've been trying to grow tulips in our So.Cal weather., but because I'm too lazy to dig up the bulbs and put them in the freezer like I'm supposed to, I just leave them in the ground or pots and hope for the best.  
Well, the best finally happened, one of my blubs not only came up but actually bloomed for me.
And it was spectacular indeed  :)

Friday, March 21, 2014

The Fiber Arts Are Coming Alive Here at Whitney

featuring juniors Kaili Hamada and Bianca Tolentino

Two of my Beginning 3-D students, Kaili and Bianca, have expressed a huge interest in learning more about the spinning and weaving process after we finished those units in class.  So both these girls have been coming in during their snacks, lunches and after school to explore and work with me on an individual basis.

So here you see Kail with good friend Nicholas Tudor, using my drum carder to blend wools she has sent away for thru the mail.  Both girls are using their own funds and dipping into our fiber arts community for beautiful hand dyed rovings.  They are so excited when they arrive in the mail, running joyously into my room to show me their newest purchases.
Kaili has not only taught herself to spin on my wheels, but often times I find her standing instead of sitting to spin.  That's because we have very short snacks and lunches, so she doesn't have time to grab a chair, easier to just stand.  These kids crack me up!
Isn't she a doll??
Makes my heart so happy  :)

I've featured Bianca before on the spinning wheel, well here she is on one of my rigid heddle tabletop looms.  This is Bianca's first experience on a loom this size so she is making a sampler, then will use her own handspuns to weave and warp with in her next piece.
I'm just so proud to show off these girls, and all that they are learning to do, and how quickly they are picking it up.
Our next generation of Fiber Arts.
Woo Hoo!!!! 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

All Dressed Up with No Place To Go

Sophie loves to wear her jackets. 
This is her very stylish rain coat she got for Xmas but we've had very little rain for her to go out in.
But we still like to play "dress up".
Looking very svelte Soph!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Saori Weaving is Alive and Well at Whitney High School


Junior Karisma Dev is on an adventure.  
She learned to weave in my Beginning 3-D course when she was an 8th grader.  
But now it's time for her to take it to a whole other level on a Saori floor loom from Japan that I just purchased for my students.
Because Karisma is in my most advanced class she is the first one to try it out. 
But first I put her on a standard table top loom to learn all the basics like warping on a warping board, stringing the warp thru the heddles, and tying on.  
I wanted her to make a smaller piece just to to get the hang of it before going onto the Soari loom.
The very cool piece above is her tester.

Now here she is on the Saori loom.  Her assignment is to make a garment for herself.  
Because she wears Sari's for dance and traditional Indian events she has decided to weave 3 long strips and sew them together to create a highly unique piece.
I'll be sure to post the finished piece, on her of course!  :)

Monday, March 17, 2014

Springtime at Whitney - Student Work


I believe this is the 3rd year to do this assignment.  It's a great one because besides learning how to weave, the kids are using mostly recycled scraps as weft, as well as incorporating their handspun yarns into the piece.  This year there was more creativity then in the past as you will see in a couple of the works.
Like this one by junior Daphne Chiang. 
 Along with weaving this adorable nest, she has attached it to a branch which makes so much sense.

Besides weaving their nests they also have to make a little something special to sit in their nests.
This sweet piece and fairy were made by senior Megan Yeu.
Looking closely we can see all she has recycled; cording, laces, ripped fabric strips, and ribbons.

Love how junior Katy Uchiyama has taken a cracked egg shell and collaged over top of it with tissue, then made a little felt bird to go inside egg. 

This next one by junior Justin Jang is so clever.  He thought to weave with silk plant leaves/vines, feathers and mosses, and then he built a whole eco-environment inside his nest.
Great critical thinking Justin!

Senior Jackie Manipon made this next nest.  I love that she thought to dangle beads below and her eggs are exquisite, so pretty in fact that someone stole them out of her nest when it was on display in the office. 
I'm so sorry Jackie.  
She took and gutted real eggs then paper collaged over top of them.
The papers she used look like they are from Japan, not sure.  
What a shame they were taken.  
Our kids are usually very respectful of the art students and their work on display.  
This is the very first time something has been taken.  :(

Junior Bianca Tolentino made this adorable dimensional felt bird for her cute nest.

I really like how junior Alice Hong has dangled her ripped weft scraps from the bottom of her nest. 
 I think I'll do that next year on my demo. piece.
Alice fashioned a sweet little time piece for the inside of her nest.

But it's this one by junior Clarisa Bloemhof that really had everyone talking.
She turned her nest into a tree, complete with cork swing, then mounted it on this cool piece of scrap cardboard.
How wonderful is this???
A whole new place to go next year with the kids.
Thank you Clarisa for your inspiration!
And notice her handspun yarn as weft woven on top of the tree?
Can you tell I really like this one?  

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Recycling At It's Best


When I first started this assignment about 5 or 6 years ago, I required the kids to include angle wings on their abstract human figures, thus "Wood Angels".  But as the assignment has evolved, we've dropped the wing requirement, and brought in more whimsical characters.  So not just abstract human figures, but animals, insects, you name it, it's been done.  
The kids love working with the wood, especially learning to use the power tools.  I do a big safety demo., then monitor and check the students as they are learning to use them for the first time.  They learn to saw, sand, drill, chisel, dremel, wood burn, stain and use the jigsaw, and circular miter saw.  
Scary, yes, a little, but so worth it, as you will see in the results. 
Youngster Kaili Hamada (junior) here accidentally chiseled into her finger.  
So occasionally accidents do happen but all is well, it's all healed up now, and she's a happy camper as you can see. 

Here we go!
One of my favorite wood pieces this year, because it had so much personality, was created by senior Megan Yeu.  
I was thrilled that she was able to do a lot of up-cycling with hardware store findings that I pick up at garage sales.

Senior Jinnie Choi made this adorable, interactive bunny.  The head bobs back and forth, and I really like how she has shredded up fiber and glued it down for fur.  Very tactile!

Another favorite was made by junior Jonathon Madamba who took advantage of the wood burning tools as well as paper collage.

Junior Clarissa Bloemhof also brought in a lot of wood burning along with her wonderful paper collage.  Love that she has built an umbrella as an accessory which brings even more appeal to her work.

Senior Vinisha Kothari went all out on hers.  You can't tell the scale from the pix , but it was ginormous, and very impressive; full of color, wood burned designs and fun!  Below you can get a better idea of the size of this piece.

Here is senior Rebecca Tjahja cutting away with the jig saw to shape her wings.  And above is her finished piece.  Notice how she has built her boy and girl figures completely with hardware findings on top of the paper collaged heart?  Very cool solution!

Next we have the work of the very handsome and debonair young junior Justin Jang.  Love his take on Spiderman!

8th grader Annie Lin has cleverly used twigs for her arms, legs and neck.  She has also done a beautiful job with her staining and wood burning.

Senior Esther Woo has made this adorable young girl by incorporating recycled laces, and hardware pins for arms and legs.  But it's the idea for the dolls hair that is brilliant; gluing down the sawdust shavings that we were going to throw away.  Fantastic critical thinking woman!

8th grader Cassidy Chansirik brings so much personality to her doll by the tip of the head, the miss matched buttons, crooked smile and wire wrapped hair.  So sweet Cassidy!

This next one by junior Bianca Tolentino has so much content built in thru attention to detail.  Wow, heck out the side view below as well!

Senior Ema Shah made an adorable Santa complete with toy bag.
And junior Daphne Chiang gives us a sweet young woman dressed for the prom.  
  At least that's where I think she's going.  :)
I hope all of you have enjoyed seeing so many of the finished wood pieces.  
These kids worked so very hard to make them as wonderful as possible.