Thursday, July 31, 2014

Going to be a Grandma!!!

I've been waiting to share our exciting news and I finally got the go ahead.
Jim's daughter Julie is pregnant with her first baby, and these are her first ultrasound pix.
You can really see the profile well, those cubby cheeks and that beautifully shaped head.
Now that's one good looking kid!
We are overjoyed for Mike and Julie and can't wait to meet this little one.
We've already got a car seat so we can take him up to the cabin with us.
This is going to be a mountain baby, and I've already got tons of artsy fartsy projects to do with him.
So excited for this next journey in our lives.
And yeap, I'm feeling it's a boy.
We'll see, got to get my knitting needles clanking, that's for sure!   :)
What do you all think of Nona and Pop-pop?

Wednesday, July 30, 2014


for cell reception at the cabin.
My mountain man found it in the car  :)

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

It's All About Surface Design

clay, wax resist, glazes, oxides

In their 4th semester the kids learn how to throw on the potter's wheels bowls and plates, and also how to trim the bottoms to elevate them for a more elegant look.
But we don't stop there.
I also teach them several surface design techniques to finish the plates off with.

Senior Tahnee Thanthrong chose a feathers motif to do her wax inlay technique.

Seniors Aditi Ramesh and James Cho are exploring flicking oxide over glaze on the left, and sponging wax resist over top of glaze then brushing oxide over top that on the right. 

Both these bowls are Aditi's.
On the left is the sponging wax over glaze with oxide like James did above, and on the right Aditi has applied glaze first then used wax resist and a brush to draw her diamond design with.
When wax is dry she has brushed oxide over top which makes the wax design pop.  
A close up.

I forgot to write down who this one belongs to but if I had to guess I'd say either senior Carol Oh or or Shamara Mustafa.
This one is also the wax inlay technique which means you dip the piece into a glaze (white was used here).
Then you paint a wax design on top of the dried glaze.
When wax is dry wipe away all the white glaze where the wax is not at, then re dip piece into a contrasting glaze.  (our bluegreen)

And in this last one senior Aman Patel experimented by drizzling tiny glass shards over top a glazed plate.
Very pretty.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Artful Explorations

nature's dyes on paper w/ stitch and other media

Textile artist extraordinaire India Flint has been such an inspiration to me and my students these last several years.
So much so that I traveled north two summers ago (perhaps 3?) to take a class with her.
And with her permission I am teaching her Wayfarers Wanderbook to my Advanced 3-D students.
This year it was one woman-child, the very talented and creative junior Karisma Dev.

Karisma started her explorations by stitching designs into 3 different papers below with large medium and fine yarns/threads.
Then she bundled them with eucalyptus leaves and other leaf varieties and lightly boiled them.
The leaves release their color differently on the papers and yarns as you can see below.

This is the cover of Karisma's book below.
I love that she also eco-dyed a crochet doily to embellish with.
The piece of copper is a part of her closure and she allowed a lot of her fibrous materials to hang over the edges which I find very appealing.
As you open her book you explore the natural world of color.
Karisma shared with me that she experimented with onion skins, strawberries and other fruits, coffee and tea grounds, and several flower blossoms from around the school grounds.
She was able to work off and on this book for the entire school year in her spare time.
As she was binding it she really started to get creative with lace and other fiber embellishments.
As you can see below she even brought in a twig as embellishment...
and some stamping and watercolor.
She turned one of her papers into an envelop. 
On this paper she collected flowers from around the school and used a mallet to crush the dye onto the paper with lovely results.

I find myself constantly giving Karisma goodies to incorporate into her pieces, like for instance...
this Living and Dyeing tag from fellow fiber artist Michelle Hoffee, and the funny little light bulb below that she glued onto her paper.
I always appreciate how Karisma likes to recycle things that she finds around the room that others have discarded like the copper and wires you see below.
I really hope that India has a chance to peek at your book Karisma to see how she is influencing young artists around the globe!
See ya in a couple of weeks when school starts  :)

Sunday, July 27, 2014

How Does Your Garden Grow?

clay, glaze, oxides, soil & plants

These mini gardens were planted on the day of my ceramic student's final.
My going away present to the class were a selection of sun and shade plants along with soil so that they could plant to their hearts content.
The kids slab built (mostly thumped and dragged) their planters to specific size requirements so that at least 2 seedlings would be able to thrive.
Many of my students have never done any gardening so I gave them a brief lesson in the planting, care and propagation of the plants they chose.
I just wish I had thought to take pix of them at work, and the care they took in the handling of the seedlings. 
So sweet!
I'm just hoping they remember to water them thru this hot summer we're having!

This first beauty by senior Anne Allan had a bas relief  lion face on the top hanging portion, and was quite striking and a class favorite.

Two of my personal favorites were made by senior Neha Jain (above) and Nicholas Tudor (below).
Neha used the thump and drag technique to stretch out her stamped slabs for tons of visual texture while Nick used a rolling pin for a super smooth surface that he stamped with buttons.
Nick also brought in his own cacti to plant for a very dramatic look while Neha's choice in flowers gives hers a softer feel.

These next two we works of art were created by seniors Jocelyn Kim and Lacey Thach.
Both girls stained their entire planters with Red Iron Oxide then hand painted Transparent glaze in specific areas for high contrast and focal points.

Above, juniors Yasmeen Pardo and Sameera Ahmad have also made very cool pieces.
Yasmeen loves to embed metal into her clay pieces while Sameera twists clay coils to catch the eye.

And finally senior Norris Khoo builds a clever turtle shell for his planter and glazes it so that all his textural elements are showcased.
Wonderful work Norris and all of you!
Now go give your gardens some water!!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Bye-bye Sweet 7th Graders

embossed paper with various media

Usually if there is enough time at the end of the quarter I like to bring out the printing press for the 7th graders.
They are fascinated and excited to try it out.
This time I gave them a subject matter to work to, a sun motif.
And like my Beginning 2-D students I suggest they bring in their favorite media to finish it off.
Wait till you see the clever ideas below.
7th graders are fearless!

This first one by Jaslyn was delightful.
She titled it Soaking the Rays.
She combined media by using watercolor and pen and ink and zentangled her sun's rays.

Sahana used pen and ink, watercolor, as well as pastel to pull together her colorful Undersea Paradise.

Of course Emma found a way to bring her cat into the subject, clever girl.
And I love that she thought to use paper collage, watercolor, pen and ink plus a bit of splatter
to highlight her Lazy Day.

In Lost at Sea, Chloe combines pastel and colored pencil seamlessly to show off the texture in her embossed areas. 

Sajan uses colored pencil with pen and ink in his joyful look at Life.

Kiana H. really shows off her skills with watercolor in this lovely landscape titled Hello Summertime.

And in A Day Gone By, Dylan uses watercolor, pen and ink, and charcoal to give us this fun and well thought out design.

I will miss all you 7th graders, all 117 of you, spread out during 4 quarters.
There are so many of you who really stood out artistically and I hope you will be back for more art classes.
And whether you come back for more or not, please stop by just to say Hello. 
Thank you for your enthusiasm and your courage.
You will be fondly remembered.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Mugs with Attitude

clay & glaze

Once the kids have learned to throw a cylinder on the potter's wheel, I show them how to get bulbous forms by shaping from the inside out.
I also show them how to pull a handle from a lump of clay.
My students are required to make 2 mugs, one with a pulled handle one with a handbuilt handle.
The mugs are also supposed to be different shapes and sizes.
I also encourage them to do something interesting when glazing for an eye catching surface design.

One of their options is a masking tape design like the one on the left. 
Senior Aditi Ramesh put masking tape right onto the bisqueware in lines and shapes that she cut out before dipping the pot in our turquoise glaze.
Another option is dipping in multiple glazes like Aditi did with the one on the right.
Some drooling will occur because you are doubling and tripling the glazes over top of themselves. 
Around the top rim is fine like you see here.
It's a beautiful look, but when it happens at the bottom of the pot it could cause it to get stuck to the kiln shelf,
so one has to be very careful where they allow the glazes to overlap.

These are gorgeous Aditi!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

A Printing We Will Go

embossed paper design with various media

For my beginning drawers, this was the best way to end the year.
To come up with an original design and build a plate to emboss it into paper using a printing press, then to add their favorite medium/media.
Their plates were built onto dense cardboard by gluing all sorts of goodies to form their designs (yarns, wire, laces, cardboard shapes, thin buttons, etc.)
After the glue has dried for 24 hours they were taught to use the blotters and printing press.
After the embossments were dry they came in with their favorite medium.

This exquisite one above was done by junior Zoe Lin.
She used watercolor to bring in her added something.

Junior Nathan Chong who is showing off his drawing skills by bring in watercolor and pen and ink onto his embossment.

Senior Catherine Chiou used watercolor beautifully in her eye embossment in a primary color scheme, and below senior John Gaintano used both watercolor and pen and ink in his very cool design.

Senior Alex Arias (our Varsity pitcher) used his favorite player as inspiration for his piece and used just the right amount of watercolor to compliment it.

Junior Michael Cantu brings us once again one of his moody landscapes, his signature design go to, and uses watercolor to make it pop.

And senior Vivian Dinh-Dang also used watercolor in her mermaid design.
I have to say that I'm thrilled so many of my students are using watercolor, and using it so well.
I'm guessing they really enjoyed the watercolor unit.

Yoo-Bin Han, senior, is using it as well as bringing in beads and stones to enhance her non-objective design.
As is senior Kavya Madhavan below.
Beautiful work girls!

And this next one above by junior Michelle Ni was impossibly detailed and so well executed.
 I was really impressed Michelle!

And then a twist for extra credit. 
After embossing and doing the added color like junior Karen Malacon did above with the eye-catching pastel cityscape, she rolled printing ink over top her plate and then printed that for the piece below her other.
Not too many kids took advantage of this because we ran out of time, but if you look below, you will see junior Sunny Kim's floral embossment with watercolor and pastel next to her extra credit printing ink piece.
She was able to make time for the extra credit.
Bravo to all of you!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Get Out Your Paddles

clay, glazes, oxides

That's right, use those wooden paddles to beat, push and form your lump of clay into the most interesting shape you can.  
Then slice thru the upper portion and separate the two sections.
When they are leatherhard, carve them out so you end up with a container.
That's a Japanese Lump Box.

Ceramics I, help me out, I can't remember who belongs to this gorgeous piece.
Finishing is our Chili glaze with red iron accents.

I'm pretty darn sure this next one was created by junior William Lin.
Above you see the backside where he has hinged the lid on after the glaze firing.
I love all the stamped elements he bought into his form, and below you can see how the lid works as well as what the inside looks like.
I asked all the kids to glaze the inside since it's a container.
The outside was optional, either glazing or staining.

This next beauty was made by senior Minette Tsang.
Notice how thin and delicate the form is? 
And  below you can see how she hinged it.
She stained with Cobalt Carbonate then dipped into Transparent glaze.
Then she went back and painted Cobalt accents to highlight her vines.

Junior Jonathon Xue was the creator of this super clean piece.
Above right you can see his hinging system.
It had so many interesting angles for photographing.
Way to go Jon!
He, like William, brought in a lot of great stamped texture, then the both of then stained with Rutile oxide.

These next 3 cuties above were made by seniors Lacey Thach, Sameera Ahmad, and Neha Jain, 3 of my top senior clay artists.

And many of my favorites here were created by junior Ju Eun Lee with that sweet bird on top, senior Priya Sheth with her signature embedded metal pieces, and senior Norris Khoo with his impeccably crafted box.