Thursday, October 30, 2014


Have a Happy and Safe Halloween
Pumpkin carved by Danielle Agrums 2012

35 Years of Dust

Yes indeedy, 
this is what 35 years of dust looks like from the top shelf in my kiln room.
My husband says I should be so ashamed  LOL
Besides housing my two kilns, the Kiln Room is where I store a plethora of art supplies.
My assistant, alum Josh Berger, 
has been spending the past 3 weeks inside this room cleaning it from top to bottom.
He's almost done.
I wish I would have thought to take a before shot.
He's made a huge difference.
Now it's a pleasure to walk into.
I'm trying to get the entire art room clean and squared away before I retire.
I want to leave it nice and organized for the next art teacher.
I'm hoping one of my ex-art students will come back to fill the void.
Joyce Byean and Jordan Joyce, 
get your resumes ready!
I'm thinking about cutting out at the end of the next school year.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

What's Laarnie What Too?

Spinning, dyeing and building her own drop spindle.
Senior Laarnie Barcelon is the lone ranger in my Advanced 3-D class this year.
But that's a good thing, she is able to become completely absorbed in her work and go deeply into Right Brain.
As a result she is producing incredible works of art this year.
She started the year off by dyeing raw fleece with food colors.
Then I taught her to spin on a drop spindle and also on the spinning wheel.
She took to the spinning wheel like a duck to water.
Just look at her lovely tail spun yarns here.
All these yarns below were either spun on the drop spindle or the spinning wheel.

Drop Spindle
She was also required to build from scratch her own drop spindle.
It was so beautifully designed and crafted that I had to take several shoots at different angles.
The cross bars are from the leftover molding pieces we used in the barn
 up at the cabin this summer.
She was required to build it from at least two different types of wood.
I believe she used oak. alder and poplar.
I adore how she trailed beads and gemstones around the layers 
so that our eye wraps around the piece.
Lovely work Laarnie.
 I'm so proud to showcase your work!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Two Crazy Girls

After receiving many positive comments and e-mails about our Tye-Dye Unit the other day, I thought you mightl ike to meet the creator of my frock and many of the other items you saw hanging on the Tye-Dye lines outside my classroom
Here is cutie-patootie junor Hazel Cruz of tye-dye fame.  
She is getting so many requests for her creations that she's having a hard time keeping up. 
I told her she needs to start charging.
Let me know if you are interested,
I'll pass it on.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Unwrapped Two More Bundles

Mango seed and skins steamed in a bit of Rit dye

Swiss Chard I think, steamed in pomegranate skin.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Extra Credit Opportunity

1900 Adams Ave.
Costa Mesa, Ca.
October 24 & 25
from 10-4

For 10 points of EXTRA CREDIT this Saturday go and check out one of my favorite art fairs of the year in Costa Mesa.  
Click on this link for all the info and map

And make sure to stop by and meet my good friend Lori Lawson of Capistrano Fiber Arts.
She inspires me with her gorgeous colorways on her hand dyed fibers,
 and her impeccable spinning, 
knitting and stitching skills are a must see.
And then seek out Michelle Hoffee of Living and Dyeing fame.
Her skills with Eco-Dyeing are to die for!!
Last year she was able to coax turquoise from plants, 
but she's not telling how she does it  :)
To get your 10 points of extra credit,
 get your pix taken with your favorite artist there in their booth, 
and show me on Monday.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


with rose petals, a daisy, and daffodils.
Couldn't remember if I'd shared this first one or not.
Steamed in rust water.

with maples leaves, exolis leaves and blooms, geranium petals, fuchsia blossoms and an indoor variegated leaf. 
Steamed in clear water.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Let's See What's Hanging...

on the line outside my classroom door.
Lot's of tye-dye going on.
My Beginning 3-D kids are now teaching their friends the art of Tye-Dye,
and now we've got at least 5 kids in the classroom everyday after school rinsing the excess dye out of their garments
 and hanging them on the line to dry overnight. 
What's so cool is that many of these kids are band students who have never been able to fit my class into their schedules.
And they are coming into the art room for the first time in their 6 years at Whitney.
I'm almost thinking of leaving out the dyes all year long to attract even more students.
So every morning when I walk up to my classroom 
I see wonderful design and color as it should be.
And the kids are finding all sorts of things to dye,
as you can see. 
Juniors Hazel Cruz and Erin B. are especially getting some crazy wonderful results.
In fact,
 I gave Hazel a frock of my own to dye, 
and as you can see she did a fantastic job for me.
Thanks Hazel!!!!

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Great Shake Out

This last Thursday all across the state of California we had the Great Shake Out, 
a serious earthquake drill.
I shared with my students how scary my room was during the Whittier Narrows Quake in .
The floor was rolling, 
and ceramic pieces were flying off the shelves. 
I could here glass breaking in the kiln room, 
and to top it off I panicked and ran for the door 
(this was before Duck and Cover),
and fell down before I reached the doorway.
So the kids took it really seriously
 and got themselves completely under those desks and tables.
Job well done guys!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Laarnie Barcelone - Student Profile

Senior Laarnie Barcelon is having a banner year as she breezes thru my Advanced 3-D art class.
In her free time she is in my room during lunch and after school creating adtional art works.
In these pix she is trying her hand at painting her dress with the left over dyes from the beginners tye-dye unit. 
Our principal, Dr. Rhonda Bus, just happened to drop by as Larnie was having way to much fun 

And her is the lovely Laarnie showing off her finished piece,
very cleverly accenting it with black jacket and belt for a very pretty picture.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

A Peek Inside My Classroom

My Intermediate 2-D Students working on their Junk Mail Books.
That's right,
we are recycling junk mail and turning it into an interactive book.
Stay tuned for the finished creations!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

An Early Start On Those Xmas Presents

Eco-Dyeing with Rose Petals and Leaves on Wool Scarfs

Eco-Dyeing with Red Geraniums and their Leaves on Wool Scarfs

Monday, October 13, 2014

Just Messing Around

Wanted to share what I've been up to as my students are tye-dyeing and eco dyeing.

I had some old fabric that I had blueprinted on many moons ago, so I cut it up into small pieces and thought I'd experiment.
So far I've tried two different processes over top.

In this first one I laid down a bunch of leaf windfall from around the school, bundled it up and stuck it in the eucalyptus dye bath for a good steam.

And below I tied the piece up two different times, two different ways going into red first and then into yellow Rit dye.

Here you can see the back side 
and the imprints of the close pins I used to hold it together in the dye.
I really enjoyed the results in both and plan to do more experimenting.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

A Change in the Weather

I arrived at school early this week to amazing sunrises, and finally,
 I hope, 
to a change in our hot, humid weather we've been having.
I am so ready for Fall.
Bring on the cold!!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Back to School Nite 2014

A special thanks to seniors Kaili Hamada and Bianca Tolentino for hanging out with me and demonstrating for the parents on the Saori Loom and Spinning Wheel at Back to School Nite as I introduced myself and my program to the parents.