Monday, December 21, 2015

Friday, December 18, 2015


hand dyed wool yarn & handmade knitting needles

We saw these cutie patooties earlier in the school year dyeing up their yarns. 

And here they are later in the quarter learning to knit with the needles they made.

I have 8 Intermediate students this year and we are a tight bunch;
today exchanging our Secret Santa gifts.

I taught the kids Nine Knit Patterns,
and they used their own colorful dyed yarns to learn the patterns 
and make the samples with.
They were also allowed to incorporate some variegated solids 
I had on hand for contrast.
Then they sewed their samples together to create a scarf.
Some even sewed the ends together to create an Infinity Scarf.
The results were amazing,
the learning of this new global skill difficult.
But all the kids hung in there,
and one has just recently finished her first knit sleeveless top.
So let's take a look see.

Senior Kristine Luong took to knitting like a duck to water,
and had the courage to also learn a Log Cabin Pattern (mid right).
(note: these scarfs had not been blocked yet,
that came later after I had taken the pix)

Senior Antoniette Jabat used neutrals to compliment her glorious dyed blue yarn.

And senior Hazel Cruz turned her Autumny feeling creation
 into an Infinity Scarf. 

Senior Amber Wu balanced out her scarf with bold stripes.
And make sure to check out her Intarsia Sample at the top center.
Looks like a prism.

Here are the last four.

We start with senior Liana Chie,
and her yummy sherberty dyed yarns.

Next we have junior Jacqueline Yu.
Jac is the one who just finished her first top.
 like Kristine,
 took to the knitting skill very quickly.

And our only male,
 senior William Kim,
was another quick study.

And lastly junior Shreya Sheth 
has knit this strikingly beautiful piece.

I'm so proud of all of you for not giving up 
and conquering this challenging global skill.

By the way,
I also taught them to crochet,
because all of them were required to put an edging around their scarfs.

Thursday, December 17, 2015


tissue & paper scraps, Modge Podge

My students know that anything liquid in my classroom is known as sauce.
So do my children.
When they were younger and we were getting ready to go to the beach,
I'd tell them to sauce themselves up,
meaning to apply their sunscreen.
So in my classroom there is collage sauce (Modge Podge)
and sawdust sauce (glue/water).
Hee hee
Even though Modge Podge is a bit expensive,
I've found it is the best collage sauce on the market.
It's a Polymer Medium that sticks almost anything to anything,
and we go thru a couple hundred dollars worth a year.

It is especially wonderful for Tissue Paper Collage 
as you can see in Shriya Kappagantu's wonderful design above.
I love that she created an image rather than random design.

"Look Ma, No Hands" on the left above was so much fun,
but sadly I didn't write down the name of the maker,
so 7th graders, 
let me know who it belongs to.
Charles Chen is the artist in the middle.
I really like that he used up the tan packing material that I can't bare to throw away,
and Alberto Lozano did the neutral color scheme box on the right.

Nerie Crisologo is the creator of this colorful box,
and it's lovely stamped tissue inside.
I teach the kids 7 different patterns to stamp in ,
and they pick up several to combine in a clever way to stamp their tissue with.

The stamps were carved years ago for another assignment and left behind,
so we re-use them for this assignment.
Bryant Huang picked a Tribal looking stamp for his tissue.
Also notice Bryant's wire wrapped pendant that he made.
Beautifully crafted with a special meaning for him.
I think his story was that he had a clam living in it in his aquarium,
and it died,
so he kept it's shell.
And when I asked the kids to bring something special from home to turn into a pendant,
this is what he brought.
Ahhhh  :)

Alex Min was inspired by the game of Minecraft for his box theme.
He used a Mirror pattern for his tissue,
and made two pendants for his box.
Notice how strikingly beautiful his tissue stamping is!

And lastly we have Amara Ajon.
She chose a box with an interesting lid (see below).
All these boxes are recycled from the staff at my school.
They donate them to me after the Holidays.
I go thru at least 120 every year,
and I'm running out.

Amara has chosen an Analogous color scheme to work in
(there are 8 color schemes they can choose from)
and I really like how she has stamped her paper.
Part of it is in a random overlapping pattern 
which creates wonderful values,
and above that she is in a regular alternating pattern.
Well designed kiddo!

We are almost to the end of my First Quarter 7th Graders.
I know my Second Quarter kids are getting antsy to see their work up on the blog.
very soon  :)

Wednesday, December 16, 2015


In the 2 years we've owned the cabin,
this is the most snow we've had.
We woke up to this last Saturday morning.

A winter wonderland.

And this,
bear tracks!!
They were ginormous and so fresh at 11:00 in the morning
when I took our dog Soph for a walk.
I kept my eyes peeled that's for sure!
ha ha 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015


The last time we saw Kaili
 she and her classmates were in the process of Sawdust Firing their Pinch Pots
 at the University of Hawaii.

Since that time she has been learning how to throw on the potter's wheel.
She told me it was a struggle for her,
as it is for most everyone
when you try to learn a new global skill.
But Kaili doesn't let anything beat her,
she tries and tries until she conquers it
 and then becomes one of the best.
So let's see her results.

This is her shelf in the Ceramics Studio of all her finished wares.
We see many of her finished thrown pieces
 alongside her handbuilt ones from earlier in the semester.

Kaili said her instructor had them make many, many mugs,
17 in all for their final...

along with 6 bowls & 6 other forms of their choosing.

They were also required to trim the bottoms of each piece,
extremely labor intensive.

Here are a few of her pieces after the first bisque firing.
You can see how the clay have vitrified a bit and changed color to this pinkish hue.

And here they are  in the process of being glazed.

Tah Dah!!!
the final products ready for the Final grading.
She told me she is planting and selling a few of her pieces as well.

And finally a mug exchange and gathering with fellow classmates and instructor
 at a local hang-out 
to celebrate a job well done.

Proud of you Kaili girl!

Monday, December 14, 2015

WILD - Part IV


Here then is a group shot of all the finished pieces.
It was so exciting to see them come to fruition,
and it's been an absolute pleasure sharing the process from start to finish.

Let's first take a peek at how Ms. Park did.
She thoroughly enjoyed the process,
and her piece ended up being one of the class favorites.
Some close-ups.

She was inspired by the banner created last year by alum Anna Lee
and the sweet little leaves Anna cut and sewed on.
As you can see,
Deliana put incredible time and effort into the construction.
My very favorite part of Deliana's banner is the tiny dragonfly she embroidered on.
Can you find it?
I was also impressed with how she reused the bundling string
(bottom right)
so very creative!!
I'm so proud of you Ms. Park!!!!

This next beauty was made by 8th grader Malia Pulido,
and another class favorite.
Malia has brought her impeccable craftsmanship skills to the banner,
and the piece is so well composed and balanced.
Super impressive for one so young.
(A shout out to her parents,
Mark and Gloria Pulido,
both outstanding ex-students of mine)
Malia is a young artist in the making,
and because of her and so many other wonderful 8th graders,
I just might not retire yet,
 so I can watch them grow up into even more remarkable artists.

"Shine Like the Sun" is the work of senior Charity Lizardo.
I wish I would have taken a close up so you could see all her creative ideas going on,
like the braiding of her strips,
and all her fun embellishments.

All my 8th graders are soaring this year.
Elliana Lee is no exception.
What an elegant piece she has created.
Love that Mother of Pearl button she found.
It's so perfectly placed and a great accent.

Love, love love this next one by senor Eileen Wang.
The yellow colorways against the purples are spectacular,
in addition to her amazing craftsmanship skills.
It really satisfies my inner aesthetic.

And how clever is this next one by 8th grader Iris Lin?
I really like how she incorporated the feather,
and those adorable little tassels hanging from the wooden stick.
I collected a lot of the branches they used
 along with the feathers from up around our cabin.
I just love sharing these finds with my students.
I also really appreciate all the layers that Iris has built up.
It adds so much interest for the eye.
(students were required to build up at least 3 layers)

I did think to get a close up of senior Christine Caballes's piece.
Those two little hearts were the sweetest addition.
Also note the black and white polymer bead.
The kids were required to incorporate one of their polymer beads or buttons
that they had made in an earlier unit into this banner.

And this very pretty piece is by senior Clarissa Gutierrez.
I really like all the delicate laces and embroidery she brought in
as well as how she figured out how to mount her feather. 
A close-up below.
So lovely and delicate,
just like Clarissa  :)

We saw senior Jenna Llamas working on her banner earlier
weaving some of her strips together.
Above and below
 you can she that she incorporated that piece
 into the upper left corner of her banner.
Love her directional arrows as well as the flower pieces she couched on.

This next one was done by junior Insha Khan.
Her silk backdrop eco-dyed piece turned out amazing 
and contrasts so beautifully with her lighter smaller components
I wish I had a more focused pix below of her close-up.
I really like how she thought to drape the eco-dyed string over the twig
so that she is reusing everything from her bundle.
And checkout her cute slim flower holder.

And I want to end with my absolute favorite,
senior Hapshiba Kwon's.
She got everything going on that I asked for and so much more.
She has also inspired me to incorporate the use of text into the banners for next year.
Her use of color and contrast is very pleasing,
as is her design arrangement.
Her embroidery work is lovely and well thought out,
and she's got some cute little surprises like the sideways flower pouch above.
Love, love , love your banner Hapshiba.
You rocked this assignment!!!

I hoped you enjoyed seeing this assignment from beginning to end.
The kids really love when you send in your comment!!