Saturday, January 31, 2015

One More...

sweet little Pinch Pot.
I found this one by senior Laarnie Barcelon the other day
 and realized I hadn't posted it with the others on January 10th.
It is special because Laarnie did something most beginning clay students don't try
 until they are in the second year class.
And that's trying out drawing with an oxide pencil.
That's how she was able to have that cute little kitten on the side.
Notice how the handle wraps into a tail.
Clever girl!
If you are new to clay,
you can buy thru Aardvark Clay and Supplies in Santa Ana, Ca.
the four main oxides in pencil form.
They are red iron, rutile, cobalt and chrome.
They also other a couple others if you are interested.
After bisquing the clay (first firing)
you draw with the colored pencils right onto the raw bisqueware, 
then coat with a transparent glaze.
Laarnie here used a transparent glaze over her cat, 
then dipped the top half in a turquoise glaze for a two-toned look.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Nominated for a SCAD Scholarship

muslin, tissue paper, glue/water mixture, acrylic paint, stamping, cotton batting, misc. embellishments

I have nominated remarkably talented senior Laarnie Barcelon for a renewable $20,000 scholarship to SCAD,
the  Savannah College of Art and Design in Atlanta, Georgia.
This is Laarnie's #1 college dream school, 
and now it might become reality for her.

Over the past 3 years I have posted many of her art pieces, 
and here is her latest.

Using the techniques outlined in Kelli Nina Perkins book STITCH ALCHEMY,
Laarnie has designed and created an incredible work of art.
I believe Laarnie used herself as subject matter for a self-portrait.
Did I guess right Laarnie???
As she was experimenting with Kelli's stitch paper techniques,
I was also teaching her to free motion quilt
 so that she could draw her quilting stitches over top her piece to pull it all together.
In these close ups you can also see the gorgeous beading she has also  brought into the design.

If you've never tried your hand at making stitch paper it's really fun 
and turns into a very durable fabric to be cut and stitched upon when dry.
These were Laarnie's papers she built before she started cutting them into her quilt shapes.

I've got my fingers crossed for you Laarnie.
You are an exceptional artist and you've worked hard for this opportunity and scholarship at SCAD.
Good Luck Sweet Girl!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

It Goes By So Fast...

each day as I grow older, 
my days go by faster,
and I don't get half as much done as I wanted too.
This computer seems to be ruling my life a little more each day.
This blog which seems to take at least 1-2 hours each day.
And then I resisted FB for so long,
 but now it seems I need to check it a couple times a day
 or I feel like I've missed so much.
And then there is Pinterest.
So many inspiring things to try,
except no time since I'm always looking on the computer.
I often wonder how you all do it.
Any suggestions?

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Let Your Freak Flag Fly

eco-bundled & dyed scrap fabrics on cotton, line & silk, eco-dyed embroidery cottons, twigs & misc. embellishments

One of the most important lessons in art that I can teach my students is to get back at a distance to see how their work is coming along.
Some of the kids stand on chairs,
 some hang their work on the walls and walk away then spin around to see it fresh and from far away.
Only then can your eye measure things like proportion, balance and unity.

And junior Joshua Bok is doing exactly that so I couldn't resist taking his pix.
I love when the kids actually listen and apply the things I teach them.
Makes my heart so happy.
You can see in this pix how the kids are laying out all their fabrics to arrange them into their compositions.

Let's see what Josh is checking out on his piece...
a super cool ship made from bamboo scraps,
and a beautiful embroidered snowflake.
Go Joshua!!!!

Very rarely do I showcase so many pieces from one class, 
but these works were so exceptional that it was difficult to make my cut in the selection process. 
So here we go,

I want to begin with senior Anna Lee's banner because she executed this assignment so beautifully
 and with so much sensitivity.
She gave me everything I was hoping for and so much more.
Her leaves and bows rock!
A close up

These banners were done for their 1st Quarter Final,
right after they learned to sew, 
put on a button and embroider.
We used only donated, 
recycled fabrics,
 bundling them with windfall and foodstuffs.
Then we steamed them in various dye baths.
In mid November I posted my students bundling up their fabrics in case you'd like to take another peek.

The kids scavenged the school and my stash for interesting twigs and branches
 to hang their banners from.

Love, love love senior Adhora Islam's rich looking colorways,
and how she's used her branches and beaded her safety pins.
A close up.

Here is junior Joann Chung's sweet piece.
I wish I could blow it up larger so you could see all her amazing details.
Lot's of great stitching.
I really like how she thought to turn that bottom piece of grey fabric on the diagonal.

Junior Ashwath Karthik Manivannan,
 known to me as A.K.,
has found and re-purposed these wonderful orange crochet covered buttons from the 70's 
that I found at an estate sale.
And love how he thought to fold over his fabric like an envelop and stuff it.
Many of the kids also incorporated nails as embellishments in their works.

Junior Amber Wu's banner is as lovely and sweet as she is. 
Look at the cool way she has captured her twig under the embroidered piece of fabric.
And the dyed fabric she achieved was gorgeous.

My student observer from Cal State U. Long Beach's Art Dept. ,
made one right along with the kids.
She even U-Tubed how to pleat fabric to make it more interesting as she put it over her twig.
And all the beading she did was exquisite.

I really like the contrast that junior Chirag Bisht has achieved
 thru the layering of light and dark fabrics.
Again, this creates a richness for the eye.
I also like that he chose to use a piece of bamboo instead of a twig.
 It's the perfect compliment to his banner.

Senior Evelyn Padilla has really impressed me
 with her design and work ethic in all her assignments.
This banner is so beautiful,
and I especially like the beading she has put into the top area,
and the cool stitching she did around the bottom button.
Notice all the threads she is stitching with.
Each child eco-dyed their own threads within their fabric bundles.

As you are looking at all these pieces,
perhaps you've noticed that a lot of the students are incorporating bird feathers.
Many of these feathers I collected at my cabin this last summer
 knowing I wanted to share them with these kids for this new assignment.

Sophomore Shreya Sheth,
who I highlighted in the last post on the woven bird's nests,
has really outdone herself again in this banner.  
Love the text she has brought in REINVENT
the ripping of fabrics, 
the double hanging device.
She has an incredible design sense.

And junior Antoniette Jabat went to town on her banner.
First of all I love her hanging device,
the double branches,
the elongated format,
and the lovely flow of color all the way down the cloth.
Really wonderful Antoniette!!

Then lastly,
 check out senior Sunny Kim's piece,
So many interesting layers, 
lots of  stitching, beading and fringing,
clay birds and feathers from the cabin,
and those sweet little tassels she made.

What a joy it was to display these unique pieces in the school office for all to see,
and to get so much positive feedback on a new assignment.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Let the Felting Begin!

soap, hot water  & wool roving

The little ones had a blast making these felted scrubs, 
and they always turn out well.  
We had a lot of kids choosing neutral color schemes this quarter which was interesting to me.
Let's take a look.

Both pieces above really reminded me of landscapes.
The one on the left by Veronica Baek looks like the moon behind tree limbs,
and the one on right by Ashley Sunwoo reminds me of the big rock formation at Morro Bay.

Here are some of our neutrals.
Bottom left is Jeffrey Hwang, 
middle one was created by Solyana Chan,
and far right is Nikolas Lam.
Beautiful job!

And lastly we have Julie Franklin who made a smiley face on the top of hers,
but during felting it shifted to the side.
She was disappointed by I thought it was really sweet.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Getting to the Root of it All

Trying my hand at growing a couple of Amaryllis and Paper White bulbs this winter.
So far, so good!
One of my favorite things about the Paper Whites is that I'm finding I can grow them in anything.
My ceramic vases and mugs I've made work as well as glass containers 
which allow you to watch the roots grow.
I bought the white & red Amaryllis at the same time,
 but the white one opened first and as it was fading, 
the red opened to fill it's place.
The red opened up with 4 large flowers all at one time.

The Amaryllis came from Home Depot where I was able to buy them on sale, 
and the Paper Whites were purchased up on the mountain where we have our cabin.
I found out that the Paper Whites like a little piece of charcoal placed under them,
and they are so easy to grow.
Just place the bulbs on top of pea gravel,
fill with water to the bottom of the bulb line and watch them go!

Friday, January 23, 2015

It's For the Birds

wire, handspun yarns, ripped fabrics strips, jute, laces, recycled yarns & other misc. items

These imaginative nests were inspired by my last years students
who went above and beyond the minimum requirements.

This is the project I use to teach beginners how to weave.
But first we have to spin up our own hand spun/hand dyed yarns. 
We use them as inspiration for all our other color choices,
and include them in the woven nest.

This is also a huge recycle project.
It's our chance to use up all the odds and ends that I insist on saving;
bits of yarns, laces, ropes, plastic bags, beads & donated fabrics.

This year I asked the kids to not only weave a bird's nest but to then do something special around it.
Junior William Kim came thru in a big way.
He managed to find a very sweet blue bird, 
some eucalyptus stems, stuffing, silk leaves and a flower.
Then he arranged it all around his nest so perfectly along with his needle felted eggs.

In this next one,
very creative sophomore Shreya Sheth finds an old piece of wood that she splits,
then wood burns cool musical designs into it, 
and places it under her lovely nest.
Notice her sheet music stuffing?
Shreya's outside of the box critical thinking skills are going to take her far,
and I look forward to teaching her in many more of my art classes.

Junior Hazel Cruz,
a highly artistic young woman,
has built us this very soft & fluffy nest.
It's so realistic looking to me
 the way she has settled it onto a branch that she reconfigured and wood burned.
Notice how Hazel has woven with recycled plastic as well?

In this fun piece,
 senior Sunny Kim,
who was a joy to teach last year in Beginning 2-D,
 has used a lot of natural materials to cleverly incorporate into her work.
I love that she thought to wood burn on top of a piece of bark.
I asked her about the meaning behind her sign and she told me, 
"It's a bitter bird whose unlucky in love"
What a crack up!
She had me laughing out loud  :)

I'm so thrilled junior Liana Chie,
super star student from my 7th grade Art Wheel class 4 years ago,
has returned to me.
along with my other juniors this year who I adore,
have talked me into staying one more year 
so I can take them thru the Intermediate 3-D class.
I've put in my dues and can retire at any time now,
but teaching these young ones makes me so happy
 and I know they keep me young.
The hardest part for me,
 and has always been,
the getting up so early in the morning.
I accidentally oversleep my alarm at least 2-3 days each week
which makes me a crazy woman on the freeway  :(

And tremendously talented senior Anna Lee built this cutie.
She found lots of cool, old fabrics to weave with,
and I love the handle she made out of the foundation wire that we built the weft structures out of.
And notice those sweet strips dangling from the bottom?
Nice touch kiddo!
If you look closely you can see felted eggs alongside fabric eggs.