Sunday, November 29, 2015


clay & oxides

Meet my beginning clay students this year.
For their first assignment I show them a Zambian Moonbaby,
an abstract figure sculpture.
I give each student a small piece of clay 
and demonstrate how to pull, pinch and shape the clay
into a very abstracted human form.
They aren't allowed to add any additional clay like arms and legs.
If they want them they have to pull them out from that one starting piece.
This technique is called modeling,
and my students did not disappoint.

Who really stood out from the beginning was junior Annie Oh.
I've worked with Annie in her 7th and 8th grade years.
She is a magnificent drawing and design student,
and now she is bringing those skills into the 3-D arena.
I was so impressed with her moonbaby that I had to photograph it even before it was finished.
Above is it's greenware stage,
formed but unfired.
It's also holding her next assignment (which I felt was very sweet)
her stamps and cylinder for decorative purposes.
And below is the finished work with its oxide stain.
Annie used both red iron and cobalt for a very cool effect.

Another outstanding drawing & design student is junior Nathan Lam.
I also worked with Nathan in the 7th and 8th grades.
I loved his moonbaby design and felt it was really well thought out,
a morph between a human and fish.

Senior Jonathan Hsu,
another incredible talent that I've been teaching since the 7th grade,
really enjoyed working out a bit of muscle structure in his form.

Kyle, Sarah Woo, Archie each had expressive and unique pieces.

And Casey really got into the crafting of his form, 
the smoothing and perfecting.
He also did an exceptional job staining his piece with oxide.
Notice the high and low lights and the smooth transitions between the two. 

But my personal favorite was this piece by Leon.
Love the sweet face and the cute horn/ears.
I just want to put it in my pocket and take it home with me.
This work makes me smile.

And isn't that what art is all about,
making your feel and think?


  1. So much expression in these simple forms ... they tug at the imagination just as they were themselves pinched and pulled into existence.

    Casey's especially drew my attention ... lacking extremities still it calls out in its human-ness

  2. Can't wait to share your comment with Casey :)