Friday, January 29, 2016


wire, hand dyed handspun yarns, various recycled ribbons, yarns and laces 

So many wonderful works to show off from this group.
My extremely talented and motivated 8th graders have set the bar extremely high as you will see.

Let me give you a tease with this first nest by 8th grader Sydney Eng.
Remarkably crafted,
beautifully designed,
and clever as well with her "Happy Times" felt made pillows.

Syd was one of many 8th graders who wanted to come back to art this year,
who signed up for the Beginning 2-d course,
got in,
but then was removed to make way for the seniors 
who procrastinated taking their Fine Arts requirement for graduation till their senior year.
These seniors who didn't even want an art trumped my 
8th graders who might want to be Art Majors.
A revolting situation I say,
life isn't always fair.
So Syd and several other 8th graders were put into my Beginning 3-d class
because it still had space.  
Sadly a couple others were sent to other classes they didn't want.
these 8th graders who got to stay in the 3-D class are doing AMAZING work,
as you will see.

Let's see a couple of them getting started.
First we have Maia Calanoc.
She is the first,
 in the last several years that I've been teaching this assignment,
 to think to alter the 
foundation spokes of her nest.
What a clever girl!

I give them inexpensive re-bar from Home Depot to work with.
It's not easy on the hands,
but it's affordable since we go thru a lot of it.
And it's strong and holds the shape well.

Next is Micah Yim.
Since the re-bar is difficult to work with,
check out he ingenious idea to hold it in place
 and transport it so it doesn't move until he gets it built!

So here we go,
more of the finished nests.
This first one was created by 8th grader Malia Pulido.
One of the things that Malia and a couple others did this year
 was to turn their nests into something else that was recognizable.
They've inspired me so much that I think I will make this a new requirement next year.
There were other ideas as well as you will see future down the post.
I really like when assignments evolve and don't remain static.
So thanks young ones for this great idea.  :)

Malia's idea of a tea cup and tea bag was so very clever.
Plus as  you can see,
so beautifully executed.
Look at those tiny & perfect stitches on the tea label.
Also noticeable was her handspun yarn from the previous Unit (the grey-blue yarn)
Weaving with their hand dyed hand spun was a requirement in this assignment.
Love it Malia!!

And let's take a look at what English teacher extraordinaire,
Mrs. Deliana Park came up with.
She has thought outside the box to create a whole environment to house her nest,
this festive and seasonal wreath.
So much creativity from this group of students.
A much closer look-see
 of the copious amounts of time and effort young Deliana has put into her piece
to impress her teacher and please herself.
And yes,
she even made her pompom chic-a-dee,
paper collaged her eggs,
sewed on her buttons,
the list is long!

Another favorite of mine was this very soft & sweet nest made by 8th grader Elliana Lee.
I adore how delicate it is,
 and how she has gently moved the color from peach to lime greens.
Small but mighty as they say.

 8th grader Iris Lin,
another student with impeccable craftsmanship did this lovely nest above.
The piece of eyelet she has added and the bow along with her pretty needle felted eggs inside,
give this one a very special feel.

The class favorite was this next one by junior Helen Park.
We were all so impressed
 that she thought to turn her nest into a holding area for the planets and stars,
resting on a cloud.
Of course Helen spent hours making all those origami stars that she filled her nest with.
And again, 
check out the perfection in which she is weaving her weft.
I gave the kids a short demo. on needlefelting,
and many of them used it to create goodies for the inside of their nests.

I love, 
that junior Insha Khan thought to incorporate a branch into her very cool elongated nest.
And then to string and dangle beads .

And we don't get thru a Beginning 3-D post without seeing the work of senior Hapshiba Kwon.
Even though Hapshiba doesn't want to believe it,
she is a very special young woman to all of us teachers here at Whitney.
We adore her for so many reasons.
She is a terrific writer,
 a thoughtful designer and fabulous craftswoman,
a good & dear friend to many on our campus,
a qentle leader amongst her peers,
and smart as a whip.
She's such a hard worker,
knows how to manage her time,
which then gives her time to give back to her community thru church functions and organizations here on campus.
You didn't think I knew all that about you ,
did you Hapshiba.  hee hee
I get around, 
and always have my ears open.  LOL
I love you sweet girl,
 always have (since the 7th grade when I met you)
always will.
back to our topic on hand,
 her nest.  
This in large part is a recycle assignment.
All the yarns are leftovers, 
same with the raffia, 
the jute,
 and whatever else the kids can find in my classroom to weave with.
Including newspaper,
as Hapshiba has though to do with.
And just like Hapshiba,
not wanting too much attention (sorry Hapshiba),
but there like a shining star that you have to look closely for,
the tiny seed beads that she has spent hours sewing onto the bottom of her nest.
Didn't think I'd notice this either ,
did you?
ha ha

we are back to 8th grader Maia's nest that we saw her building at the beginning of this post.
Look at the cool movement she got by twisting her spokes.
And then the topper,
those angelic fishes swimming underneath.
What a great idea,
and how pretty Maia!!
Where do these young ones come up with such cool ides??

Frequently inspired by Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas,
is the work of senior Elias Rodriquez.
We've seen many years of work on this blog by Elias,
and as you may have noted,
most of his work is very "dark"
And now that he's a senior and feels very comfortable working with me,
he enjoys interpreting the assignments in ways no one has thought to do before.
For instance, he asked me if I minded that he used more wire then the other kids,
knowing what a tight budget I have to adhere to.
He also asked to have permission to have some of the wire showing,
 and to enclose his piece rather then keeping it open at the top.
Over the years I have learned that it pays off  to be more flexible with the kids when they ask,
it often leads to new ideas and inspiration for projects,
like Elias' piece has done here.
What a cool work his sculpture is,
so that maybe next year we will weave a non-objective form that's enclosed.
Love it!
Here is Elias getting his foundation started,
and then the weaving begins.

A close up of the finished top.

These next two furry nests were woven by close friends and seniors
 Clarissa Gutierrez and Eileen Wang.
Both are so tactile and yummy.
A knitter donated that fun furry yarn for the kids to use.
It's super thin,
so to weave with it 
the kids had to quadruple it to get it thick enough to fill the weft space.
Lots of extra work and effort involved here.
I thought it very clever of Clarissa to use the seed pod to fill her nest with.
Then both girls did sweet needle-felted eggs.

And speaking of yummy,
check out this last one by junior Cheryl-Mae Alvarez Mallabo.
Like all my favorite candy colors mixed together.
Cheryl will spend copious amounts of extra time outside of school perfecting her pieces.
She is super smart and creative,
 and always thinks of original ideas.
In this case,
a jelly fish mounted on reflective water.
This one was also the class favorite!
It is now on display in our Principal's office.
Some close-ups of all her time consuming work.


  1. There's so much here that I had to come back a couple of times to take it all in. Kudos to all, but Elias and Maia made me back up for another look over and over again. Interesting, as Maia's piece has such a range of color and textures and Elias has used uniform color and thread weight. But both made me look closer to see how they achieved their effects. And I too love the way Insha incorporated the branch into her nest ... very much like the nests I find woven into our native persimmons.

    1. I know, I am just in love with them!

    2. I know, I am just in love with them!

  2. I believe the movie is "The Nightmare Before Christmas" for Elias' piece.

  3. Once again, your students amaze. The creativity and workmanship in these woven bird nests is just top notch. Great work!!

    1. Thank you Lori, I'm so glad you like what the kids are creating & your comments are always so appreciated :)