Friday, September 9, 2016


paper mach'e hull, wood masks, & cloth sails

so this was my VERY FAVORITE assignment that we did last school year,
these remarkable Paper Mache' Ships.
I was inspired to try this project because of the work of Re-Purpose Artist 
She loves to turn others trash into treasures;
pieces of cardboard, old linens and antique clothing.
I've been following her blog for a couple of years now,
 and fell in love with the ships she creates.
So much so that I was able to purchase two for myself to display and enjoy.
I also showed them to my students as fabulous examples.
If after you see these you would like to try your hand at making one,
Ann shares her secrets on her blog. 

Many of my students shared with me that this was their favorite assignment as well,
 and what they were the most proud of that they had crafted all year
One of the most impressive of all the ships made was this galleon by 8th grader Sydney Eng.
That's right,
8th grader!
The extra time she spent on making this larger than it needed to be,
with more sails thea she needed was really going above and beyond!
as you can imagine,
 there were a lot of oohs and ahhs when she brought it in for grading.

Before we started building the ships,
 I gave the kids an illustration off Google of the basic parts of a sailboat.
Then I had them go onto Google Images and find a boat shape that inspired them.
Only one mast and sail were required,
but as you will see , 
many of the kids stretched themselves so much further,
like junior Helen Park above.
As I see the photos we took,
I so wish I would have used a different backdrop with more contrast.
We lose Helen's hull in the texture of the fabric.
Hers is the beauty I bought at Open House
 so I could have a great student example to teach with this school year,
because I will definitely repeat this assignment.

This next amazing work by senior Charity Lizardo was the ship I bought for my assistant,
Alyssa Olea.
It was her favorite of the ones that were for sale.
I have to tell you that most of the kids did not want to part with their ships.
Selling their work at Open House is an option, 
and I really like when they want to keep what they've made.

This was another of my personal favs by English teacher Deliana Park.
What a cutie it is.
She even built a wheel house.
 Deliana has resigned from her teaching position here,
after 20 some years,
to teach English at Troy Tech in Fullerton,Ca.
Their yearly schedule lines up better with her children's school schedule
 which takes a load off her daycare issues.
We all miss her terribly and were shocked to hear of her parting.
I considered her one of my best friends here on campus,
and the kids have repeatedly told me what a great teacher she was and devastated that she left.
We LOVE you Ms. Park!!!
You were an integral part of what has made this place #7 in the Nation

Another requirement was to name their vessels.
We accomplished this with paper collage text over their paper mache' hulls,
or by putting the name on a flying flag.
These two sailing ships belong to senior Karen Long & 8th grader Charlotte Park.
The subtle blues and purples are coming from light washes of watercolor or acrylic paints.
We wanted the newspaper from the paper mach'e to show thru the paint to add texture to the hulls.

8th graders Iris Lin  & Elliana Lee designed superior hull forms.
Each child used their critical thinking skills for hull & sail designs.
Even though Ann Wood does share her secrets on ship building,
 I encouraged the kids to come up with their own unique vessels.

Senior Hapshiba Kwon & 8th grader Micah Yim came up with wonderful ships as well.
I especially like that Micah used a bit of pirate colors & cannons on his hull.
How fun!
Micah was another favorite artist/peeps of mine that left Whitney this year.
He transferred over to one of our larger high schools,
Cerritos High,
which offers a lot more opportunities and experiences then we do here at our much smaller campus.
Can't blame him,
but boy oh boy,
 do I miss that sweet young man's smile and positive energy that he brought me daily.
Next we have these delightful vessels by juniors Cheryl Mallabo & Insha Khan
Ms. Hall,
another of our English teachers,
 was lucky enough to swoop in and buy Cheryl's ship at Open house 
which she now proudly displays in her classroom.

These two very sweet boats were created by seniors Eileen Wang & Clarissa Gutierrez.
Note the back scallops on Clarissa's hull.
Reminds me of an elegant swan's tail.

I was really drawn to senior Elias Rodriguez slender boat.
It reminds me of a light weight boat we'd see in the Orient.
And 8th grader Malia Pulido could house an army in her deep hull.
What would be really cute for a baby's room is to put several small stuffed animals in it.
Noah's Arc Ish.

I am so incredibly proud to show off these incredible works of art.
This was probably their most challenging assignment,
yet they loved it.


  1. I love the simplicity and shapeliness of Elliana's hull ... and the ragged optimism of Elias' sail reminds me of Hazel Monte's boat stitching.

  2. Oh, my goodness, I'm having such a lovely time catching up here! You know that I absolutely love these ships! I don't think I could pick a favorite, they're all so beautiful and full of sea dreamings. I still can't imagine how you are able to support so much creativity in one school year- you & your students amaze. (& that you own two of Ann Wood's boats! I am envious…)

  3. Love going through memory lane and seeing the fabulous constructions up close again. Love the craftsmanship of Malia's, the soft fluttering grace of Elliana's, the bold prescience and details of Sydney's, the detailed flower arrangement and balance of Cheryl's.. Missing you lots. Thank you for posting and celebrating so many on top of your busy school year start!

    1. So good to hear from you and know you are following the blog. We miss you soooooo much!!!!!!! You should take a day off and come and visit us LOL do art all day in my classroom, the kids would love that! I love you!