Wednesday, November 30, 2016


indigo bucket & cotton cloth

The technique used to make these resist marks is very similar to tye-dye,
only the kids are learning about using the ancient Japanese process of Indigo Dyeing.
And they had a ball getting to turn their hands blue in the process.
Let's see how they did.

William Chung used a fan folding technique to resist his dye 
to achieve this very cool design.

Gabriel Lim also did some folding on the horizontal, vertical & diagonal.

Looks like Cameron Dang folded his into thirds and then diagonally.
The little touch of red might have come from the recycled strings we tie off with.
Most of the kids use white,
 but some like to experiment with the colored ones left over from the Tye-Dye unit.

Anastacia Son did a 1960's traditional wrap
 which has never gone out of style and always looks terrific.

And Agatha Manzano first pinched & swirled her fabric like a jelly roll before she bound it up.

These are some great photos I found from another Quarter's 7th graders at the Indigo bucket.
I just couldn't resist putting them in.
They are from left to right 3 of my favorite kids from last school year.
Mmasiolu (Mossy) Gamero, Eli Bertel & Gabe Mapa

And Ahaan Rajnekar, Mossy, Eli & Palmer Patel.
The kids had the option of gloves or no gloves.
It was about half/half.
Many of them like shocking their parents with their blue hands.
hee hee

Tuesday, November 29, 2016


clay, glaze & ceramic pencils

I wanted to try a college project from my years spent in the Cal. State U. Long Beach Clay Dept.
with my pups.
To throw a pot on the wheel,
let it sit to become almost leatherhard,
then handbuild something cool on top.

I had one student who got what I was after.
Senior Celeste Zambrano.
She threw a bowl, 
turned it upside down,
then handbuilt a torso on top,
achieving a female form/torso.
Then to make it even more feminine,
glazing it with ceramic pencil flowers.
Bravo Celeste!

Monday, November 28, 2016


printing press, printmaking paper & blotters, cardboard, string & glue

These last couple of posts represent the ending of the 2015-2016 school year,
and are either last assignments or final projects.
It's never taken me this long to reach the end,
but as my class sizes increase 
so do the amount of important pieces I feel I need to share.
So sorry students from this new school year,
 it's almost your turn  :)

This was the last project my beginners ended their year with.
I wanted something fun and new that many had never experienced before.
I also wanted a project that showcased what they had learned throughout the year.
So let's see what they put together. 

Here are seniors Jason Kim &  Jae Olano, 
along with junior Ayesha Durrani & senior Sriram Velmanikandan taking their turns at the press.
I was very lucky early on in my career here at Whitney,
 in that I was able to save up some money
 and buy a small printing press from Dick Blick for my classroom.
The kids love using it,
especially once they get the hang of it (a bit intimidating at first).

To start,
 they sketch out a design idea then grab a piece of firm cardboard I've pre-cut for their foundation.
Now using more pieces of cardboard & string they glue their shapes/lines/textures down
 onto the foundation board which is called a plate.

Here we see the outstanding work of sophomore Mikaela Guerrero's.
I'm showing both her foundation plate and her finished piece.
And below we see her first embossment.
They all made 2 pieces.
First the embossment with no color, 
and then they printed a second to put their choice of media onto.
I believe Micky used watercolor and pen & ink.
I especially love how the ink bled.

Next we have the very talented junior Eileen Lee.
Notice on Eileen's plate how she is actually drawing with the glue!
Micky did as well above.
Looks like Eileen is working with watercolor, colored pencil & pen & ink.
Below is her incredible embossment.

The foundation plate does not have to be super elaborate.
Notice senior Kyung Chi's plate above,
very simple.
But what Kyung has done with watercolor and charcoal has brought this piece to life.
 the kids had the choice of which side of the paper to use for their embossment.
Usually one side turns out better then the other,
so they decide.
That's why Kyung's is turned in the opposite direction for his photo below.

Senior Roseanne Cho has chosen a strong female warrior as her subject.
Very difficult to pull off because of the detail involved.
her plate is fairly simple,
it's what she does with the mixed media that makes the piece.

I love that junior Jazzarie Lo picked a non-objective subject.
Not only does it make her embossment pop with all it's hard edges, 
but the way she wtercolored in her subject is super cool as well.
Jazz probably had one of the strongest embossments in the class.

Next we have junior Ayesha Durrani.
I usually don't let the kids use Disney, Anime/Manga or Warner Bro. images but I weakened when I saw how cool her plate was turning out and the effort she had put into it.
And I'm glad I did because she ended up doing a beautiful job with these Disney images.
Check out the work she put into building her chandler on her plate.

We end with my girl,
 junior Eunice Shim.
She like Jazz,
chose a non-objective design.
These turned out so well that I'm thinking of next year making that a required subject.
Thoughts please??
The pen & ink work pares so beautifully with the watercolor.
And the embossment is really groovy as well.
Great job as usual Eunice!!

Sunday, November 27, 2016


wood boxes, polymer tiles, gold leaf, metallic rubbing compounds, acrylic paints, glass beads

After a week off for the Thanksgiving Break,
 I feel refreshed so that I can get thru the remainder of the 2015-2016 school year. 

I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving with their family & friends.
Our family was very blessed and thankful to be invited to my son Zach's girlfriend's parents home,
for a day filled with delicious homemade food, love & laughter.
Thank you Mary and Nick for sharing your home, family & friends with us.

I was also thankful this year for not being responsible for everyone's food happiness.
Ha ha!  So stressful!
Thankful for my job that I love,
thankful for my two children and their health & happiness,
and thankful for the love & support of my blog friends;
namely Liz , Hazel, Lori, Grace, Jen & Jude.

So let's get to these stunningly designed & executed boxes. 
Each was built to a theme along with a specific color scheme.
They were inspired by the Polymer work of Laurie Mika in her book Mixed Media Mosaics.
This is a very popular assignment,
and as always the results are remarkable.

We'll start with senior Antoniette Jabat.
We all loved her theme and choice of colors,
along with all the little details like the glass seed and bugle beads.
And the bit of gold & copper leaf on the inside cover.

In this next one by senior Liana Chie,
she chose to replicate the ocean & sand.
We all felt it was exquisite!
Besides her top cover being so gorgeous,
I also loved how she painted the sides.
It feels as if you are under water.

I am the lucky owner of this next one by senior William Kim.
It's the first I've ever been able to purchase to teach with.
That's because most of the time these aren't finished by the Open House Show & Sale,
or if they are the kids don't want to part with them (which I don't blame them).
But I was fortunate this year to get this beauty of Williams.
His reminded me of a treasure chest,
which I think was actually his theme.
And don't you just love what he did with the gold & copper leaf around the hinges?
So beautiful Will.
I will take good care of it, 
and also have a beauty to teach with.
Thank you!

Senior Amber Wu created this next lovely piece.
Notice how she thought to put clear glass shards over top her gold & copper leaf?
We all loved her soft color scheme 
along with her subtle use of the metallic compounds rubbed over top her polymer tiles. 
So pretty Amber!

 Senior Kristine Luong has chosen to limit herself using only golds & coppers,
and working to a nature theme.
Your lid is breathtaking Kristine!

And let's see what junior Shreya Sheth has done.
Something completely different from the others.
Her theme,
downtown East Los Angeles and the skyscrapers & palm trees 
she'd see on her ride on the metro into L.A. for her internship.
Look closely and see how well thought out her piece is.
Notice the telephone lines, 
train tracks as well as how she achieved the color changes in the sunset skies.
Brilliant Shreya.
And a fun peek at her inside below.

We end with senior Hazel Cruz.
I felt like this box was fit for royalty.
We have a sun motif theme on top,
but it's her beads that really make this piece pop.
I love that she thought to change up the scale of the round ones,
along with the length of her bugles.
She spent hours gluing these all down but it was so worth it!
And the inside compliments the outside perfectly.

Thanks all of you for putting so much of yourselves into these glorious pieces!
It was an honor to share them.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Thursday, November 17, 2016


It really makes my heart happy 
when I actually finish some art piece that I've started for my students.
This thrown pot was made two years ago as a demo for my beginning clay kids.
I'm crazy about surface design,
 so I grabbed a bunch of stamps and cylinder rolls and went to town
stamping the heck out of this pot.
When I had finished I felt it looked a bit tribal 
and knew I'd probably want to dangle something from the side,
so I pierced a couple of holes along the shoulder.
I stained the outside with Red Iron Oxide 
and glazed the inside with our beautiful black glaze,
then took it home to my studio to see what I could find for the dangle.
This sweet little clay bird, 
which I think came from Mexico on a colleague's necklace that she donated, 
seemed the perfect compliment to the pot,
along with a piece of leather and a couple of brass and silver beads.
The only downside is I can't remember what I did with the darn thing.
This getting old thing really sucks Eunice!
Then today I went for a doctor's appt. to check my hearing 
and the nurse told me to expect a call from the doc with the results.
Seems I'm losing my hearing in my left ear.
What a revolting development!
Well at least I can still see with my trifocals,
although I do practice knitting with my eyes closed,
just in case.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016


clay, glazes & oxides

These heads are always so much fun.
I asked for expression and the kids delivered!
I also required that they fill the head with dried clay balls so that it becomes a rattle as well.
Most of the kids have never drawn a head before let alone sculpted one,
so this is definitely a challenge.
Before they begin I go over head formulas.
  They take notes and diagram where the features go.
I also demo/build half a head for them which really helps as well.
I also recommended pictures of faces to be brought in.

Look closely at this wonderfully expressive one by junior Sarah Wu 
and you will see that the clay is marbled thru the Transparent glaze.
I love when that happens.

Next we have these three by juniors Edward Malacon, Annie Oh and Manav Gandhi.
Most of the kids struggle with how to do hair.
We apply it on at the end.  
So it's really fun to see how each of these kids dealt with it.

For some reason women are more difficult to pull off than men.  
Of course putting on a longer hairstyle helps;
but I really feel that senior Archana Vancheswaran has managed to capture a female here on the left with that knowing expression and the full lip half smile.
And the expressive look that was captured in the piece on the right by junior Benjamin Barnett
really captures my attention because of it's innocence and soul searching eyes.
I also admire how both chose to glaze and finish their heads.
They stained with oxides,
and Ben put a bit of blue glaze in the eyes again making his piece come alive.

I wish I had photographed these next three from a better angle 
so you could have seen their expressive features better.
All of these were really wonderfully crafted.
Looks a bit like Leonard Nimoy there in the middle from Star Trek.
We have from left to right senior Aaron Chough and juniors Cathy Huang and Sarah Chang.
All three stained with Red Iron Oxide and Aaron also added black glaze on his hair and mustache.

But the class favorite was sculpted by junior Nathan Lam.
He used his grandfather as inspiration.
Sadly the top part of the head blew off in the kiln.
Thankfully some of the shards survived
 and he was able to glue several`back so I could take a pix and put on display.

Another class favorite was this one by senior Jonathan Hsu.
If any of you are following Vikings on the history channel,
this one reminds me of the scary shaman of the tribe.
Jonathan  has stained with both Red Iron Oxide and Rutile.
Love it Jonathan!