Tuesday, December 6, 2016


wire & mixed media

This Intermediate group of kids ended their year with this Final,
 a new assignment inspired by the work of  British Textile Artist,
Manchester based Liz Cooksey.
I found her on Pinterest and loved each and every piece I could find of hers.
I also had the young ones check out her site to inspire them.

I asked the kids to use wire to build an interesting framework in which to include at least 7 sections.
I also asked them to hammer the wire for extra strength,
 but they told me it didn't work so well.
I also gave them a list of at least 13 different techniques we had used in the past two years,
like knitting, crochet, leaf stitching, metal work eco-dyeing, etc.,
to chose from for these 7 sections.
Of course to also make them visually pleasing together.
Let's see what they came up with and decide if I try it again next year.

I think out of all of them this one by senior Antoinette Jabat was the most appealing to my eye.
Working in a neutral palette,
 with the eco-dyed weavings,
 and of course that gorgeous stitched leaf was right up my alley.
Oh my!
The leaf up close.
Love how she suspended it.
The eco-dyed fabric.

Next we have this very feminine piece by senior Kristine Luong.
I thought her weaving she wove was especially pretty,
but it feels slightly unbalanced on the lower left side.
Needs one more flower I think.

Junior Shreya Sheth really got into this assignment and worked her heart out.
So many interesting & delightful surprises for the eye.
Shreya was the only one who actually re-read the requirement sheet 
and built the outside wire components like Liz Cooksey does.
I'm talking about those stars.
And notice those spray painted twigs?
And the clock paper that she also used inside her Mosaic Tile Box?
A really tremendous piece Shreya!

How clever senior Liana Chie was to build this to the subject of a hot air balloon.
Do you see the little man inside the woven basket?

Senior Hazel Cruz didn't get a chance to finish hers but we all sure liked her fabulous start.

And this last one by junior Jacqueline Yu came together so beautifully,
done in her favorite color scheme.

So these are my thoughts.
Next year if I have the kids do this assignment again,
I feel I should stress that each section has to be done in something they have made themselves,
 rather than a found object in those 7 sections. 
 But if they build more sections,
 then they can bring in other goodies like buttons and silk flowers and such.
I would love some feedback on this please.


  1. Wow, I really like this assignment ... my mind is spinning with ideas (and good grief, I've already got a to-do list of projects a mile long, including a tea bag mini-quilt that needs to fly away soon).

    So, feedback. I'd say assign a specific number of hand-built items, but definitely let the total number of sections be dictated by added found items. I think the bits and bobs really added visual interest.

    And I found myself thinking "Hmmm, if I were to do this, what if I started with a framework of wire fencing material, then cut out holes and/or wove in wire for added sections" in order to create a more stable structure.

    So thanks for introducing me to Liz Cooksey's work ... and to your students, as always, thanks for my morning inspiration, especially Antoinette's suspended leaf, Shreya's moon (not the first time I've commented on Shreya's work), Liana's whimsical balloonist, and Jacqueline's colorways which warmed my heart.

  2. I really like them all! I agree with Liz, hand made items with the found objects really works. Maybe have them raid their jewelry box. I like to add lone earrings to things.

    Yes, have them do this again! Wonder if you could locate some old bed springs for the wires....I pulled some out of my husbands burn pile (yuk, I know) and turned them into snowmen. But I can picture them more dressed up like these.

    1. Good to hear from you Vicky, I really like the jewelry box idea, reminds me of all the one earrings my mom had in her box. And ooh, ooh, bed spring wire, brilliant!

    2. Good to hear from you Vicky, I really like the jewelry box idea, reminds me of all the one earrings my mom had in her box. And ooh, ooh, bed spring wire, brilliant!