Thursday, November 29, 2018

NO. 3

This is my 3rd online class with India Flint this past year and a half.
India is one of the most fascinating people I've ever meet.
I took my first class with her several years ago up in Santa Barbara,
and have been a huge fan ever since.
She is an Australian artist, an eco-dyer, scientist, poet, fashion designer,
speaker of many languages, 
writer of numerous books now,
maker of music, animal lover and cook extraordinaire,
plus just so much more, as well as a very wise woman!
I've finished online class No.1 which you saw and I posted about 2 weeks ago,
the embroidered bag,
and am in the middle of No.2 (turning a man's shirt into an amazing dyed and embellished apron),
and then am just starting No.3 here.
It's called A Clearing in the Woods or Putting up Preserves.
It's about slow dyeing, a canning process.
And oh what fun I'm having!

Here is all the windfall I've collected recently to work with.

The silk and woolen fabric circles I've cut for my little 29 bundles
(I may have cut a few extras),
one to be opened up each day in February as a gift to self.
The lengths of silk and cotton threads to bundle with
 and then to embroider with later in the class.

The misc. metals to be used in the bundles.
All salvaged.

The bundles.
Don't count them,
 I know there aren't 29.
I'm really bad with numbers

And now the extra windfall to use for the dyes.

Woo Hoo, stay turned for periodic updates

Wednesday, November 28, 2018


graphite, fine felt tip & watercolor accents

Every year these drawings get more and more complex and creative.
The assignment was to draw the corner of my room using Dr. Betty Edwards Sighting approach
from her book Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain.
It's too tricky to explain,
only the book will do.
But basically it's 1 & 2 Point Perspective using more of an intuitive process
that is a must read in her book with great diagrams to help understand.
So anyways,
we practice this skill in several smaller drawings 
then I ask the kids to pick a corner of my room to sit in front of 
and draw a point of view drawing. 
They must decide after the foundations of the walls and corner are in
if they want to embellish with surrealistic details,
or just leave it be and not add anything that isn't already there.
Let's see which way they went.

We start with junior Manishka Ranjit,
one of the most imaginative students in the class.
She went all out and did a bit of both,
plus she went way beyond the graphite required and adding pen & ink and watercolor.
So much fun to figure out and explore!

check out this impressive attention to detail and craftsmanship by 8th grader Ashley Lee.
that's right,
8th grader!
Another of the requirements was to add both simulated and real texture.
She did a brilliant job with this as well as adding rich nighttime color with stars.

And talk about added color,
another 8th grader,
 Madison Plotkin,
 brought in gorgeous amazing color thru her watercolor skills.
And with her incredible drawing skills,
 she turned the clay damp room into an undersea adventure.

Then junior Esther Ahn  decided to really go for it 
and drew everything she saw on my checkout counter,
even the cup of spilled paint.
But as you look up you see the room starting to bust apart,
walls cracking open and so forth.
So cool Esther!
And wonderful projection too.

We end with junior Steffany Reyes who brings a frightening serpent from the cracking ceiling tiles,
and turns the walls ino windows of an Asian countryside.
Fabulous woman!!

Sunday, November 25, 2018


clay, paddles & glazes

This is such a great assignment for the second year clay students.
They learn how to be more spontaneous with coils, 
how to build an "S" curve,
choose between 5 different lid structures to build and make fit, 
to have a visual flow between lid, pot and handles,
and lastly they are required to paddle the structure to bring in pattern and texture.
And of course the beauty is how different each child has interpreted this assignment.

We start with senior Ylia Madayag.
So many parts of this pot to love;
the triangular lid shape instead of a circular one,
the contrast between coils and slabs as well as the contrast between smooth and texture,
the slight angle of the piece that gives it a bit of whimsy,
and the wonderful pointy overlaps of coil ends.
Such a well designed pot Ylia!

This next beauty is the work of junior Eugene Ho.
Loving the patterned texture he paddled into his sides 
as well as his scalloped edges around the lid and lip.
And the shape of the handles flow really well with the pot.
Bravo young man!

The kids were required to use Oxides to first stain the clay with
 before they applied the Transparent glaze.
Ylia above used Cobalt Carbonate which produces a blue/black color,
and Eugene here used Red Iron Oxide which turns black under Transparent.
Another nice element in Eugene's piece 
is the contrast between the Chili glaze on the inside against the Transparent on the outside.

Next we have the work of junior Julia Ruiz.
Love those overlapping coils,
 the twisted handles, 
and the way she placed them on the horizontal.
I also really like how the lid is not completely flat but seems to be rolling like a gentle wave.

Junior Chloe Chang really followed her own path here which lead to this sensational piece.
She blew off the "S" curve but I'm so glad she did.
I adore this piece just the way it is.
There is so much delicious pattern and texture to find and enjoy,
lots of interesting overlays,
and then that lid makes for an  absolutely fabulous ending.
Woo Hoo Clo!!!!

We end with senior Sarah Oh.
You all remember her, right?
Hee hee.
She has added so much interest just by placing those 2 eyes in there.
Two small elements that end up making this piece so special.
She has also really worked those overlapping coils 
creating a piece that must be touched and turned all the way around.
I also really enjoyed that on some of the coils she wiped off more Red Iron 
so she has a contrast between a dark and light finish.

For me,
this was a very difficult task to pick a favorite
 because there are several things about each one that I love.
Thank you guys for coming thru big time on this assignment
and giving me your all!

Wednesday, November 21, 2018


for our 4th grandchild's safe and healthy arrival.
 Introducing Anthony Michael,
born on November 15 when his mommy,
Jim's daughter Julie,
went into labor 6 hours before her scheduled C-section.
Anthony had his own arrival schedule.
ha ha
He is 7 pds 9 oz. and 20 inches long
with huge hands and fingers,
and one of the sweetest little faces I've ever seen.
So far he's a good baby,
super mellow and a good little eater and sleeper.

This is Anthony's beautiful mommy, 
in the afternoon of his arrival,
looking fabulous,
and proud dad Mike holding his son for the first time. 

We got to see the  little guy awake looking up and listening to his dad.
My heart was melting!

We also had the privilege and pleasure of seeing big brother Syd,
3 years old now,
seeing his mom, dad and baby brother for the first time after the birth.
The delight on Syd's face was something I will probably remind him of in the coming years.
I love the shot below of the 3 guys bonding over this milestone in all their lives.

Syd's shirt was perfect for the big day I'm the Big Brother.
And of course there were treats for Syd from baby brother.
Two more priceless shots were of the guys faces for the changing of the first poopy diaper
which Syd was fascinated by and Mike said no thanks to the non stinky meconium,
and then to Anthony's first screams when the nurse poured water over him for his first bath.
Too loud for Syd's ears.
Just wait Syd.
That's nothing compared to what's coming.
hee hee
But Anthony quickly stopped screaming when the nurse poured water over his head 
for his first shampoo.
He loved the feeling of the water over his head.
Calmed him right down.
I can't wait to share these pix with the boys when they get older.
We are going to have so much fun!

I wish everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends.

Monday, November 19, 2018


of this year's kiddos spinning their yarn for their Dream Catchers.
Here are juniors Trinity & Chasha from Beginning 3-D Art.
A special note:
they are spinning outside of class on their own time 
while waiting for parents to pick them up after school.
I've got them hooked,
hee hee

Sunday, November 18, 2018


hoops, handspun/hand dyed yarns, other types of yarn, embellishments

please forgive me for possibly not listing all your names correctly,
I left my notes at school and am now on Thanksgiving break.
I will be sure to correct them if needed when I return.  
there are a couple of works that I'm pretty sure I remember who made them, 
so I will give it a try.

Like this first one.
I'm almost positive it was made by senior Hana Kim.
I felt this design was so heavenly,
it reminded me of angel's wings.
So delicate!

Senior Inna Sikar made this very unique piece,
We were all really impressed with how she built out her trees,
and used her yarn as a body of water.
Super cool Inna!

I want to guess that 8th grader Viviana Cruz made this beauty above.
The kids had the choice between warping in a circular fashion that's so popular right now,
or warping traditionally on the vertical.
They also were required to research contemporary Circular Weavings on Pinterest.
I feel that's why we had so many varied results which I loved!

I'm pretty sure this lovely off centered Monchromatic work 
was done by 8th grader Yusuf Karan.

And I'm so sorry I have no idea who belongs to this very beautiful design.
If I had to guess it would be senior Runa Li cuz that's how she rolled.
Hi Runa!!!

But I'm sure about this one.
It was done by 8th grader Emma Bertel.
So impressed with the extra effort she put into doing three pieces,
and then bringing them together into one.

Friday, November 16, 2018


hoops, handspun/hand dyed yarns, other types of yarns, embellishments

These Dream Catchers have been a big hit since we started doing them a couple of years ago.
Woven within each are the students handspun/hand dyed wool yarns.
There were so many I wanted to show off that I will be posting them in two parts.
Funny and wonderful how the Fiber Arts are back in vogue.

We begin with this beautifully crafted piece by 8th grader Heer Patel.
Great color choices and love the pearls she has sewn on to give it a bit of twinkle.

Love the rich and vibrant use of color by 8th grader Annie Nguyen
and how she up centered her design.

And this is a very cool solution by Bhumika Kalaimalai.
Missing you big time Bhu.
She transferred to another High School and was one of my 8th grade superstars.

Check out all the fabulous handspun yarns 8th grader Alaa Malabeh has incorporated here.
The handspuns are the ones that look super soft and go from thick to thin.
They are so yummy.

And what a great design idea junior Angelica Luza has come up with.
And love those sweet little shells she has attached to her ends.

This asymmetry off centered work is really fun as well by Sandra Chea.

And check out this unique design idea by senior Vivian Shi.

I hope you enjoyed these.
Stay tuned for more coming up in Part II.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018


porcelain clay, oxides, & glaze

We've only been doing this assignment for about the past 2 years but we've learned a lot
in the process.
This is a Japanese technique that is beautiful and complex.
You begin with a white Porcelain base clay and wedge into it an oxide colorant.
My kiddos have to make at least 2 contrasting colors.
Then they need to pick a design to slice and alternately stack these slabs together
and inlay them into a white porcelain foundation.
We are still trying to iron out the wrinkles in the inlay as I will point out.
And the other wrinkle is what form to then build with these slabs so they won't crack.
Again you will see.
But I think we got closer last year.

My newbie Intermediate clay gals are just starting on this project today and we've talked it out,
researched the heck out of it on the Internet,
and we might just conquer it this year.
So go seniors Olivia Kruger, Lina Kim and Dustiney Ansiboy.

This gorgeous bowl was built last year by senior Ylia Madayag.
She was able to do a seamless inlay,
but sadly her clay stressed and cracked over the mold she used to form her bowl.
But at least the cracks were consistent all the way around the rim.
We all loved her stacked design.

This next one was made by junior Chloe Chang.
No cracks but she did struggle with the inlay separating as it dried and was fired.

And here are two views of junior Eugene Ho's cup.
Wonderful inlays and just the barest of cracking.
If you have never worked in Porcelain,
it is so yummy but so stubborn to get to know.
It dries out very quickly, 
but can be rolled oh so thinly so that very delicate creations can be made,
if you work fast enough that is.
ha ha

This lovely vase is the work of junior Julia Ruiz.
She managed no separations and no cracking.
Way to go Julia!!!

And senior Sarah Oh made two really fun canes,
a chicken and a heart.
We do see separations and cracks here,
but it's still quite a feat!

And last but not least Eugene got real playful with all his left over clay colors and cane.
He had a couple of jelly roll slices left and the rest he partially wedged together
which created a marbled look.
And then he loosely formed it over a mold
and applied some cool appendages.
I believe it sold this piece at Open House.
We all loved it.
And no separations or cracks,
how about that??

Thanks you 5 for being such great sports and hard workers 
to try to pull off this very difficult art form.
We literally stretched you guys to new horizons.