Wednesday, December 7, 2016


clay, glazes & oxides

We end the beginning clay kids with these cool planters 
that were supposed to revolve around a nature theme. 
Besides looking at the neat designs,
also check out the great finishes they came up with.
On the day of the Final we had a Planting Party.
I bring in soil & a variety of annuals & perennials for the young ones to choose from.
And of course I give them a lesson on plant care.  :)

We all loved senior Jonathan Hsu's undersea adventure on the front of his planter.  
And the way he glazed it really feels like the octopus is moving thru the water.

His buddy,
 senior Jonathan Gong,
 also did an ocean theme,
and I also really like how he used the oxides and blended Red Iron with Cobalt.

Senior Archana Vancheswaran went all out with both her design and glazing.
Really eye-catching!

And junior Manav Gandhi surprised us all with this fabulous work.
Bravo Manav,
I love how decorative it is with the inlaid shards of glass!

Junior Nathan Lam,
who always brings us a super fun & unique design, 
did not let us down.
Love how he contrasted the oxide staining with the glazed eye portion.

And junior Brian Hu,
first time on the blog?,
applied this large and scary looking spider that really lookss like it's climbing into the planter.

Look closely and you will see sitting on the ground 
how junior Cathy Huang has strung & dangled charms off the bottom of her planter.
What a wonderful idea!

And junior Annie Oh brings in her sculptural talents with this large skull-like winged creature.

We end the day of the Final with Jonathan , 
Annie & junior Howard Lin caring for & watering their planters.
I love that I was able to capture this shot of them admiring
 and checking out all the pieces as they drained.
Farewell young pups,
you all were a most challenging group to work with,
but because of that I will always remember you guys and wish you well.
Speaking of that,
I'm dying to know how you are getting on at West Point Aaron.
When you can,
 catch me up.

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.

Monday, December 5, 2016


clay, glazes & oxides

These are the smallest little clay boxes,
usually only about 3" by 3",
sometimes smaller.
But they look ginormous on this screen.
These were made using the Japanese technique Lump Box that the kids find quite satisfying.
They start with a solid lump of clay and throw it down on their board in all different directions 
until they come up with an interesting asymmetrical form.
Then they slice thru the upper portion where lid will meet,
and carve out the innards.
Of course I require them to put some kind of surface decoration on the outside.
Cuz that's what it's all out,
 right Samuel?

One of the classes favorites was this one done by junior Edward Malacon.
It reminded us of a cupcake.
And what a lovely job he did with the glazing too.

These next cuties are done by senior Robert Dunn & junior Cathy Huang.
Robert's glaze came out so well and who can resist those little guys on top of Cathy's lid?

A couple of my favorites were these next two.
The one above by junior Sarah Chang,
and below senior Archana Vanchewaran.
In Cathy's it's all about how the glaze turned out,
so earthy and warm with wonderful highlighted areas.
In Arch's ,
I love how she brought out the stamped surface design
 by first rubbing the piece with Red Iron Oxide,
then wiping that off (a staining technique) with a sponge.
Next she applied Transparent glaze over top which really makes it pop.

Junior Annie Oh brought out her sculpture skills on this one.
Super cool Annie!
Another class favorite.

And juniors Nathan Lam & Sarah Woo both turned out incredible pieces as well.
We loved Nathan's incised surface design,
and Sarah's glaze job is to die for!
I also really appreciated Nathan's asymmetrical form he was able to achieve.

Sunday, December 4, 2016


oil based printmaking ink & other media

This is the Final project for this group of Advanced 2-D kids 4th Quarter.
They had just finished up a Monoprint Unit,
so the assignment was to combine Monoprinting with at least 3 other media,
but only after you have picked a piece of music to design to.

Senior Elias Rodriquez picked Warm on a Cold Night
by Honne.
A laid back kinda bluesy tune with a great beat.
A really soulful piece.
Elias brought together Monoprint,
Pen & Ink, 
Watercolor and Acrylic for a piece that I felt really captured the mood of the song.

Senior Jonathan Hsu pulled together Monoprinting,
Acrylic & Tissue Paper
for his piece of music titled
Rose's Fountain
Aivi & Surasshu.
Jonathan's piece of music was more playful and uplifting,
and I felt he captured it nicely thru his imagery and color choices.

Both these promising young artists are on their way to bigger and better things.
Jonathan has gotten himself into Art Center in Pasadena,
no easy feat for one so young just out of high school,
and Elias is at California Sate University at Long Beach's Art Dept.,
my Alma Mater.
CSULB continues to have an outstanding art program.
Be prepared to work your butts off you guys, 
and meet those deadlines.
And remember,
it's all about craftsmanship!!!
Love you boys.

Saturday, December 3, 2016


watercolors, pen and ink & colored pencils

This is always a terrific assignment to end with for the 7th graders.
They love it!
It actually keeps them quiet & busy for a whole two hours,
not an easy task.  LOL
I have them pick a color scheme to work within.
Then they mix their watercolors to that scheme in their palette, 
drop clean, clear water onto their paper,
 then splatter, dip & drop the paint onto the paper.
Fun times at Whitney High!
This would be accomplished the day before the 2 hour testing final period.

On the day of the 2 hour final,
when the paint is dry,
 they turn their paper every which way
 & use a fine felt tip marker and find creatures to highlight.
They can also come in with colored pencil to bring up values,
add texture and details.

One of my personal favorites was this first one up top by Robbi Cayabyab.
By choosing a Primary color scheme
 and with the water moving around on the paper 
he is also getting secondary color mixtures.
How beautiful is that! 

This next adorable one belongs to Sachi Nandedkar.
I also ask the kids to bring in some Zentangling with their markers.
Look closely and you will see a lot of great doodling by Sachi.

We all loved the pinks and purples that Vianni Villanueva got with her Primary color scheme.
Notice she left out the Primary color Yellow?
By doing that she got a lot of purple mixtures
as well as sky blues & soft pinks with the extra water on the paper.
Lots of great value ranges.

My eye was caught by Helaena Ebalobor's piece.
I love the text she brought in and how she curved it
and arranged it from small to large.
Great critical thinking!

We end with Shukthi Senthilraj and her Primary colorway.
Love, love , love all the creatures she found and how full and balanced her piece feels.
She had a lot of great shapes to work with,
and actually still does! 
She could do even more if she wanted.

I hope your parents frame these sweet little pieces up,
they are tiny masterpieces.

Thursday, December 1, 2016


clay & potters wheels
glazes, wax resist, sponges & oxides

In their second semester,
I have the second year clay kids learn to throw bowls & plates on the potter's wheels.
And not only that, 
but they have to turn them over when leatherhard,
 and trim a foot that works visually with the form.
To finish them off, 
they get to choose from many surface design techniques.
A favorite is the one I'm showcasing today.

After the piece comes out of the Bisque firing,
it is dipped into the glaze color of their choice.
Then a sponge is dipped into the wax resist (combination of paraffin and motor oil),
and blotted on top of the dried powdery glaze.
When the wax dries,
the piece is re-centered onto the potter's wheel, 
As it spins,
 one of the four oxides is brushed over top.
The waxed sponge design resists the oxide and oxide only goes onto the powdered glaze areas
tcreating this very groovy textured design.
Sounds complex but really very easy to do,
and the kids love the variety of results.

The two above & below belong to Klyne Madayag.
They are the same pieces,
seen from the top and the bottom.

This next beauty was made by Sandhya Raghvan.
She has chosen our tan glaze with Cobalt Carbonate over top. 
I also like how she has altered the edges of her piece to change up the round shape.

And lastly we have Celeste Zambrano with this blue on blue piece.
Our blue glaze with Cobalt oxide.

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!!