Saturday, February 18, 2017


bfl roving & spinning hook made from a coat hanger

First of all let me introduce you to jack of all trades,
Cross Country & Track and Field,
 Coach Milan,
a Paraeducator for one of my students who joins us everyday for the Beginning 3-D class.
Occasionally he gets to join in on an assignment,
and I'm discovering that he has an artistic gift for design & craftsmanship as well.
Here he is learning to spin yarn,
a very difficult global skill.

It takes extreme concentration to learn this skill as you can see.
The kids were totally unaware that I was even taking photos of them.

And here are the young ones plying their singles 
and using the sink facets to stretch their yarn from.
Of course their are lots of other ways to learn these skills but the coat hanger as spinning hook
and stretching out the singles seems to work best with the beginners.

Friday, February 17, 2017


Whitney High School's 1996 Alum,
 Brian Kesinger,
 star just got one notch higher
 as he is recognized and interviewed for his work in Disney's Twenty-Three Magazine Publication. 

This magazine is all Disney,
a place to discover the magic of Disney's past,
present & future.

Congrats again Brian,
we are all so very proud of you here at Whitney!!!

On Instagram Brian says,
"This is the closest I've ever been to Walt."
So cool Brian!!!
You've got your Dream Job.
Mom, dad and brother Allan must be glowing with pride,
as are your wife and the kids I'm sure.
I know I am! 

Thursday, February 16, 2017



I just adore when my ex art students stay in touch 
and let me know they are still using their art skills in their lives.
Especially when they aren't majoring in art,
just keeping it in their lives because it makes them feel good.

As is the case with Alumni Borah Lim,
Class of 2012.

Borah is in her senior year at Williams College in Williamstown , Mass.
It is a small, highly selective liberal arts college
where Borah is majoring in Biology.
 Borah is taking a quiltmaking class for winter studies
(a special January term period between their fall and spring semester)
where she is working on different kinds of quilt patterns.

She recently sent me these two pictures of two of the patterns she is learning:
a pieced cube and an applique heart in yummy Batik fabric tones.

And then today she sent me pictures of two of her almost finished pieces.
This gorgeous sampler above,
and below an Irish Chain.

Bravo Borah!!!
So very proud and pleased that you are using your many gifts.
These quilts are beautiful!
To see more of Borah's work when she was here at Whitney, 
simply put her name in the blog search engine .

Wednesday, February 15, 2017


vintage instruments, handspun/handdyed yarns, & various other goodies

This project took a whole different twist this year.
In years past,
 it was referred to more as a Twig Sculpture with Free Form Knitting/Crochet,
but superstar seniors Shreya Sheth & Jacqueline Yu took it in a whole new exciting direction.
Instead of starting with a large interesting found branch/twig,
they rescued old discarded instruments and turned them into amazing works of art.
They were required to incorporate their handspuns that we saw them spinning in last weeks post.
And they also learned to free form knit & crochet in order to sculpt with the fiber.
Let's see what they came up with. 

Shreya  was able to find an old child sized guitar to use as her foundation.
The green fiber is her handspun.
She also dug thru my eco-dyed scraps, burlaps & laces to add a bit of color and texture.
And check out the adorable flag bunting that she knit up to drape around the neck of the guitar.
And last but not least,
she named her piece Sage.

Jacqueline was hoping to work with an old brass horn as her foundation.  
I was able to find her one at an Antique store up by our cabin.
I adore what she did design-wise with this piece.
How it has tentacles that reach out into space,
how she incorporated the hanger and brought in wood as well.
And do you see the glass shards she has glued down to the branch?
Her handspun is wrapped around the branch as well.
And her free-form knitting is done with some dark blue cording she found.
I also really enjoy the vintage crocheted doily that she is using to create a focal point with.
Jac also thought to use wire to build this tree form,
and it's feels so good that she has wrapped fiber thru it.
Plus my eye likes all the little dangley fibers.
You are a very clever girl Jacquline!
A highly unique piece.

Thank you Shreya and Jac for always pushing my assignments in great new directions,
and coming up with amazing pieces to display

Monday, February 13, 2017


Hanging out with our boy this weekend.
What a joy he is,
and so much personality!

Thursday, February 9, 2017


recycled cotton sheeting, indigo dye vat, rusty items, rubber bands, string & clamps

Teaching this Japanese dye technique is so much fun for the kids.
They love turning their hands blue,
even though gloves are provided,
and the unveiling is so exciting for them.
I have them do a couple of practice pieces on paper first before I give them the good cotton.
But they are still surprised and delighted with their results.
Let's take a look.

Katherine Chen's reminded us of a butterfly,
or perhaps an X-ray of the rib cage.
Really beautiful Katherine!

Ethan Z. used clamps that had a bit of rust on them to create this cool design.

And instead of wrapping this traditional technique with string,
Jason Park used clamps instead. 

I believe Adiyan used two different types of clamps
and fan folding to get this repeat design.

And we all loved this one with the rust spots by Willmer Lizardo.

We end with Sophia O. and her very lovely piece.
Do you see some the big hibiscus?

I only wish I would have brewed the indigo vat a bit darker.
I'm really bad at measuring things.
I know I've mentioned before that I have that problem when I cook.  hee hee
I think you will see the second Art Wheels Shibori pieces a bit stronger blue.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017


graphite on bristol

It's so funny what you miss as you watch the kids build their pieces,
critique them,
 put them on display in the office for all to see,
 photograph, edit and post them to the blog.
And during all that time,
 nor any other person has come up to me and said
"Hey did you know that Alien is flipping you off?"
Gee no,
never saw it till now when it went live.
Oh well....

If you are offended,
I apologize,
just keep scrolling on down,
but the attention to detail,
the mastery of the medium,
and the puzzle of the message 
(that is until you notice the middle finger),
is brilliant work,
so I just had to keep it up/in for all to enjoy,
or not.

The artist on this construction is none other then senior Malaya Sithichai, 
drawing student and future Art Major Extraordinaire.
The nicest,
yet reserved young woman,
a joy to teach.
Who knew she had this spunk!

Another future Art Major,
senior Eileen Lee,
brings us this super creative & playful construction.
We all agreed at the critique that it was our favorite,
 and that we loved the use of the red piece of yarn that ties it all together.
How did she ever think of such a cool idea?
Kudos young woman!

And this next one by junior Samantha Tun,
 it can't help but capture your eye with it's watercolor addition in complimentary colors 
and some neutral browns throw in for good measure.
I also like how different it is then the others, 
and how she has created a somber or perhaps melancholy mood with her stark composition.

And then let's not overlook this exceptional piece by senior Jazzerie Lo,
with it's cutouts that she likes to attach to her work,
and tasteful boarder treatment. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017


spinning wheels, BFL roving, food coloring, microwave

Seniors Jacqueline Yu & Shreya Sheth are learning to spin & dye their own yarns. 
Both of them learned to spin & dye in the Beginning 3-D class years ago on a coat hanger wire.
But now they are moving up to the big time with the wheels.
For this assignment they dyed their roving first using food coloring then spun it up on our Ashford SpinningWheels.

Here they are learning this fairly difficult new gobal skill,
 practicing first on some undyed Blue Faced Leicester wool roving
 I purchased from my good friend and mentor Lori Lawson of Capistrano Fiber Arts.
To see what they made with their spun & dyed yarns stay turned for later in this week.

Monday, February 6, 2017


tissue paper, Modge Podge, cardboard

Making portfolios to 18" by 24" with 35 kids requires a lot of room,
even more than I have.
So a lot of the young ones end up on the floor.
The actual requirements to pull off these designs are extremely complex,
and involves all that the kids have learned about the Design Elements and Principles.
Too many to list,
but the results were well worth the effort.

We are seeing the tail end of the project here
 where the kids really have to spread themselves out.

Here is senior Helen Park assembling & gluing  her paper collage pieces on top of her cardboard. 

And junior Inna Sikar is applying clear mailing tape over top her entire portfolio 
to protect her design from lifting.
The students store these in a cupboard on top of each other so they take a lot of abuse.
They also go home in the rain and the tape protects them as well from the elements.
An extra expense but well worth it.

Tah Dah!!
Some of the finished pieces.

We start with the uplifting colors and design of junior Mary Kim,
a natural born artist I'm finding out,
and destined for greatness.

Next up is this adorable and complex design by junior Tiffany Chen,
another future Art Major.
And love those rich colors together.
They make this piece POP!
Woo Hoo!!!!

And check out this gorgeous peacock design made by junior Vaishalee Chaudhary,
I'm in love with how it reverses itself!

Next we have the gorgeousness that is senior Melissa Ongko.
Fantastic use of color young one!
And it's super cool how the hair morphs into the stark trees.

Future Art Major and senior Lauren Kennedy outdid herself 
with this extremely complicated design above.
She is the only student who has ever created this difficult of a design
 with this many pieces to cut and re-glue together.
And of course the message is terrific.
way to go Lauren!!

What a fun and playful design senior Deborah Harris has pulled together here,
with great use of a monochromatic color scheme.

And not to be outdone is senior Jocelyn Chou below with her elegant birds & cage.
Jocelyn's craftsmanship in the cutting & gluing was impeccable.

And one of my personal favorites was this next one by junior Julie Guan.
If you look closely you will see some recycled tye-dye papers 
she incorporated into the yellow/greens,
and lots of recycled 7th grade stamped papers in the purples.
It all comes together as great looking texture,
and is extremely pleasing to the eye. 

And we've got to see how senior Helen Parks' portfolio turned out.
It's fabulous Helen,
as is everything you give your attention to.
A really dynamic design with a lot of movement, rhythm & texture.
Now if I could only get you to wake up in the morning and get yourself to school on time.
Ha ha!!
See ya at 8:00 a.m. sharp sweet woman.
Now I better make sure I get there on time  LOL

We end with super star junior Sarah Oh 
and another of her wonderful pieces.
Remember her from last Friday and the post about Pinch Pots?
Her pot was the first one featured with the lizard climbing into the bowl.
A special congrats to Sarah.
She has already sold her bowl to fellow mixed media artist Grace Forrest.
Thank you Grace for supporting this fine young artist!
She was thrilled to hear that you were interested in buying her pot. .

Sunday, February 5, 2017


charcoal on paper

"Magic isn't from a hat or wand,
it's from you."

How clever and sweet is the saying  that Sophia Oporto incorporated into her piece above,
along with how dimensional the cone feels to the eye?
And check out her great foreground as well.

I like how Katherine Chen filled up her negative space with design elements,
rather than leaving it empty.
And I also like the texture she brought into her cone.

But it was the background that Jason Park came up with that was brilliant.

Friday, February 3, 2017


clay, porcelain slip, oxide, & glaze

It's all about surface design!
And two great techniques are Mishima, 
an inlay technique,
and Sgrafitto,
an overlay technique.

This soft, sensitive swallow bowl belongs to senior Sarah Chang.
She was able to search thru my Kiln room shelves and find a tiny bag of left over Pink Oxide
which she poured into liquid porcelain slip
 to change up the colorway from off white to light pink.
She mixed that up thoroughly and did her Mishima in the center.
A close up.

To do the Mishima technique 
she built her porcelain bowl then used her sharp needle tool (bug pick)
to incise design lines into the clay's center area.
Next she used a brush and pushed the pink slip into those lines to fill them back up. 
And now the fun part.
When the slip and bowl are a bit past leatherhard she took a flexible metal rib
and scrapped across the surface to reveal her design.

Here is a close up of her Sgrafitto area.
To do this part she brushes on the pink liquid slip directly onto the bowl's rim
when her bowl is still plastic.
Then when it all dries to leatherhard she carves out her design.

When I was in college these were two of my favorite techniques to do 
when I really wanted to make the pot's surface special.