Tuesday, March 20, 2018


cotton fabric, indigo bucket, tye-dye buckets, solar printing fabric, cardstock in various colors,
multi-colored sewing threads, sewing notions,beads, buttons & other embellishments

Earlier in the year the kids learned how to create a journal with fabric & stitch,
so I thought it would be cool to have them make a whole new decorative piece of fabric
 to cut up and weave with for another journal.
This would be their cover,
and their would be revisiting a former assignment that I didn't have to re-teach
because we were running out of time as it was the end of the year
They had enjoyed the paper weaving so they were excited to give this a try as well..

my art room was buzzing with energy as the kids got these journal covers underway.
Because this was their 4th Quarter Final,
I wanted them to revisit and reuse their favorite printing/dyeing or shibori technique
to create a very beautiful piece of fabric 
that was to be cut up and woven into their journal cover page.
The results were spectacular as you will see.
Junior Connie Wu created the most glorious piece of tye-dye to work with.
I brought in my own multi-colored quilting threads for the kids to use as warp string
which they threaded thru a sturdy piece of card stock.
You can really see those multi-colors in the close-up below.
Then they wove their cut weft pieces thru. 
The hardest part for many of them was carefully and exactly cutting 
an opening into another piece of card stock to frame out their weaving with.
This piece of paper was to be the front and back cover of the journals
with an extra flap that covered their knots on the backside of the cover.
Very complicated and had to be demoed many times.
Of course next came the handmade signature papers for their journal pages
which they strung in with waxed linen in a figure eight pattern.
I also required the embellishment of beads on the string ends.

Junior Margaret Yiu also came up with a spectacular piece.
She made 2 tye-dye pieces to work with and alternated them.

So very beautiful wsa this more subtle one by junior Rachel Kannampuzha.
Can you figure out her clever alternation pattern
which makes this look so terrific?

Senior Sarah Woo reused a practice piece that she had made for the Solar Dyed Pillow project.
I love that she chose to weave it with orange paper for more of a mixed media effect.
I also really liked her diagonal lines.

These next two belong to seniors Vicky Hur & Daphne Wang.
Let's see what they did.
I believe Daphne used 2 pieces that went into the indigo bucket.
One light the other more dips for a darker value.
And below is a close up of Vicky's.
Looks like she used a piece of her stitched Shibori fabric thru the center,
and a tye-dye strip on either end.
I really like that effect!
Makes a nice border around the special Shibori piece.
Also note that both Daphne and Vicky are warping on the horizontal rather then the vertical.
Below is a close-up of the inside of Vicky's journal pages.
I like that she has used different colors and different sizes of paper 
for more interest.
Also note below on the cover backside
 that there is a flap of card stock that covers all the inside knots and strings.
We used a glue stick for that so it didn't warp the card stock paper.

This little cutie belongs to senior Julie Ahn.
Looks like she also alternated a couple different tye-dye fabrics.
And note that her journal cover opens on the horizontal rather then the vertical.
for that the beads flow over top.
Senior Saba Fatima also chose to have hers open horizontally.
I love her tye-dye fabric as well as how her beads hang thru the middle.
This next one was made by English Teacher Donna Hall,
and she wrote inside it and gave to me as a thank you card/journal at the end of the school year.
What you can't see real well in the photo 
is the tiny pair of scissors that hang with the beads,
 and the metal tag that says "Made with Love".
And let me show you the love and effort that she put inside this journal.

We all loved the effect that junior Lynette Lee got with this piece of paper towel 
that went into the tye-dye bath.
And when she wove with it,
notice the perfect alignment with itself.
So gorgeous!

8th grader James Lara turned out a super cool journal as well.
He dyed thicker cotton string then wove a difficult "Ying-Yang" symbol.
And the buttons looked great over top.
I also appreciated that he incorporated several of his Polymer bead creations from earlier in the year.

Oh my,
look at these pretties by juniors Britney Hong & Samantha Tan.
Both girls made new tye-dye pieces 
and it looks as if they both off set them rather then perfectly lining the strips up over top each other.
It gives both pieces a really op-art type of look.

And then we have 8th grader Yusra Azmi.
Always an outside of the box thinker,
she usually comes up with some very clever,
 never done before ideas.
We all really liked her design and how she wove it.
Instead of setting up he warp vertically or horizontally,
she warped in a circular way like we did on our dream catchers.
I believe she dyed some yarns in our tye-dye buckets,
but it's what she did with pen & ink on her cover that I really enjoy.
A bit of Zentangling.
 are you ready for this one by 8th grader Dylan Lin?
It is an absolutely remarkable creation using the stitched Shibori method we learned.
But instead of going into the Indigo bucket,
he went into the black tye-dye bucket for a super cool effect.
Since the black bucket was loosing it's potency,
instead of showing up solid black,
Dylan manged to get lots of purpely grey values
 which made his stitched bug look even scarier.

We end with para-educator Couch Milan.
First he made a lovely piece of tye-dye cloth,
but it's what he did with the cover that we all respected.
Using an x-acto, 
he cut out a nighttime landscape.
What a great idea!! 

So what started with simple paper weaving 
turned into something incredible with these creative young minds.
Thanks all of you for a really wonderful year.

Monday, March 19, 2018


construction paper scraps & scissors/x-acto knife

At the end of last school year
 we ran out of time for the elaborate crafty assignment I had planned for my beginners,
so I asked them if they'd ever done any paper weaving.
Most didn't know what I was talking about.
So first we tried an experiment in paper which you will see here,
and then we did something amazing with the concept which I will show tomorrow.
I'm loving that these two 8th grade boys really thought outside the box
 and went for different format shapes.
Above we have Rishi Mannava,
and below Dylan Lin

Next up is senior Crystal Lai-Ton-Nu.
I really like how she varied the colors of her paper weavers.

And 8th grader Selina Luo used some wild and crazy curves for her weft lines.

Senior SarahWoo did some tricky alternation with colors above 
and so did Vicky Hur below. 
Vicky also used all diagonals for both her warp and weft.

Junior Lynette Lee and senior Daphne Wang both found a patterned paper
to alternate with their solids which adds even more interest.

Even though this was such a simple task,
it was fun to watch the kids thoroughly enjoying it.

Thursday, March 15, 2018


About 2/3 of our entire student body choose to walk out yesterday
in memory of the students and staff killed at Parkland High School in Florida.
They calmly gathered around the American flag in the front of the school, 
and for exactly 17 minutes these children bowed their heads and were completely silent.
It was a sight to see and extremely powerful.
Standing with them was an Almni from 1982,
Hope Yoneshige. 
So very proud of our students for the respect they showed.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018


Saori loom, weaving fibers & tools, sewing notions

Today we take a look at what senior Jacqueline Yu has created with her woven Saori cloth.
A super cool summer top.
She poured thru several Japanese pattern books showing garments made with Saori woven fibers,
and picked out this pattern then made it her own with a few adjustments.
She plotted out the exact lengths she'd need to make it happen,
and choose her colors.
like Shreya,
 also decided on a mostly neutral palette but decided to throw in a burnt orange
which gave it so much vibrancy.
She used a leather tie for the straps
and a sewing machine to put it together with.
This is Jac's first time to make a piece of clothing for herself 
since we no longer offer Home Ec. anymore
(what a shame),
and I felt she both enjoyed it but was also challenged by it as well. 

The side view is terrific.
Her challenges came in the back.
The pattern called for a looser fitting style,
but she wanted a more form fitting silhouette. 
She put in a couple of darts across the shoulder blades
as well as two elongated darts thru the waist area.

What we didn't do before we put this up for Open House and photograph it 
was to wash it to soften it up thru back neck and dart areas.
I'm hoping you wore this beautiful piece thru the summer Jac.

I'm been so very proud to share all that you and Shreya have made this last year,
and miss you both so much.
Can't wait to hear how your first year in college has gone.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018


Saori loom, weaving fibers, weaving tools, sewing notions

Seniors Shreya Sheth and Jacqueline Yu were both required to learn to weave
on a Japanese Saori Loom,
and then to construct a 3-D bag or piece of clothing.
Today I will feature Shreya's piece and tomorrow Jacquelines.

Here is Shreya in the midst of weaving her length of cloth.
She has chosen a light neutral color scheme.
Both girls will have used the black cotton warp that was on the loom.

Here is the piece of cloth as it came off the loom.
You can see Shreya's careful measurements for each portion of her bag.
She made up her own pattern before she even started to weave 
so she would know exactly how much length she'd need for each section.
And here is her amazing completed bag.
A brilliant design Shreya showing off your incredible problem solving skills.

Snaps with the flap open

And the leather bottom from a recycled leather jacket I found at a thrift store.

I am so proud of you.
This was probably one of your most difficult challenges this year!

Sunday, March 11, 2018


watercolor with charcoal accents

After spending almost 3 weeks studying & practicing both watercolor and charcoal techniques,
the students are required to put together both in a subject of their choosing.
Probably the most difficult aspect of watercolor is to keep the medium transparent.
And the other challenge is how much charcoal to use with it
Do I draw it in or shade it in or both?
Do I put it under the watercolor or overtop?
We experiment with all the above before starting the "real" piece.
And it's also nice to leave a bit of the white paper showing as well,
I call these sparkles.
Let's see the lovely results.

I adored the subject that senior Deborah Harris picked.
And her light touch with the watercolor is just right with tiny touches of charcoal.

And isn't this next one a cutie patootie with the little pilot in his box aeroplane?
Notice how senior Melissa Ongko got the cool texture on the plane's wings?
That's done by dropping clear water into the pigment before it dries on the paper.
And what a wonderful cloudy sky she has put in as well.

And I so wish I'd have focused this landscape a bit better with my camera.
This gorgeous work was created by senior Lauren Kennedy.
Look at how realistic that sky looks!
And the water (which is so difficult to pull off) looks fantastic as well!

One of the most difficult ways to work in watercolor was pulled off by clever senior Cathy Huang. 
The difficulty comes into play 
when having to layer in each darker value after the previous lighter one dries,
and making it look natural.
Cath did it with ease in this very sweet composition with the child reading to the dragon.

And I have no idea where senior Helen Park came up with the western theme above,
but it so much fun
and so different then everyone else.
And she wasn't afraid to lay down the charcoal over top the watercolor to put in her cast shadows.
Way to go Helen!

Here we have a combo. use of the charcoal over the watercolor.
Senior Jocelyn Chou has drawn with the charcoal to outline & emphasize the watercolor edges,
but she has also used it for the trees cast shadows in a cross hatching style.
Love the blue-violet with the green,
it compliments the fox so nicely.

One of my personal favorites was done here by junior Mary Kim.
It's an incredibly complex composition.
Love all the insects that are crawling and landing about.
I'm also really enjoying the variety of line thicknesses she is using 
with the edge of the charcoal pencil.
Such a playful, well thought out piece with so much for the eye to enjoy.

Now look at the fabulous texture junior Julie Guan is getting with her charcoal 
on the tummies of the penguins.
Almost looks like she's drawing tiny circles.
Is she?? 
Also note the presence of ice within the fore and backdrop ground.
Those are large pieces of salt that were dropped into the wet pigment on the paper 
and brushed off when the paint dried.
Gives a real feel for snow crystals.

And everyone loved this beauty that junior Tiffany Chen created.
We were all so impressed with how she got the light shining thru the water.
I'm going to have to go back and ask how she did that.
Can you find the two different uses of charcoal in this piece?
Some are linear edges in various thicknesses 
and some of the dolphins underbellies are lightly shaded in cast shadow.

I believe junior Varisha Azmi used a pix of a child she had photographed 
while visiting relatives in India for her subject.
Very lovely piece Varisha,
and great gutsy use of color and charcoal shading.

And I save the best for last.
This one was done by none other then junior Sarah Oh.
Of course!
We have seen so much of her  2 and 3-D artwork this year.
I just love it when my art majors are able to fit in at least 2-3 classes with me their senior year.
What makes this piece so important is first of all the subject matter.
Sarah's signature style is to incorporate fish and animals into each of her pieces.
But in this one it's the wise old man I adore
and the fish surrounding him seem to be telling us a story.
She has used several transparent layers for all the value ranges,
interesting color mixtures and schemes, 
paid great attention to details, 
& has done a lot of cast shadow work with the charcoal.
This is well beyond high school level work and belongs in a gallery setting 
with a wonderful frame around it
(not sitting buried on your mother's desk Sarah!!!).
Hint, hint.

By the way,
a big congrats to Sarah and Tiffany.
They both just found out they were accepted into the prestigious 
Art Center College of Design in Pasadena,
one of the premier Art Colleges in the nation.
Rarely do they admit kids right out of high school.
Both girls will be in a highly competitive atmosphere with much older adults.
You have to be extra talented to be inviteded with an incredible portfolio
which both girls had.
We are all so happy and proud of you both!