The parents of one of my students was cleaning house recently and donated a die cutter to the art department. It came with tag shaped dies so I had to try them out of course! These are the biggest size tags and I cut them from watercolor paper. Originally I was making Christmas tags but then I started to stray with other ideas.
Sparrow in tech pen

Water color magnolia

Water color ginkgo leaves


Goats for company

 It's been awhile since I updated my blog. I've been very busy the past two weeks with finals and the start of the new term. Not to mention a few very busy weekends. Today I finally got a chance to plant all my fall bulbs and had the goats keeping me company.
 This guy was hilarious climbing the fence to reach the plants.

 As many of you already know my backyard backs up to a heritage farm and today the goats were out and about. I found out first hand that they are fainting goats when I accidently startled one and watched his legs legs stiffen up and then he keeled over. I have to admit I laughed hysterically!
 Maki was upset that she couldn't get closer to the fence to check out the goats for herself.
 Even though we had some cloudy rainy weather this weekend it was really warm and beautiful outside.
Hope it's this nice for the trick or treaters next weekend!


Photo Scavenger Hunt

cover of invitation
My daughter May is turning 11 soon and  this is the invitation I made to send to her friends. We decided to reuse a theme that we did for my other daughter's birthday a couple of years ago which was a photography scavenger hunt. The party was such a hit that May didn't mind copying her sister's party idea. The kids are divided into groups and each group is given a camera and a list of pictures they have to take. Some of the ideas we used are....
 recreate a scene from a Disney movie
 how close can you get and still have everyone's face in the picture, and
everyone jump! All feet must be off the ground.
When the kids are done we have the teams pick their favorite pictures from the other teams photos. By the end of the party we  burn cd's for all the kids with all the photos on it to take home and if that doesn't work we will include them in with the thank you notes!


Birdie Ornaments

I've been thinking ahead this year for once. Christmas seems to come way too quickly and I never get finished with the gifts I'd like to give! So I'm getting ready now to make more of these birdie tiles to make into ornaments.



What a beautiful day for raku! Raku is a method of firing pottery outside using a modernized version of an ancient Japanese technique. Raku is different because the glazes get beautiful metallic lusters and flashing. Some glazes are crackle and any area of exposed clay where there is no glaze will turn sooty black.
Student pottery that has been glazed and is waiting to be fired.
The pots are loaded into the kiln where they will be fired to about 2000 degrees fahrenheit. The process is quick compared to other glaze fire methods. The kiln reaches temperature in about 30 minutes.
 The pots here are glowing red hot and the surface is liquid. Now the fun begins!
 The pots are removed from the kiln when they are glowing red hot and put into the reduction chambers (aka garbage cans!) with combustible materials like straw or paper.
The contents light on fire and then the lid is put on to cause a reduction or "starve" the oxygen from the atmosphere inside the chamber. That's how the glazes get all their special effects.
 Lots of smoke is produced but we put wet towels over the cans to try and keep it from becoming too bad.
The pots are taken from the garbage cans after about ten minutes. They are still very hot and we quench them in water to freeze the effects in place.
Look at all the student work! And this is only about half of what we completed.
There are some periods where we are waiting around for the pots to fire so we drag a couple of wheels outside so students can practice throwing on the wheel.
We also make horse hair pottery during the workshop. The pots are fired until red hot and then horse hair is burned onto the hot clay surface. It really only sticks to unglazed areas and this student did half glaze and half horse hair.
This is my work for the day! I have to admit that I did not throw the large vase but I did glaze it.
I'm hoping this will be one of our big ticket items at our Art Faire!