Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Raku: Final Product

Suffice to say, everyone was happy with their pots: the results of this rigorous process were fantastic!

Photo 11 Animation

The Photo 11 class made GIFs: short animated clips of rapidly-taken photos, then pieced together in Photoshop. These are a few great highlights, to give you a a sense of the project.

Edward Chao

Spencer Gatzke

Helen Yu

Jessica Wong

Irvin Ng

Friday, June 5, 2015

Raku Pottery: A Saga

This past month in Mr. Long's Art 12 class brought warmer weather,  several long weekends, and the chance to experiment with ancient Japanese raku-style pottery.

Made by using special, hardier clay, the process begins with pounding and shaping the wedge of clay onto a ball. However, the challenge was not to touch the clay as much as possible, as it would adversely effect the moisture of the clay.

Thus ensues the pinch pot step; surprisingly finicky with a definite technique.

After that, the two pots were meshed together and smoothed out, and then the students began to design the stop cuts that would eventually form the lid.

Slow drying, a regular firing and glazing followed; all reparation for the big day, the open firing.

We were lucky enough to have guest artist Phyllis (an expert in Raku) join us to guide us through the various steps, and to have the LALS Art class be a part of the process firing their own raku ceramics.

Here are some of the images that describe the Raku firing in open kilns: pretty crazy, huh?

Glazed pots before being fired

      The kiln in action, at about 2000 degrees                          Mighty Long, facing the inferno

The inside of the kiln

Guest artist Phyllis

Students placing molten pots (directly from kiln) onto combustibles

"Burping" the fire

After the open fire

The pots drying, after being washed

Phyllis using a blowtorch to bring out the glaze

Pots being displayed

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Carving with Ms. Benett

Just recently, I had the opportunity to try something completely new. Having taken art since Grade 9, I did not think there were many projects or techniques I hadn't tried, but I was happy to be proved wrong by Ms. Bennett, our student teacher. Beginning with a sage smudging- for the purification of the tools- Ms. Bennett walked us through the research, design, and techniques for creating our own traditional First Nations carving.

Learning the traditional shapes used in this type of art was cool- ovoids and U-shapes are the foundation; more complex patterns can use S-shaped wave and T-shaped peaks; all this was taught to us by a First Nations Elder. Soon, we were given handmade knives, and told to grip them like we going to stab the wood. The knife is held firmly by the right hand, but the left thumb- pushing- has complete control.

Needless to say, it was a steep learning curve for everybody; with many people suddenly realizing their design would be much more difficult to carve that previously anticipated. Nevertheless, everyone managed to impress themselves and each other with the final outcome: these projects, after being sanded and painted, look pretty great.

Julian Li-Brubacher

Mara  Ireta Gordon

Ryan Ye

Samantha Krystal

Tim Yang

Zoe Shi

Annie Lim

Jeremy Gong

Helen Shen

Tasha Gunning