Thursday, June 4, 2015

Bellevue College 2nd Annual Arab Heritage Week

It was an honor to once again be asked to vend at the Bellevue College Arab Heritage Week.  I had such a great time at last year's event, I was excited to come back to hang out on campus.

The Bellevue College Arabic Culture Student Association once again did an impressive job of producing this much needed experience. 

This year the booths were closer to each other, giving more of a souk feel, there were backdrops on all of them to tie the look together and the best part was they were next to the Jean Sarto Floten Student Union.  There was far more foot traffic then the previous year.

Other then moving locations from in front of the library, the other prime change this year was it was a three day event instead of two. I think this was a great idea as it exposed more students to the Arab Heritage Week.

Helping bring in the foot traffic was free baklawa, free henna, free music and spontaneous dabke dancing over the 3 days!

A Crafty Arab booth being set up the first day

Free delicious baklawa was given out, always with a smile.

Check this lady out for any henna designs, she was talented!
The Saudi booth with free coffee and dates.
Arabic educational booth
Try on Saudi clothing and take a selfie
Free henna all three days at two booth

Laila Taji, Producer of the August 2015 Arab Festival, handing out flyers (with babe in arm!)

George Saddak and his performers were top notch as always

Spontaneous dabke happened almost every half hour, always ending in laughter

A Crafty Arab booth on the last day

A fun request for henna behind the ear

Henna on a boy usually means no flowers, but a spade will do.

Henna flowers flowing down the hand.

I did use a few stencils from Jordan when my hand started hurting :)

Nawal wanted her nane to remind her of her heritage.

Osama, my business card holder, had a great time and hopes to see you next year

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

2nd Grade Art Lesson: Final Whimsical Clay Castles

Today is the big day in our 2nd grade class because the kids are going to be getting their whimsical clay castles!  Followers of the blog have seen us make them, and glaze them.  Today is the big day as I got to open the kiln* and see them finished.

(*Side note - If I had to be truthful, I'd say today was actually the second day I opened the kiln because it had to be turned on twice. I had turned it on too low and it didn't fire to the right temperature the first time. When all else fails, reread the manual and call Seattle Pottery Supply at crazy hours!)
Our school kiln with it's goodies waiting for us!
Here the first look into the kiln when it was opened.  It's always so excited to see everything in color, and more importantly nothing exploded or stuck to a kiln shelf. Yeah!
We took them out carefully, one by one, and wrapped them up to give to the kids. I am praying they survived the trips home in (relatively) one piece.
Now, without future ado, here are all the castle gate and crenel masterpieces from each one of the 2nd grade professional artists I had the privilege of teaching this year:



















Eric M.



 I really hope they keep drawing, cutting, gluing, coloring, and building more art over the summer so they don't forgot their seven elements of art: Color Form Line Shape Space Texture Value

Monday, June 1, 2015

Learning how to make a clay stamp

Today I got to tag along on a trip to Stroke Ceramics in Issaquah.  We are thinking of using them for a craft project for our Girl Scout camp this summer and wanted to talk logistics.

While we were there the owner, Maia Desfosses-Yang, taught us how to make clay stamps.  If you these look fun and easy, be sure to contact Maia to sign up for one of her summer clay classes.  Her schdueld is up on her website.

I was so impressed with her studio size. She can easily accommodate a number of children and everything was so nicely set up.  I was immediately envious of her clay wheel and was nostalgic for the one I owned years ago.

Maia start me off with a small ball of clay, no bigger then a walnut. She then showed me how to pinch a top with my fingers and make the edges smooth by rolling it around the table.  In the photo below you can see my original ball and then the stamp shapes in the upper right corner that she formed.

Since the stamps are small and there isn't much room to leave your name, Maia suggested using these pasta alphabet letters embedded into the clay.

These burn off in the kiln and yet leave an impressions.  Genius!

Another great idea that Maia had was to wrap the area you want to carve in plastic wrap.

This way when you carve into your clay, the carving tool won't leave a huge indentation at the end of your line. This is very helpful with children who sometimes don't know their own strength with carving clay and can accidently carve to the other side.

I carved a little stamp with my business logo that you can see at the start of this post.  I'm looking forward to seeing how it turns out.  Be sure to check out the studio for class information and to learn other fun, easy ways to play with clay.

Check out Maia's Etsy shop for her fun creations!