Student Mandalas

No, these aren't the promised art works by C. I haven't photographed those yet! I had a wonderful weekend getaway with my family at Oglebay Park in West Virginia (you know, where you leave your teeth and shoes at the border). Then came home and had a three-day migraine.

So I'm a bit behind in things, including mandala-creating. I have written my first letter, at least!

Anyway, here are the best mandalas from my first summer class, the 6-week one. I've really enjoyed this group of students; usually I lose about half of the class, but in this case I've only lost 2 or 3 out of 30, and the rest have done quite well. This despite two ending up in the hospital, too!

On to the mandalas.
I think this is my favorite one - at least, I wish I had painted it!:
This one was done in chalk on the driveway, and then erased. Very clever.

I like that this one is off-center a bit:
This was done in the sand on the beach, then allowed to be washed away by the tide:
My other favorite one from this class - try zooming in to see how great the detail is! I think of it as a Montana mandala.



Today I want to post some of Z's work from this past semester. She took ceramics, and every week when she came home she was simply covered in clay. And very discouraged. My romantic illusion of the smoothly humming pottery wheel was shattered by her tales of woe - she'd start to get her blob of clay to look like something, and then it would suddenly all go to smush inexplicably. She found the pottery wheel extremely frustrating.

Nevertheless, she managed to turn out two cute little mugs by the end of the semester.
Aren't they nice? She's pretty happy with them, particularly since her professor was a very hands-off teacher and she received little in the way of guidance throughout the semester. So she was basically self-taught.

Her favorite piece, however, was a "built" project (i.e. not thrown on the wheel), a replica of an ancient statue of a hawk.
She was happy with every phase, from the building to the glazing, and I think it's quite handsome, too.

My favorite of her works is a pair of vases with tiny ocean creatures. Z isn't pleased with the way the glazes came out; many of the glazing powders were mislabeled in the studio, so she didn't get what she'd expected. But I love them, and she gave them to me for Mothers' Day.
I particularly like the little sea creatures. Aren't they dear?

Two other pieces she did are also quite nice. The glaze on this one is pretty cool, and I love the multiple holes in the top:
Another view of it, from the side:
And this one she plans to take with her to college in the fall to hold her paintbrushes (she's also taking the little mugs):
Finally, here is the chocolate mandala she and her cousins made for our Passover Seder this past April. At the end of the Seder we dismantled it and every guest took some of the chocolates home with them - similar to the sweeping away of a Tibetan sand mandala and dispersing of the sands in the waters of a river. Yum!
Tomorrow, another showcase.



First Summer Post

I've finally decompressed from one of the roughest semesters yet, and I'm 2/3 of the way through my six-week summer online course. I'm also teaching a 12-week course, but it's a breeze compared to the six-week course; there are 10 students in the 12-week course and 30 in the 6-week course, and the 6-week course is also in the new LMS (platform, or format, or whatever you want to call it), so there've been a lot of bugs to work out. But I have a really good bunch of students, so it's been a pleasure, despite the workload.

We had a family art night this evening, and I made the first mandala in months, not counting our Seder mandala - what a pleasure! I'll try to post it soon, along with last term's student mandalas and some artwork that C, Z & N did last term. There just hasn't been time to post till now.

And I know what this summer's mandala project will be. 50 mandalas, to commemorate my 50th birthday (I am still shaken by that), by the end of the summer, at least half of which I plan to send with letters (SNAIL MAIL) to people I haven't written to in a long time. I'm sure I can come up with at least 25 people who qualify, and it will be nice to make connections with people again. I miss snail mail; I used to write at least ten substantive letters a month, and now I hardly ever write letters to anyone. It's all email . . . .