Welcome Back!!

Students, parents, family and friends:  welcome back for another fabulous year of creativity and learning!  I am so excited for what’s in store for this upcoming school year!  This summer I put a lot of time and energy into developing an amazing curriculum for the HT students.  I feel very confident that the students and I will have a wonderful, artistic journey this school year.

There will be an email going out soon informing you all of a few good “Things to Know”, so please be on the lookout…

A few bullet points of that email will include:

  • My new last name
  • Sketchbook policy
  • Portfolio system
  • how long it typically takes to create an art work
  • dates that art will be sent home

As always, I am thrilled to be working with your children and am super appreciative of all the support!  Can’t wait to CREATE!!

….here’s a few pics of Kindergarten [KC] on their first day in the art classroom…


So Glossy!!!

These last past weeks have been FULL of ceramics!  Every single class in HT has had the opportunity to make a ceramic work of art…so parents expect your children to come home with clay art very, VERY soon (if they haven’t already)!

Students have been glazing their pieces and they are going right into the kiln afterwards.

Glazing is a very interesting process because the colors do NOT look like what you’d expect them to.  So I have to explain and show the students what the colors will really look like when they come out of the kiln.

So Glossy!


Since 7th grade made pinch pots, I seized the opportunity to teach the students about Greek vessels and the various vessel shapes.  They selected a shape, practiced it, and then made a final copy.

This is a scratch away piece.  So students color in their vases with an oil pastel, followed by painting in with a special scratch away paint.  Once the paint is dry, the students use special greek design sheets to scratch designs into their vessels.

How cool are these?

Lots-N-Lots of Ladybugs

We are on a theme right now with the younger grades, and that is Ladybugs…ladybugs in 3D versions and 2D versions.

As you seen in the previous post, the students created a 3D ladybug using the clay.  To keep with our theme, I had kindergarten create a collagraph version of a ladybug.  They had to also draw their ladybug’s “habitat” (we’re using fancy words here!).  We then used printing ink and rollers to create a stamped work of art.  It’s an advanced art technique, but our kindergarteners were totally able to rise to the challenge.  And they turned out beautiful

Take a look at our collagraphs!


We are now moving on the “glazing” process of ceramics.  2nd grade began the glazing process of their ladybug.


And last but not least here is our lovely kiln with freshly bisqued artwork!  Isn’t just lovely.  The kids have been so excited to see their pieces bisqued!

Good Weather = Good Day for Outdoor Art

This week we were fortunate to have some amazing weather!!  Thank you April! As much as I love to be outdoors, sometimes the projects we’re working on, just can’t be brought outside (wind, paint, MESS, etc.)….but NOT THIS WEEK!  5th grade is finishing up their weaving projects, and the wonderful thing about weaving, is that you can do it just about anywhere.  So we gathered our materials and went outside…


I hope May is good to us too and we can take our artmaking outside again.


This week in afterschool ceramics, we are creating coil pots….and although I have a tendency to love everything the students create, I REALLY, REALLY love these.  Even the kids commented how much cooler they look when they’re done vs first starting out…just goes to show, that you can’t really judge your artwork until it’s done.


Take a look!


Welcome Back!! Hooray for Clay!

It’s absolutely refreshing to be back after a wonderful 2 week break.  I hope everyone had a lovely Pesach break!  Right  before we went on break, my after school ceramics program had just started.  I’ve got a great group of kids and we hit the ground running on our first day.  We learned about “wedging” clay and created our first piece which is a texture pinch pot.


They look really Great and I can’t wait for when the kids will get to GLAZE their work!

Now that we are back from break, I am beginning to introduce clay to most of the grades.  We are beginning by learning clay vocabulary such as greenware, leatherware, bisque, slip, score, coil, and slab.  I then let the students play with the clay so they can get familiar with the texture, since it is different from the modeling clay we have used in the past.


:::  Apparently I took a video, but it turned out so cute: I had to share 🙂  :::

Look at the adorable lady bugs kindergarten made today in art!!  Can’t wait to create more ceramics with HT!


Donuts: The Finished Product

Our donut project had a very nice conclusion.  I provided the students with cake colored acrylic paint and the students applied the paint to half of their donut, followed by a frosting color of their choice (and sprinkles of course), although most went with pink.

This was a great opportunity for the students to work with 3-Dimensional materials, as we will begin our clay segment of art once we return from Pesach Break.


They turned out awesome and a lot of kids from the other grades have been asking if they can make them too…maybe we will: but out of CLAY!

Positive and Negative Space with 4th & 5th Grade

Students in 4th and 5th grade have been learning about the element of art that is Positive and Negative Space.  I begin by showing them the below picture:


I ask them what they notice first: the faces or the vase?  and then I explain positive and negative space.  5th grade is working on a project called Faces & Vases where they create a Greek Patterned design followed by attaching silhouette cut-outs of their face (which I trace for them).

4th Grade is learning about symmetry in Positive & Negative space by creating the following cut-out project:

Where the Wild Things Are


Last, but definitely not least, k-2 is learning about the wonderful author that is Maurice Sendak.  I have been reading them the book Where the Wild Things Are, because it is 1) a cute story and 2) it is a Caldecott winner for Outstanding Picture Book.  I have been teaching them how to draw a “wild thing” although some kids are just naturals…such as Ayelet who is in 2nd grade…



SOAR Art Show ::Updated::

The SOAR (Skokie Outstanding Artists Recognition) show went amazing!  We had such a phenomenal turnout: I have to thank all the parents, family members, and friends who came out to support our students.  Thank you!!  We received so many compliments on our work!  In fact, I noticed several students from other schools taking pictures of our student work, which to me, indicates that our students did an outstanding job!  And several teachers came up to me as well to compliment our work, as did the Skokie Fine Arts Commission Chairman: Andrea Siegel.  What an honor!

Our fabulous HT artists that were honored were:

  • Kindergarten: Rina Felemovicius
  • 1st Grade: Aaron Gelb
  • 2nd Grade: Shaina Lennon and Joshua Zaff
  • 5th Grade: Anna Meyer
  • 6th Grade: Andrew Bersson, Emma Felix, Kayla Kupietzky, Hersch Linzer, Audrey Perlman, Cara Rosenberg, Adam Schwartz, Charlie Singer, Noah Strahlberg, and Phoebe Wolmark
  • 8th Grade: Noi Cohen, Tehilah David, Danni Glass, Josh Goltz and Simone Miller

Please take a look at our work!  We had several projects on display such as our Under the Sea paintings [grades k-2] done by Rina Felemovicius & Aaron Gelb.  Pop Art Print Trends [grades 6-8] done by Hersch Linzer, Audrey Perlman, Cara Rosenberg, & Noah Strahlberg, and Josh Goltz.  Matisse Still Life Paintings [grades k-2] done by Shaina Lennon & Joshua Zaf.  Oil Pastel Still Life Studies [grades 6-8] done by Adam Schwartz, Charlie Singer & Simone Miller.  Tessellations [grades 6-8] done by Andrew Bersson & Cara Rosenberg.  My Favorite Meal Food Collage [Grade 5] done by Anna Meyer.  Self-Portraits [grades 6 & 7) created by Emma Felix & Kayla Kupietzky.  And Water Color Experiments created by Noi Cohen.

Congratulations to our fabulous artists!!  And parents, if you have any more pics of the SOAR show, please email me and I will be happy to include them in this blog!

SOAR Art Show

It’s that time of the year where we come together and honor our outstanding Hillel Torah Artists as well as other young Skokie artists.  The SOAR art show will be this Wednesday from 5-6:30 at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts located at 9501 Skokie Blvd, Skokie, IL 60077.  We will be honoring the following artists:

  • Kindergarten: Rina Felemovicius
  • 1st Grade: Aaron Gelb
  • 2nd Grade: Shaina Lennon and Joshua Zaff
  • 5th Grade: Anna Meyer
  • 6th Grade: Andrew Bersson, Emma Felix, Kayla Kupietzky, Hersch Linzer, Audrey Perlman, Cara Rosenberg, Adam Schwartz, Charlie Singer, Noah Strahlberg, and Phoebe Wolmark
  • 8th Grade: Noi Cohen, Tehilah David, Danni Glass and Simone Miller

In addition to being recognized for their phenomenal talents they will also have their awards presented to them by the Mayor of Skokie!

Please view our artists from last year’s show  and stay tuned for an updated picture of this year’s artists!


Projects in Progress

The Donut Club

Inspiration and ideas can come from anywhere, even through a deep supply closet cleaning.  This past week, while organizing my supply closet, I came across a package of rigid wrap and then all of a sudden it hit me!  We will create paper mache donuts during clubs!  Clubs is a weekly session our junior high students get to take unique classes such as yoga, cooking class, and Art!  🙂


Students were shown how to create the base of the donut by twisting and wrapping paper around their hand, followed by wrapping their donut shape with masking tape.

Next week will wrap our donuts with the rigid tape to make them extra sturdy!  Stay tuned!


In our regular art classes, 6th and 7th grades are currently working on self-portraits.  Students viewed a slideshow of several famous artists that are known for their self portraits: Van Gogh, Picasso, and my personal favorite: Frida Kahlo.

I showed the students how to use this awesome site called blockposters.com.  We uploaded our pictures onto the site and it broke our photos up into larger scale print which we printed out.  Next, students were shown how to use carbon paper and we traced our photos onto a large sheet of white paper.  Check out our progress so far!  They are looking pretty cool…

Next week students will add words that describe their personality to fill the background.

4A Weavings

I rotated the weaving project between the two 4th grade classes.  And this week it is now 4A’s turn to weave.  They are doing a fantastic job so far.  I also created some threading “needles” out of cardboard to help with the process.

Check out some of the finished results from 4B!