Wednesday, January 3, 2018


I'm excited to unveil our Whitney High School Community Loom's 4th piece,
a vertical succulent garden.

It began like this:
In 4th quarter of last school year,
seniors  Shreya and Jac re-warped this loom they built,
and put out lots of windfall branches and twigs for passersby to weave with,
plus I told them to throw in some succulent branches that were taking over Alumni Josh's Garden.
I would say that 3/4 of the piece was woven by the end of the school year.
I had to bring in the loom for the summer break so I put it in my dark and hot kiln room.
At the end of August I returned to school and pulled it back outside the door
 and gave it a real good cleaning with lots of water spray from a hose.

more twigs and succulent branches were put out,
and staff and students finished it up in a week or two.
But what also started to happen were those old succulent branches 
started to put out their petals.
That one watering got them started again!
I was thrilled and thought how perfect to turn this into a vertical garden.
So I asked senior Ylia Madayag ,
one of my top Ceramics students this year,
and also a helper (T.A.) that I share with another teacher
 a couple of mornings a week,
to give it a bit of water and see if it would continue to grow.
And it did,
so I suggested to Ylia to go to Josh's Succulent Garden 
and get little starts of other plants to poke between the branches.
And she told me she was thinking the same thing.

Ylia continued to water and plant it but we noticed it was drying out way too quickly,
so I bought her some moss that she began sticking in between the branches.
But even this was not enough.
So  I recycled a piece of plastic grid,
lined it with tons of moss,
sewed the moss down to the net with tough string,
then wired that big moss grid to the back of the weaving.
And wella!
Happy wet plants.
Ylia attached the top section to a twig and braided the warp strings along the bottom edge
In the meantime,
everytime our Principal Mr. B walked by the garden weaving as Ylia was working on it,
he would comment how much his wife would love it in their backyard,
so Ylia and I decided it would be his Xmas present this year.
But I almost changed my mind and gave it to Ylia since it had become her baby,
but in the end Ylia and I carried it to the office to give to Mr. B.
Both of us were a bit sad to see it go.
Here she is below with her pride and joy!
Thank you Ylia for your hard work on this piece of living art.
It's so very beautiful just like you! 


  1. It is beautiful! And a wonderful project for so many to take part in.

    1. It's a really great way to entice people who have never woven into giving it a try.

  2. I love this- so cool & clever!

    1. Hazel, you must set one of these up at the school you work at, the kids will love it! But wait, did you tell me you aren't there anymore?? So you'll just have to put up one in your garden when the weather warms up. It's really comforting to weave in the warmth of the sun. Happy New Year!

    2. I'm at a public school now, but not in charge of anything, but I will pass this idea on to the art teacher I support. At my old school I had made a large group loom, we used cloth & yarn. The use plants is great.

  3. what a great teacher! I have been wanting to do this with my grandchildren

    1. It's so much fun. And I bet your grandkids would love it!