In-Depth Final Post (Post #7)

I know I’ve been saying this for the past few posts, probably with different wording each time, but… Wow, time flies. It’s been about three and a half months since I first found a mentor, but surprisingly, it didn’t feel like a long time at all. As the title so “subtly” indicates, this will be my final post on my in depth project for the 2013-2014 school year. There are still things that I have to finish (like the rest of the flowers and  my final cross-stitch project). This post, however, will mainly be focusing on the plan for my learning centre.

My learning centre will obviously include displays of various cross-stitch projects as well as the silk flowers I’ve been working on. The cross-stitch projects include a mini heart phone chain, an upright upside down “福” (Fú) character (yes, this seems confusing: “upright upside down”… this will be explained), and an iPhone case that hopefully gets finished on time (I’m working on it, it’s cool). As for the flowers, I’ve decided to just use one single vase. This will make things a lot neater and simpler, because I don’t want a bunch of flowers laying around my learning centre. To answer questions from my last in depth post, I think it will be a good idea to tie the stems together before releasing them into the vase when we set up. This will cause the least damage to the silk flowers, and should save storage space as well. I imagine the readjusting time will decrease greatly as well, I simply need to add some finishing touches so it looks natural as a whole.

I will need one table for my project, preferably a chair as well. It would be great if my assigned area wasn’t near a windy place, as my materials may get blown away. I won’t be using electronics, so I won’t need a power outletI am still debating whether or not I should use a poster board to present my information (it does seem a tiny bit boring). If I do happen to use a poster board, then it will be a small one and only used for my cross-stitching projects. I plan to place my cross-stitching projects on one side of the table with the flowers on the other end. The middle of the table will be clear of projects so I can demonstrate the procedures of making the legendary silk flowers. A lot of the tools I use will also be on display, so the audience can realize this is a long process that uses many, many tools and materials. I’m not sure about actually teaching people to make the silk flowers, because there may safety issues with using pincer pliers and thin wires. They should, however, be equally interested in watching me demonstrate. I am also considering making sample flowers to hand out as “souvenirs” if I have the time to make them. 

As of now, it’s a no go, because a lot is happening on my schedule… but… you never know…

Overall, I envision this event to be extremely successful. I am getting very excited to finally show everyone what I’ve been working on for the past few months. Last year’s In-Depth Night was incredibly memorable, and I wasn’t even directly involved in the vent. With all the planning that’s already happening, I just know it will be perfect and fun!

Special FX Learning Center

In-Depth Night is on it’s way!! Are you as excited as I am?

Since I am not going to be presenting on the stage the night of, I will be having a learning center to represent my project.

Here’s the plan for what it will look like:

I would like to have a table to have all my makeup/fx layed out on. I don’t need a large table, just about a desk and a half to two desks size. I will also be putting pictures of my work that I have done on the table. Due to some of my work being a bit… graphic (bloody), if I have pictures of them I will be creating a flip cover so that any younger siblings or people who do not wish to see it can choose not to look.

One thing that I would really love to have is room for another person to be my model. All they would need is a chair to sit on so I don’t think there will be a problem space wise. I have yet to decide who will be my model, so it is a bit uncertain if this particular aspect of the learning center will occur, but I would really like it to and I will find out soon. When I find out I will confirm with the layout committee that it’ll be happening.

I will not be needing any electronics as far as I know of. As well there is no place that I NEED to be located, but the MPR would be nice because lots of people walk through there and I won’t be taking up a lot of room.

So that’s my learning center!

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The Final Blog Post: Plans for the Future

Oh dear, my final blog post already. And I was here thinking I had plenty of time left for In-depth night. As the marked day slowly approaches, I realize one thing: never do anything last minute anymore. I have lost sleep and good working time because I chose to leave things to the last minute, which I strongly regret. But there is nothing I can do about it now, but plan my time wisely so I can get everything done while putting my best efforts. This is going to be a long week of filled stress and agony, but I am prepared.

So for my in-depth night, my ideas are not set and stone but I do have a rough idea of what I want to do. Earlier, I already said that it would be really cool if I managed to bring a real car to the school and show hand-on-hand maintenance on the car, but that seems really difficult. I would need to find a car that someone is okay with lending to me for the night and I would need  to find space that is easy to see by people and that is close enough to know that I’m part of the actual night.

So for my final idea, I’ve decided to a tutorial-like learning center where people can come and learn the same skills I learned in a more concise and faster way. At my learning center, there will be a screen that will constantly show videos of me doing car maintenance tutorials that can easily be watched in a few minutes. This will show that I know the skills well enough that I can teach others what I have been learning over the few months. Besides the video, I also was planning to set my learning center in a garage sort of layout. I would prefer a corner spot in the MPR to be able to bring tools and equipment that I need to actually do these maintenance. This will show that I am really in character and create an atmosphere of a low maintained guy who’s life consists of working on cars.

I am really excited for In-depth night, but I am also really nervous. I really hope that I’ll do well and make my first In-depth night an amazing experience.

Azaly Addam: Out.

In Depth Post #7

In Depth Night is around the corner, and I am strangely calm about it. Personally I think the reason is how much progress I’ve made in the past few months. With over 12 cups and bowls able to present, I surpassed my personal goal by over double. Now I have so much more to talk about with the visitors of my station. As for what my station will look like, well I have some other ideas.

Simplicity is bliss. Is that a saying or did I just make that up? Anyways I could have tons of information posted all over my station cluttering up the walls with what I have learned, so that people could just walk by and be impressed by how much I’ve learned. But then the people would walk away because they just saw all I know without even having to talk to me. By using this option I would be taking the easy way out, and honestly wouldn’t even be needed at my station. So I created another option.

With all my knowledge of the process I could be my own learning center. All i would need is a throwing wheel, which the school has a variety in the ceramics room. This would mean I would need to be close to a power outlet to plug in my wheel. People would come up to me as I work and could ask about my learning. Around my center I would have a couple questions, like, “What is the process of making a cup” and conversation starters like that. Scattered around my Learning Center would be all the cups and bowls I’ve made in the past couple months, this would help start conversations with people because they would see them and want to pick them up. All in all, I am very excited for my learning center and can’t wait to see how it unfolds.

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In Depth Post #6

Everyone who knows me knows that I play a lot of basketball. In basketball, athletes have games where they play amazing, practices where they feel like the star of the team, or drop-in sessions where they are just so on top of their game. Of course to have these “good” days, we have to have the bad. Bad days where you can’t make a shot to save your life, keep making the same bad pass, letting teammates down. I know what I’m talking about, the bad days happen as much as the good. But its the getting up, dusting ourselves of, and creating a good out of a bad day that improves our game.

What in the world does this have to do with pottery? Wheel-throwing isn’t a sport. No, I know that, but what I learned today has opened my eyes to how similar they can be. Like basketball, practicing wheel-throwing has its ups and downs. One day, I can go into the studio and make 5 cups in 5 tries, easily. But other days (such as today, yeesh) I can try so hard to make a decent cup and come out with only one “cup” that accidentally resembles the bottom half of an elephant. I’m not going to be steadily great every time, but the important thing to take away from a bad day is to come back next time for a great day. Of course if you already know this then you are one step ahead of me. To wrap up this week of in-depth work, I’d say I learned tons but made significantly less.

Picture time!:

notice the trimming on this one and how I sign my initial.
notice the trimming on this one and how I sign my initial.

this one I let glaze drip down the side  to create a cool look
this one I let glaze drip down the side to create a cool look

chipped before the kiln oops :)
chipped before the kiln oops :)
everything I have made so far. some aren't fired yet, most are finished
everything I have made so far. some aren’t fired yet, most are finished
a collection of cups, bowls made by people from port moody art centre
a collection of cups, bowls made by people from port moody art centre
my favorite so far. kind of a fluke to get it that tall though. I usually mess up on the taller ones.
my favorite so far. kind of a fluke to get it that tall though. I usually mess up on the taller ones.

In-Depth Post #6

Ding dong! Only one more month until show time! The sand in the hourglass is rapidly running out, leavening me little time to finish everything!

With AprilMayJune already rocketing in full motion, I find myself scrambling for time to do my projects. I’m glad that I completed a tremendously huge amount over Spring Break (even if it resulted in blurred eyesight, cramped back and neck, and a pretty foul stay in China), though that doesn’t give me an excuse to sit around and stop doing things. There are still lots of work for me to do in order to finish everything in time.

Before I go on, here are the pictures I promised from my last post:






















































And there you go! A complete peony! Peony is the national flower of China. When it was finished, I seriously thought this was beautiful! The silk material had different hues, giving the peony lights and darks. Plus, it just looked so realistic!

Top view
Side view













I am having trouble putting the leaves on: my mentor’s looked so natural, and mine just looks… fake. Luckily, I have my mentor’s email, so I am still able to have some kind of contact with her.

So far, I have completed the tulips, and hopefully I will finish lilies this coming Easter long weekend. This is what I had in mind for the display:

– 7 liles (singles)

– 2 tulips (attached groups each with three tulip flowers)

– 5 peonies (singles)

Of course, if I have extra material available and enough time to spare, then I will continue making more until material runs out. Also, if I happen to run out of time and not finish the flowers before In-Depth Night, then I figured I can do extra demonstrations during the night, which should attract more people as well. I personally think silk flowers are very pleasant for the eyes. It can look so real that you need to feel it in order to know it’s synthetic. I think a demonstration will rile up people’s interest, therefore making my project “successful”!

Here are some problems that are beginning to arise in my head:

The flowers are terribly fragile. One little nudge will twist the flowers into an undesired shape, and I’m positive there is not enough time on In-Depth Night for me to fix each and every one of them. Then, how do I ensure the flower’s “safety”? How will I transport it? Where do I store it (assuming the procedure is like Night of the Notables)? Should I use vases? Since all the vases I own are glass, how do I ensure the vase’s “safety”? And of course, how should I place the flowers in my learning center?

These questions that plague my mind will have to be solved in the next month. Some of those questions will be solved once the planning for the event is done, but others will still require thinking. With some careful planning, I’m sure everything will go smoothly.

Because I think silk-flower crafting is much more interesting than cross-stitching, and the demonstration I have in mind, I decided to flip my original plan and make silk-flower crafting as my main project, with cross-stitching as a side project. Nonetheless, my cross stitch definitely needs work. So far I have my phone chain finished, and my traditional Chinese “fortune” sign should be done in the next two weeks. I have the material to two other projects, but I’m not sure if I will be able to finish them. I never imagined how time consuming cross-stitching would be when I was planning on my contract. I will certainly try my best to do at least one of them, though I will have to figure out what I can do to the “unfinished projects”.

Well, that’s all for this week. I will continue to work hard towards my final goal. Until next time!

In-Depth Post #6: Wrapping Up . . . Literally (silks pun, get it?)

And so, we have reached the 6th post of in-depth! Can it be? WARNING: This post will be pretty picture and video filled.
I am pleased to say that my project has been making huge strides since my last post, I’ve been to three trapeze classes and two silks classes, and I am quite surprised at the amount of improvement. A couple things I have learned along the way:

1. Do not wear short or tank tops unless you want serious rope/silk burn
2. Expect everyone at the classes to be about 10 times better then you at everything
3. You will fall. A lot. And that’s okay.
4. Age doesn’t matter. 40 or 14, everyone learns the same
5. Don’t be surprised to find large bruises and red marks on your knees, shoulder, shins, elbows and hands. Expect to be sore everywhere, too.

Before I forget, here’s a quick video from my intro to circus class of me on the trampoline. It’s just the pick and split jump, but hey, it’s not bad:   Trampoline- Pike and Split

My classes have been going really well, though. My trapeze class has four people including me in total, all of whom are in their early thirties, but since we have only one swinging trapeze, each of us gets to go up on it twice per class, but in between we help each other get on. We have a couple static trapeze bars to practice moves on, but it’s very different up in the air. Trapeze is my favorite so far, even though you get tired REALLY quickly. Like, tired when you’re just climbing up to the bar. Upper-body strength is NOT my forte.For silks, I’ve learned about 7 poses on the bar, plus climbing, swinging, proper mounting (which has about five steps and three different poses) and dismounting (in which you back flip off, which is pretty cool). I got wraps for my feet, which are kind of like a sticky tensor bandage that goes all the way up your shins. They are VERY helpful.

My poses are:

  • Bird’s nest:  one foot on each rope and hands in the middle, and arching your back
  • Robin’s nest: both feet on one rope, on hand on the bar, arcing your back
  • 1st pike: part of mounting, where you hold onto the bar with both hands, swing your feet underneath it and straighten your legs, then hook your knees on the bar
  • 2nd pike: swing your hands onto the ropes and extend your legs over your head, pulling your body onto to bar
  • Front half angel: one foot on the rope and the other hand on the other side of the bar, other foot extended and pointed down
  • Back half angel: same as front, but your hanging foot is behind you
  • Fallen Angel: both feet wrapped around one rope, no hands
  • Ankle stand: one foot behind each rope, hanging upside-down with no hands

To get a sense of how high the trapeze is:


All of my videos are too long to post, but I’m going to try and fix and post them this weekend.

As for silks, it’s going pretty well. There are only two of us in the class, and the other girl is extremely good, but hey, I’m trying. I’ve learned 4 poses, 2 pullovers and a dismount, which is harder then you’d think. My four poses are:


IMG_4536 IMG_4537 IMG_4539




IMG_4545 IMG_4546 IMG_4548



Pullovers are much harder, because you are basically pulling your whole body through a loop using only your arms. A back pullover is easier, because you can lean inside the knot, but a Front Pullover involves you pulling your legs above your head using only your hands into a loop that higher then you are tall. Pretty hard.

My full routine videos are too long to post here (I’m going to see if I can split them up and maybe post them over the weekend) but here is a video of my doing a straddle dismount, and a back pullover:

Back Pullover

Straddle Dismount

So that’s it for embarrassing media . . oh wait, it isn’t. Because here I present to you *drumroll please* . . . MY FINAL FLEXIBILITY PROJECT!

This one, I decided to do *shudders* THE SPLITS. Now, I really suck at splits, but seeing as I have to do them in both silks and trapeze, it might be nice to get some practice. So here they are: center, left and right. (Please don’t judge me)



So, that’s it until this weekend, where you will get to see me majestically try and fail in a lot of different ways and positions. Can’t believe there’s only a month left . . . see you then!

In-Depth Post #6 (Special FX Makeup)


Hello everyone!

It looks like we only have (roughly) one more month until we present our learning at In-Depth Night! I don’t know about everyone else, but I am super excited.

This past weekend I had wanted to use someone as a model for one of my makeups, but unfortunately I got sick and could not do it at that time. So instead, today I attempted to make two looks on myself. One thing that I learned from that experience is that it is much more difficult to work on yourself than it is to work on another person, because when you work on yourself a lot of times you only can use one hand. Below are a couple pictures of what I created.

Cut open finger look.

Flesh eating bacteria look.

The first one (the cut open finger) was quite simple and straightforward to create. It looked the way I expected it to when I set out to create it.

The flesh eating bacteria look, however, presented many more challenges than I had anticipated. The first challenge was that this is only the second time I have used 3rd Degree, which is a bit of a tricky product, so I had to learn to control it so it looked the way I wanted it to. The next challenge was, as I mentioned earlier, working on myself. I could only use one hand the entire time of working on this look. Another challenge I faced was products not working the way I expected. To be more specific, the 3rd Degree and the fake blood did not want to mix. They seemed to repel each other, like the 3rd Degree was waterproof. After fiddling around with different strategies trying to get the blood to stay where I wanted it to, I had to substitute it with “Fresh Scab”.  I know it sounds a little gross, but it’s a good product for making fake wounds.

So those were my adventures this past week. In the upcoming weeks I’ll be meeting with my mentor and plan how I’m going to be set up for In-Depth Night.

In-depth Blog Post #5: Taking the Initiative

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged last; before spring break I believe.

Wow, the year is passing by so fast, and there are so many events and tasks I need to go to and do before my nest break. Oh man. April, May, and June will be something I’ll remember for quite a while (if it doesn’t kill me first).

So over the break, I was fortunate enough to meet with my mentor for an extra hour as he was busy during the second week of the break. The break gets really busy at his work, so having the opportunity to go while the workshop is closed is something I greatly appreciated from my mentor.

During this lesson, we took a step up as the next vehicle maintenance skill I learned was much more difficult than the previous mechanic skills I learned. And can not be done simply at home, as shop equipment is needed to lift the vehicle up and make sure it is safe to work on. My last session, we focused on the back of the truck (which is what we were working on) and had to fix the break pads. I can honestly say that this kind of maintenance needs higher level of experience and I could not work on the break pads without more knowledge. However, knowing how the break pads work will prove to be helpful in the future when I can hopefully diagnose the problem earlier and have more knowledge on car maintenance.  The break pads of a vehicle is quite fascinating, as I have come to a realization that the car holds itself up; every part is needed, as they overlap each other. Without a part, the vehicle would most likely have a problem. The break pads have two components: the primary pad and the secondary pad. The primary pad squeezes the disc of the break, with moves the wheel, while the secondary break acts as a wedge. The two pads work together constantly, and although made out of a solid material, ware down as they undergo constant stress of breaking. In the other hour, he taught me the different filters, parts I did not know about the car, and liquids the car uses. Every vehicle needs its own type of liquid, being different than the other. I thought that each car would tell the owner which item belonged to the car. However, mechanics have a computer which has records of a variety of vehicles, so they know which item goes with which car. To properly maintain a vehicle, owners need to study the cars they’re using to be able to maintain their vehicles properly.

Now to answer questions!

1. My mentor, like any other person, forgets. So my mentor likes to leave 10 minutes of every session to ask questions that Ii have or ask things I want to learn for next time. He gives me an opportunity to ask what I want to be taught,  and gives me suggestions of things I should look for on my free time to ask next time we meet.

2. I like to spend time to review things I recently learned. My mentor does not specifically gives me any sort of tests or anything, but before we start our sessions, he usually asks questions about what I learned at my last session. Mechanic skills can easily be forgotten, so reviewing daily is needed.

3. We can only meet so often, and my mentor knows that. So my mentor might have moments where he knows people who are giving workshops or lessons on these kind of things. Unfortunately, I have been too busy and crammed to attend any of these workshops and enhance my learning, but there are opportunities for me too meet other mechanics and learn different mechanic skills and learn in different ways.

4. When we’re together, my mentor and I have a lot of things to talk about. We usually find time to talk about the news, our days, what’s going on in our lives, but most commonly: movies. I cannot stress this enough. We both love movies. And it is quite ridiculous how many movies we both enjoy.

5. The fact that my mentor has time to show me things that he hasn’t planned to show me is probably one of the best things going on between us. He knows that there’s a lot of things I would like to know, and the fact that he’s that dedicated to me to spend extra time to show me these things makes me feel really good about my in-depth project.

6. We’re learning what kind of people we are. It is easier to have a conversation with my mentor at my sessions, and I feel comfortable talking to him now, as I am slowly finding out the person he is. He is so modest, never showing off the things he can do or the things he has accomplished. He’s very funny, which breaks the ice most of the time. I can see myself looking up to someone like this; with a great mind and a kind soul.

Until next time blog!

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In-Depth Post #5

So, in my latest circus trysts, I took an introduction to circus class during spring break. It was a basic run in silks, trampoline, and juggling. Somehow, I managed to sprain my thumb within the first ten minutes, but other then that, it was a GREAT class. My teacher was a girl called Holiday, and she was a great teacher. I really enjoyed the silks class, and they gave a really detailed instruction on how to juggle, not just with balls, with with batons and plate spinning and everything. Unfortunately, the sprain meant I couldn’t take my week-long circus camp later during spring break, but to make up for it. I am now signed up for a month-long silks class, and a swinging trapeze class. My silks class runs every monday, and the swinging trapeze every tuesday.

I’ve already had my first swinging trapeze class, and it was AMAZING!. My instructor is called Scott, and he has a very brusk, but efficient attitude to teaching. For the class, we did a ten-minute warm-up, then Scott got me started on the static trapeze and taught me eight basic positions to do in sequence. I ran through them once, then he pretty much told me that we were going to start in the air. There are two other people in my class, one who has being doing trapeze for about 6 months, and the other for a year. He got me to stand to the side and watch for the first time, and I was amazed. The trapeze is about twenty-five feet in the air, and they get it swinging until you are nearly horizontal. They have you harnessed, but it’s still pretty terrifying. I was very hesitant my first try, but Scott was really nice. You have to climb up a rope to the trapeze bar using only your arms and wrapping it around your feet. He harnessed em in and I climbed up the rope, and using it one of the other students pulled me until I got swinging. Then he taught me how to use my body to create momentum, then we ran through the routine, which involved hanging upside down, balancing on one foot, and lying down using only one foot to support yourself.

I ended up totally sore, exhausted, wishing I had worn leggings instead of  shorts, and now I understand why the other students were wearing bandages around their feet, because after climbing it twice, I had huge rope burn and I could barely put on shoes when we left. I can’t wait to try my silks class and continue my trapeze. I’ve got videos that I’ll post later, of trapeze and some old trampoline ones.

1. What kinds of learning opportunities does the mentor provide to expose you to new learning?

He’s been recommending what other classes, even single ones, I could take to improve my physicality or just to get more involved in circus. He was teaching me and my mom what kinds of clothing and equipment I should wear/bring to class. For instance, he told us that the best thing to wrap your feet in, if you want to protecting but still get a good grip in the bar, is poly-flex adhesive wrap, and the best place to find that is in tack shops, but in a pinch medical tape with do. He told me what kind of exercises I should to, such as pushups to work on my core and arm strength.


5. What is going particularly well in your mentoring relationship right now?

We really focus on the skills. Scott treats me the same way he treats his adult students, I really have to learn on the spot and pay attention, but focusing on the skills means I learn a lot more a lot faster. We cover a lot of material quickly, but he knows I have to practice before I’ll be able to perform it properly. He pushes me harder then I’m used to, but I appreciate it.

6. What are you learning about one another?

With Scott, he’s really about the teaching. He doesn’t stop so much to strike a conversation, or ask about your day, or even say “great job!” when you get the position right. With him, he basically teaches the position, corrects my form, and then we move on.  He’s learned that I need time to adjust to how hard the work is, and that I need to build up the muscle and get my body adjusted.

I will have the videos and pictures up within a week!