Aperture – Day 1 Photo Camp

Today was the beginning of our three day mini photo 101 camp.  As we are learning to take our camera’s off auto, we focused on Aperture Today.


The photos in this post were taken by students during the workshop today.


APERTURE:  The aperture of a lens is how wide the lenses opens when you take a photo and ranges from wide to narrow, and is measured in f/stops, such as f/4 (wide aperture) to f/22 (narrow aperture). AV


  • The smaller the number, the wider the aperture, the more light is let in  and the smaller the depth of field.   So, for a portrait, you want the subject in focus but the background to be blurred.  You would use a low aperture.  I love a shallow depth of field so I shot a lot of my photos on the lowest aperture that I can.


  • The opposite of this is true as well.  The narrower the aperture, the less light is let in, darkening your shots an resulting in a larger the depth of field.  While shooting landscapes or citys capes, you might want to have both the foreground and the background in focus.  For this you would want a high aperture value, f/16 or f/22 to get deep depth of field.


  • We shot in  Aperture Priority mode today which allows you to take control of the aperture, leavingthe shutter speed and ISO to be controlled controlled by the camera.   We practiced adjusting the amount of light entering into the camera through the lens and setting our depth of field.


Tomorrow we will explore shutter speed.


End of First Session


Hi Parents and Students,

The First Session of Classes is now over! I leave Wednesday morning to see my daughter in Spain.  Yes, I am a little excited to see her.

The Next Session begins on November 8th.  You can find Registration Information Here. Most classes are already full. If you did not register and the class is full, send me an email to be added to the waitlist.

This is what we wrapped up:

Teen Mosaics

Most teens finished their Mosaics. They are just stunning. If your student grouted their mosaic last week it is ready to be picked up. You can text or email me and I can leave it on the Front Porch.   I’m traveling alone so my family will be home if you want to drop over while I am away to pick up your piece.

Looking ahead, the Teens will be practicing Observational Drawing and then Silk Painting in the next session.


We wrapped up our Reflections Projects as well. Good luck to all of the students participating in the Reflection’s Contest in their local schools.



The Adult Class continued to work on their Silk Paintings.


Looking ahead, we will finish these paintings and move on to Drawing and Painting with either Acrylic or Oil Paint.

See you-all in a few weeks!






Adult Art Classes

Art Classes at PFA resume the week of September 13th.

I am working on the curriculum for the upcoming sessions. I like to have a little flexibility so we can explore mediums that the group may be interested in. At the same time, I understand it’s much easier to decide what sessions to register for if you know what will be taught. Given that, here is a broad guideline for the two upcoming Adult Sessions:

ADULT SESSION ONE:  Sept 15 – Oct 13, 2016  REGISTER

Painting: My true passion is for painting, so that is what we will be exploring in this first session. Because everyone is at different levels, the first class will be a very broad introduction to line, value and color, with emphasis on color.  We will also spend time thinking about our next project, which will be a silk painting. This project will take a couple of sessions. We will also work with Sumi Ink drawing and painting.


ADULT SESSION TWO:  Nov 10 – Dec 15, 2016  REGISTER

Drawing into Painting:

We will start by working on our drawing skills, and move into painting.  All supplies will be provided for the drawing portion.  Students will need to provide their own painting supplies, acrylic or oil.

2016-01-08 16.15.43




More Details

The Adult Class is on Thursdays:  10:00 am to Noon.

All skill levels welcome.

Available in Five Week Sessions at $25 per 2 hour class.

Registration Fee: $50, remaining balance of $75 due at first class. Occasional additional materials fee may be required.  Book as many sessions as you like.

Missed classes with 24 hour emailed notice will be credited. 10% tuition discount for additional family members.

SESSION ONE:  Sept 15 – Oct 13, 2016 REGISTER

SESSION TWO:  Nov 10 – Dec 15, 2016 REGISTER (No class on Thanksgiving)





Painting with Glass Frit

As our last glass project, some of the Teen and Adult students made these lovely Glass Frit paintings.  I just love these!  Some of them I took to a full fuse, others I did a custom fuse so the frit could retain some of the texture.  I thought they turned out beautifully and look so pretty with the light shining through.  We will be doing more of this for sure!




Full Fusion Glass Tiles and Bowls

After our introduction to glass fusion through the making of frames, students in the Teen and Adult Classes were given the opportunity to continue their experimentation with glass by completing a full fusion glass project.


Design Basics for a Full Fuse

A Full Fuse  results in a finished piece that is smooth on top with rounded edges.

  • Design Up (on top of the glass) or Design Down (under the glass).

Design Up: Compose on top of a solid piece of glass.designup

Lines will be soft and irregular because some glass colors flow sooner than others.






Design Down: Design with colored pieces on the kiln shelf and cover with a solid layer of clear sheet glass. designdownThe cap will hold the seams in the bottom layer together during firing resulting in crisp lines.




Photo from Bullseye Glass.

  • 6 mm rule – Fused glass will retain a thickness of 6 mm. To retain the shape use a thickness of 6 mm or two layers of 3 mm.

If thinner, surface tension will cause the glass to pull in towards the 6 mm mark leaving a thick edge.

If thicker, it will flow outward to flatten to 6 mm unless it is constrained by dams.

Adding decorative glass on top of a 6 mm base lets you expand design options but if too much is added or it is too close to the edge, it may flow out and distort the edge of the piece.

To avoid this, keep added material ¾ inch from the perimeter.

  • Avoiding Bubbles

Some bubbles are a natural part of glass fusion. Large bubbles can be distracting. Avoid them by always layering the glass smooth side up, work with full layers of glass and allow pathways for air to escape.

Here is a look at some of the tiles created in class:












A few of the students chose to have their tiles slumped into bowls.  Here is a look at a few of the bowls:

Glass Fusion Frames and Mirrors

The adult and teen class had a great time learning about glass fusion.


We learned how to cut glass and how to layer it to achieve different effects.

Glass Cutting

  • Cut on smooth side.
  • First cut is a score line – cut from one edge to the next.
  • Hold it straight up and down to make contact with glass.
  • Use running pliers to break the glass – To adjust the pliers, screw it on then back off a bit. Works best when equal amounts on both sides of the pliers. For multiple lines, start in the middle and break into halves.
  • If it doesn’t break, flip over and try on same line from the backside.

Layer glass pieces smooth side up to avoid bubbles.

Glue: Super glue burns off at 400 degrees. Glue on edges not center so it has a way to escape.

Sharpie: Black Sharpie burns off. Colors do not.

Glass Frames


For the first project, we made glass frames/mirrors.  We did this by constructing two layers and tack fusing them together and adding embellishments.

Here is a look at some of the finished projects:











Send me an email if you still need to come and pick up your glass.

Have a great weekend!







Adult Ceramics – Final Touch on the Clocks

It was another very creative week at Picket Fence Art.  In the adult class we added the final touches to the Ceramic Clocks.

We have had so much fun with ceramics the past few weeks that we decided to upgrade the kiln.  An early Christmas present arrived for me on Friday!

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We love working with ceramics so much that we are thinking of adding a Saturday ceramics workshop in the new year.  Email me if this is something that may interest you!

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