Mondrian Cake, Rothko Pie and Dali Salad

Want to make a Mondrian cake?  Rothko’s favorite pie? Dali’s salad? Check these out, just in time for Mother’s Day.

Mondrian Cake from Modern Art Desserts

Modern Art Desserts by Caitlin Freeman

Modern Art Desserts is a brand-new cookbook by Caitlin Freeman, pastry chef at San Francisco MOMA’s in-house cafe. She has the AWESOME job of creating desserts that look like the artworks in the museum.

Watch Caitlin make her Mondrian cake here:


This would make a fun Mother’s Day gift (or art club challenge!).

Rothko’s Pie from The Artist’s Palate

Rothko apple pieFor a traditional (and easier) dessert, make Mom Mark Rothko’s Birthday Apple Pie. It was his favorite – his wife made it every year for his birthday. Click here for the recipe . The Artist’s Palate cookbook contains recipes and complete menus for lots of artist-inspired meals.

Dali’s Salad from MoMA Artists’ Cookbook

Back in the ’70s, New York’s MoMA published Museum of Modern Art Artists’ Cook Book. The cookbook is full of interviews, anecdotes and RECIPES from 30 modern artists of the day.

MoMA cookbook

Click here for recipes by

  • Louise Bourgeois
  • Robert Motherwell
  • Dali
  • De Koonig

As cookbooks go, this one is the wild card. In truth, the artistic Mom in your life may prefer you DON’T make her the Dali salad for Mother’s Day brunch. But what did you expect from Dali? Cole slaw? Try De Koonig’s Dutch Breakfast instead.

(Thanks to ACraven blog for posting the recipes)

Hope you have a great Mother’s Day with the artistic lady in your life.


Cupcake Holder = Great Organizer for Small Ceramics

Look what I found at the school bake sale! This awesome small ceramic storage container is actually a disposable  cupcake box.

cupcake holder storage


The box is holding 24 painted ceramic penguins. Each figurine fits into a cupcake well. The wings and flippers fit into little grooves around the well. The pieces are really secured in there!

These disposable cupcake boxes make great storage!

These disposable cupcake boxes make great storage!

The ceramic-filled cupcake box is heavy. I added a piece of masonite underneath as a tray.

Disposable bakery cupcake holder is great for organizing and storage.

Disposable bakery cupcake holder is great for organizing and storage.

Now the pieces are safely stored until the art show.




Fun with Wax Pastels

Fun with Wax PastelsIsn’t it exciting to try out a new art supply? I received a big pack of Reeves Water Soluble Wax Pastels  in a gift bag from Col Art. Today I tested them out with a group of second graders.

I really wanted to try printing with the wax pastels.  Here are some of our experiments:

Wax pastel and foil printsE. drew wax pastel fireworks on aluminum foil. She placed a dampened piece of copy paper on the foil and rubbed. She was very pleased with her wax pastel mono print!

Wax pastel on unglazed tile

Wax pastel on unglazed tile

I was curious to see how the wax pastels worked on different surfaces. Next we drew on unglazed white tile.

Wax pastels on unglazed tile

Wax pastel on unglazed tile

The pastels glided on the unglazed tile. They didn’t smear like oil pastels. But could we print with them?

Wax pastel print

Wax pastel print

I had some thin white paper on a roll that I use for gyotaku prints. We dampened the paper with a sponge, placed it on the tile and rubbed. The wax pastels printed nicely.

wax pastel print

wax pastel print

I tried printing with heavier sulfite drawing paper as well.

wax pastel print


I noticed that students used up more pastels when drawing on tile than when drawing on foil. I will try printing with different papers before teaching the lesson to an entire grade.

Overall, the wax pastel printing experiments were successful. There was no clean up – the students didn’t even need to wash their hands after printing. The students went home happy with a tile and prints. So much fun!


Happy Earth Day!


eyes on the table


Happy Earth Day!  Our fifth graders created this whole class artwork using recycled CD cases colored with Sharpie and oil pastel. For more art projects using CD cases, click here and here.

I just entered the piece in an online art contest offered by the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) (P.S. MCASD is free to everyone 25 and under. It’s a great place for young people to discover contemporary art).

It feels great to make fun art projects and keep ‘trash’ out of the landfill!



Do you have a favorite recycled art project?

Clay Project Ideas from Prague

I just came back from Prague. WOW. In addition to castles, cathedrals and pastry, I had the joy of checking out hand-made crafts in small shops throughout the city. These clay sheep and owls were so adorable I just had to try them myself!!!

czech clay sheep

I saw these charming clay sheep tiny gift shop on the Charles Bridge. The shop was so tiny only two people could enter at a time! The ceramic sheep are wheel-thrown clay bells, covered in clay spiral ‘wool’. They are unglazed.

My version of the Czech sheep:

spiral clay sheep

Top view

Top view

I started with an inverted pinch pot, stuffed it with newspaper, and added face, ears, and spirals. I will let them dry, bisque fire, then do a cold finish by painting with tempera or watercolors, then rinsing off in the sink.

I think this would work for grades 4-6, and take around 45 minutes -1 hour to teach.

Verdict: I showed my sample to my 6th grade helpers: they LOVED it.


czech clay owls

The Czech Owls:

These beautiful, textured clay owls were hollow clay cylinders with closed bases. A hole was poked in the base to keep the owl from exploding in the kiln.

My version of the Czech owl:

I started with two pinch pots, stuffed them with newspaper, and sealed together to form a cylinder. I smoothed the cylinder by rolling it back and forth on a board. Next I tapped the bottom on the board to flatten. Finally I wiped the cylinder with a damp sponge to smooth it out.

I textured the clay, and added wings and a beak. I would have liked to have some different texture stamps for the eyes….still, they turned out OK.

I poked a skewer through the bottom to let air escape when firing.

I will let dry, and bisque fire. These owls could be glazed, or just painted with watercolor and sprayed with clear gloss.

clay owl 1


These would take about an hour to make. Sixth grade and middle school.

You could also simplify this by using a single inverted pinch pot for the owl body. Be sure to stuff with crumpled newspaper before adding texture. This could work for grades 4-6.

Verdict: my 6th grade helpers thought my owls looked like penguins!!! They recommended making smaller eyes and bigger wings. They definitely preferred the sheep.

Although I did not bring home the Czech clay sheep or owls, I couldn’t leave that awesome gift shop empty-handed! I left with this fabulous Beethoven sgraffito mug as a gift for my husband.

sgraffito mug


Well, spring break was awesome but it’s over. Back to work!





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