Julia Sanderl currently lives in Kapa’a on the island of Kauai with her husband, where she is teaching Arts and Crafts to middle school students. Julia has been teaching Art to children in the public school system since 2002. Her teaching credential qualifies her to teach Kindergarten through 12th grade, and indeed she has taught Art at the elementary, middle school, and high school level, utilizing her training to teach every grade and age of student. The specific classes Julia has instructed include Arts & Crafts, Ceramic Sculpture & Wheel Throwing, Advanced Placement Art History, Gifted & Talented and Media-Technology.

Julia earned an Associate of Art degree from Golden West Community College in 1999, and transferred to California State University, Long Beach. There she completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art Education along with a Single Subject Teaching Credential in the field of Art in 2003. Julia also earned a Crosscultural Language and Academic Development (CLAD) certificate from the University of San Diego in 2006. Soon after, Julia earned a Master of Arts degree in the field of Curriculum and Instruction from Concordia University in July 2008. Her action research topic was Effective Integration of New Technology in Traditional Art Classes. Julia’s most recent accomplishment was earning a National Board Certification for Early Adolescent Through Young Adulthood Art in November, 2013.

Currently Julia is enjoying her experience teaching the students of Kapa’a Middle School, while also exploring different ways to get involved in the artistic community. She and her husband also express their creativity and artistic talents through their professional photography business: Sanderl Photography. Julia is looking forward to furthering her professional development by collaborating with other teachers and artists, and by seeking new and innovative ways to teach and create art.

Please click the link to view Julia Sanderl’s PROFESSIONAL RESUME

18 thoughts on “About Me”
  1. Hi Julia,

    I was browsing through pinterest for good images on coil projects to show my students at Fountain Valley High School, and I usually like to present on a contemporary artist/teacher and fell in love with your squid coil lamp vase. I looked at your website and saw that you taught in Hawaii but then came across your resume to include a small bio of you in my powerpoint and saw that you went to Golden West College and CSULB! I was so excited! I will definitely share this with my students tomorrow. I took ceramics both hand building and wheel throwing at Golden West but have my BA from CSULB. I am a student teacher and am on my way to receiving my teaching credential. Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that I absolutely love your work!! And your students’ as well. I am impressed my their creativity and can’t believe they are only in middle school. They are lucky to have such an awesome teacher and will go very far in HS. Congrats on your tenure and have a great time being an artist and a teacher! =)

    Ngoc Vu

  2. Aloha Ngoc!

    Thank you for sharing our So. Cal. connection and checking out my blog! It seems that you are on a similar path to the one I took to becoming an Art teacher. In fact, I think I may have done some of my classroom observations at Fountain Valley High. It can take patience and persistence to get into an Art teaching job that is a good fit for your talents, but it’s worth it! Thank you again for sharing my blog with your students and good luck on your journey!


  3. Hi Julia,
    I love your website. The Tikis are really impressive! I found your site as I was searching for a new watercolor assignment for my intermediate art class. How did your students pick their watercolor subject? Did you have reference photos ready for them to pick from? Did they do thumbnail sketches before the final work? Keep up the wonderful work. I love Kauai! My husband’s family grew up on Ohau (Mililani).

    Have a great day!
    Annie Cooper

  4. Thanks Annie! My students all have sketchbooks that they use for notes and project planning. We usually spend a couple weeks practicing and planning before launching into the actual project. A couple days were spent in the computer lab with sketchbooks, where they researched ocean creatures and found inspiration. We also practiced some thumbnail plans together as a class before they each composed their own. For students who were absent on our computer lab days (or those who needed more time), I also provided some printed resources in class. Good luck with your watercolor assignment!

  5. I saw you post a picture of your students working on their sketchbooks and since then I have been dying to ask you how you make them and what you include in them when you make them, how you use them on a daily basis, etc. I’m a new middle school teacher previously coming from teaching elementary so I want to make a more official sketchbook and loved the look of yours. Any and all help and advice would be appreciated!

  6. Cool stuff, great to help the kids on Kaua’i! Would be cool if you gave credit to the artist Heather Brown though as you guys are using a lot of her style and imagery for some of your projects. As she is a Hawaii artist. Keep up the great work!

  7. Hi Graham, Thanks for checking out this site and giving feedback. I always try my best to credit the artists that I teach about in class and that influence our projects. Maybe you missed my reference to Heather Brown under Acrylic Landscape: “Students were introduced to the work of artist, Heather Brown, who’s signature style includes simplified shapes, bold black outlines, and Hawaii’s local surf spots. Like Heather Brown, students simplified and stylized their landscape on 9 X 12″ canvas board.”

  8. Hi Kari,
    Sketchbooks are a huge part of my curriculum, used for practice, notes, project-planning, and free time. By the end of the year, these sketchbooks are WORKED! (They are also Works of Art!). They are fairly easy to make, but you should also plan on a good chunk of time, and get yourself a long-arm stapler if you don’t have one. Please see my post Sensational Sketchbooks and read through the comments, as several people have asked me about the specifics of this project. Let me know if you have further questions! Good luck!

  9. Hi Julia,

    I love your Tiki project! They are really impressive and I would like to try this with my 7th and 8th graders next year. Can you tell me a little bit more about the process? Did you start with slab building and then have the students cut out and add on? Or were they just using a combination of hand building methods and building upwards as they go? Any advice you could give me on this would be greatly appreciated. I also really like the use of the white and natural brown glazes – so that the focus is on the beautiful shapes the students came up with.

    Thank you,

  10. Hi Becky,
    Thank you for the feedback! This was a long project which lasted almost an entire quarter of the school year. I started with some “mini-lessons” on tiki history, style, and symbolism. This is also a great time to compare/contrast with other ancient multicultural art forms. We practiced drawing different versions of Lono, Ku, Kanaloa, and Kane in sketchbooks as a class before students came up with their own designs.
    This is how I broke down the lesson in terms of clay construction and demonstrations (we built from the bottom, up):
    1. Clay wedging and care (how to keep clay moist/leather hard for the duration of the project)
    2. Slab base- a simple circle. We traced the bottom of a squirt bottle as a template.
    3. Coil construction- minimum 3 different coil patterns/designs
    4. Slab cylinder and tiki face (adding & removing clay to create features)
    5. Additional carving and textural designs
    6. Glazing (after bisque)
    I hope that helps!

  11. Hi Julia!

    I stumbled onto your website and really enjoy looking through your lessons, and student arwork! I’m a High School Art Teacher in Chicago, and I’m wondering if you have any resources/further information about some of the structure of your lesson plans? More specifically, the scaffolding/step-by-steps? My class sizes are 30 – 36 students, (200 students total!), with limited space. Just some challenges I’m facing when creating my own lesson plans!

    Thanks for the great blog!


  12. Hi Julia! I was thinking of using your ceramic castle idea for the starting point of a ceramics project in my class. You mentionned you used an red iron oxide stain on those castles. I’ve used oxide stains on low-fired clay before, and it didn’t (stick) to the pieces very well. What cone did you fire at, or did you mix the iron oxide with a frit or something else?

    Thanks for your input!

  13. I love your ideas for art for children. I have 9 grandchildren and I’m always looking for fun & creative ways for them to express themselves in art.

  14. wanted some more info on the iron oxide stain you used for your castles project. brand, process, safety for kids, etc. thanks, love the page!

  15. I teach a choice based middle school art class and usually do some sort of animal totem with 6th grade to get them oriented in working with clay after “playing ” with it. I love your tiki clay project and wondered which age group and how long that project usually would take. How do you start students as a base? Love your projects-and headed to Hawaii for Thanksgiving:)

  16. Hi!,
    I am an k-12 art teacher. I am interested, how did you slowly introduce MS kids to the ‘describe/Analyze/ Inter./ Evaluate… lesson? Group discussion? How well did they do understanding using art terms? What grade did you do it with? I’m not in HI, but I’d be interested in using that lesson. What did teachers find difficult regarding the SLO expectations? Do you find MS kids have a hard time remembering definitions of terms but can say it in their own words better? It has been a while since I taught MS art (overseas) and I am leaving an elem post on a Rez to teach MS art in WA STATE. 🙂

  17. Hi Julia,
    Sorry to contact you here but I did not know another way to reach out to you and chris. Jamel and I are coming to Kauai 7/8-7/19 with our two kiddos. It will be our 10 year anniversary. Wondering if there is anyway you and/or Chris could do a family photo shoot with us. Hope all is well!

  18. Hi Julia,
    I am writing to ask about your copper tooling foil lesson. Did you allow the students to apply the liver of sulfur and polish their work or did you do that part? I have done tooling foil projects before, but have never used liver of sulfur. Any advice would be appreciated.

    Thank you!

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