CCHS students study famous mid-century commercial artist; Create personalized ornaments with similar style 

Sample of student designed ornaments.
Sample of student-designed ornaments.

Students participating in Colonie Central High School Graphics I class with Mr. Defazzio recently spent some time learning about artist Charley Harper. Known for his whimsical serigraph and giclée printsHarper’s unmistakable designs were unique, capturing a minimalist approach.

“The class spent time talking about stylization of the form and the careful symmetry and how, despite the simplified forms, the works still retained a sense of personality and eco-awareness,” said Defazzio. “For each ornament, the students were asked to create an animal design with those thoughts in mind.”

After the students designed their personalized ornaments. The designs were then printed in reverse using the school’s new dye sublimation printer.

“We then take the paper cutouts and adhere them to the porcelain sublimation blanks and put them into the heat press, “Defazzio added. “They are pressed for 200 seconds at 357 degrees.”

At that temperature, the ink sublimates (turns from a solid into a gas directly) which allows it to permeate the surface of the ornament and become permanent. 

“It’s Art and Science!” Defazzio said. 

New this year at CCHS is the Graphics Shop which aligns with the classes that Defazzio teaches.

“We were so excited to be able to offer these new tools for students this year,” he said.

New graphics equipment includes:

    • Dye sublimation Printer 
    • Heat presses
    • Large format Printer/Cutter
    • Sublimation blanks in many forms

New photo studio equipment includes:

    • Lights and enclosures for specialized photo shoots

“Students may not connect with the traditional classroom setting,” Defazzio said. “But they find their voice inside this shop. It is really meaningful to me to be able to provide this experience for our students.”