i had the pleasure to work with two fourth grade classrooms this winter. the residency involved bringing looms into their classroom and letting the children experience weaving first hand. the residency had to include wisconsin history. on the first day i showed them examples of my work, an antique quilt, a Latvian cap embellished with beads. i explained that many immigrants came to wisconsin and brought their folk arts and craft with them.
our first project included making a story picture. they were given the task to sketch a picture that tells a story. then they were given some felt and fabric scraps to glue down. when all the pieces were attached they were given thread and a needle to stitch.
our second project which landed on the week of St Valentine's day we wove Scandinavian paper hearts. they were given a red piece of paper and a white piece of paper. if they mastered the red and white, i had some decorative papers they could use.
the last of the take home projects was a woven bracelet. the project included three straws taped together and strings threaded through them. the students chose a ball of yarn and wove the yarn around the straws.
each week when we were doing the smaller projects the students wove on the looms to create yardage. i explained to the students that they weaving that they were doing on the loom was going to be turned into the image of wisconsin. the bulk of my residency was a huge amount of prep and construction.
in the beginning we created the story picture that was built out of fabric much like embroidery and quilting. to actually build or create the fabric for the finished classroom project will make those students so proud. i will present the project to them next week.
my goal in all of my residencies is to offer an a unique and valuable experience with fiber that is gratifying. whether my students are young or old, most all of them enjoy weaving as a craft or weaving as an art form.
much thanks is given to my volunteer helpers i had three, my babysitters, and ABK Weaving Center for the use of four looms.