Showing posts with label weaving with kids. Show all posts
Showing posts with label weaving with kids. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

In the Art Room: God's Eye (Ojo de Dios)

Hey, guys! Can I just say how happy y'all have been making me? I've heard from so many of you that are weaving in your art room and beyond (I'm actually working on a weaving outside of the art room too, I can't wait to share that with you!). Thank you so much for your emails with helpful tips, tricks and projects as well as all the weaving love! Y'all are seriously the best.

Today I thought I'd share with you a weaving project that is great for a coupla reasons which I shall share with you in glorious bullet points as I'm feeling very bullet-pointy:

*  First, it can be as easy or as difficult as you decide to make it. Weaving a basic God's Eye is simple but Ima gonna show you some that'll blow your mind. 

* Second, it's a great project for those early finishers that still have the weaving itch. I use much of the same weaving terminology when explaining it to the kids which not only reinforces vocab but also helps the process click even more.

* You can throw in some culture and contemporary art while you're at it! The Ojo de Dios was originated by the Huichol people of western Mexico. Originally, they were created when a child was born. Each year, a new layer of yarn was added to the weaving. Once the child turned 5, the weaving was complete and hung in the child's home. It's believed to be the eye of God watching over and protecting the child. Cool, right?!
My kids have thought so. This weaving was completed by a third grader just this afternoon! I shared with the kids a wonderful God's eye I'd found at the thrift store and they were interested in embellishing theirs further. This worked out perfectly during art class as I had several kids finishing off other projects. 
So a traditional Ojo de Dios looks like this. I scored this beauty for a coupla bucks at the thrift store. The kids were so inspired by it today!
However, weaving Ojo de Dios isn't limited to the Huichol people. There are many contemporary weavers creating stunning versions. I'm so inspired by these beauties by Jay Mohler that I'm thinking of creating my own! Has anyone every tried their hand at this kind of weaving? I'd love to learn more. 

So, just how does one go about creating a simple Ojo de Dios? I created a coupla clips for you! So, get your kitten mittens on some sticks (or straws as I'll show you in the clip) and let's get started!
In my room, we didn't use straws but various sticks glued together. Like popsicle sticks, chop sticks and toothpicks!

The weaving comes together very quickly. You'll be surprised how fast and fun these weavings are!
 I mean, the majority of these were completed in one art class! These were created by my third grade kids.
 And these are by my second graders! We added brass bells to the ends of our weavings with Twisteez wire. A paper clips was hot glued to the top so that they could be easily hung for display. 

Popsicle sticks are the perfect thing for first time weavers. The flat surface of the stick gives the kids plenty of room to number each stick (see video clip for complete details). And, for some reason, I found that the kids grasped the process of weaving much better on these sticks as opposed to other sticks. I've no clue why. Whatcha y'all think about that? A kid-mystery, says me.
 I just wanted to give you a sneak peak at the backside. The front and the back of the weavings look very different. I stress that to the kids over and again. This is the key to knowing whether or not you are doing it correctly. Again, if you watch the clip (they're short, I promise), you'll get what I'm saying.
I'd love to hear about how your weaving adventures are going! Have you had your kids create Ojo de Dios before? What tips and tricks do y'all have?

For more weaving goodness, feel free to check these posts out, y'all!

The Weaving Series: Paper Loom Weaving (perfect for first grade)
The Weaving Series: Straw Weaving (second grade and up)
The Weaving Series: Circle Loom Weaving (second grade and up)

The Weaving Series: CD Loom Weaving (second grade and up)

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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

In the Art Room: Tree Weaving with Third Grade

Every year I do a weaving project with my students, kindergarten to fourth grade. And when asked at the end of the year what their fave art project in the universe is, weaving always ties first place with clay. 
And who can blame them? Digging ones hands deep into clay or entangled in a bundle of yarn is just about the best feeling ever, says the art teacher. However, I've grown a little tired of the usual weaving project my third grade students create. So when I saw these amazing tree weavings on pinterest, I was inspired to have my students create one of their own.

Stunning, right? And if you know Russian (at least that's what I think it is) then you'll totally understand the directions. I'd click the "translate" button but I guess you gotta know the Russian word for that to make it happen. All kidding aside, the website does an excellent job of demonstrating the process. For headache-free purposes, I decided to forgo the bent twig option and have the students craft their loom from a Chinet plate.
This weaving lesson was also apart of our study of the United Kingdom. We studied many landscape photographs and paintings of the countryside of such places as Northern Ireland and Scotland. Our first day was spent painting a sky on our plate. If you recall, these kids have plenty of experience with sky painting as they are the ones who created these German Gnome Landscapes. The following art class, we chatted about how to create a fore-, middle- and background in our landscapes.
 Students were encouraged to mix three different values of green to create a sense of depth. From there, they were given the option to enhance their landscape with what they'd imagine a countryside in the United Kingdom to look like. As you can see, we were feeling mighty sheepish.
Once our landscapes were complete, we were ready to begin the process of creating and warping our loom.
 By placing a Tree Weaving Template over their plate, students could draw the correct number of notches on the top (10) and the bottom (2). These notches were cut to the inner edge of the plate.
With notches cut, the students met me on the floor with their plates and about a yard and 1/2 of pre-cut yarn. Our first step was to wedge the yarn into the bottom left hand notch as seen above.
With the long end of the yarn, we put the yarn into the far left top notch, out the notch beside it, into the bottom left, out the bottom right and back up to the top. This process was repeated until all top notches were filled in. We ended by going in the bottom left notch, coming out the right. At this point, we were ready to create our tree trunk.
Which is super easy. With the end of the yarn, begin wrapping it around the yarn at the bottom, tugging gently as you go. If you run out of yarn, simply double knot a new piece to the old. Once your trunk is tall enough, tie it off to a tree branch.
Some bare trees ready for weaving.
To begin, we double knot tied our chosen color to one of the tree branches on the end. From there, we began the process of weaving over and under. One thing the students struggled with was weaving loose enough. You see, they wanted to pull tightly which caused the weaving to slide down the branches and pull the warping threads inward. However, once they got the hang of it, it was smooth sailing.
 When we first began this lesson, we chatted about wool and where it came from. I passed around some natural wool roving, some cream colored some brown. We chatted about how different colors of wool come from different color sheep. I guess that inspired the sheep in this landscape.
New colors were added with a double knot tie. Weavings were ended with a double knot tie off as well.
So that we could hang these for our upcoming art show, students tied a piece of yarn to the backside of the plates.
And that's it. Honestly, the warping/weaving portion took no time at all. And I foresee so many variations of this project in the future: a woven peacock, a turkey...okay, that's all I've come up with. But I'm sure to think of some more (your input would be greatly appreciated and promptly stolen as an idea of my own!). 

I do hope my explanations helped and that you're encouraged to try this lesson with your students. If you're still not gettin' it, just translate it into Russian and it'll all become crystal clear. And if you'd like some more weaving projects, you can check here. Chat with you soon!

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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

In the Art Room: Weaving, Part 2

Woven pouch created by one of my fantastic fourth graders.
Hello, crafty kids and grown-ups alike! Today I am going to show you how to add a flap to your woven pouch. If you've no idea what I'm talking about, you can quickly get caught up to speed by reading Weaving, Part 1. I do hope you'll join in on this weaving adventure. Ready to start? Okay, let's weave a flap!
You know you are ready to weave the flap when your weaving is at your desired height. I tell the kids that their weaving must be between 4-7", no taller, no smaller. Once there, you might want to trim those pesky pieces of yarn you tied together so your weaving looks a little less, er, hairy. The above is my trimmed-up, desired-height pouch.

For flap weaving, you will only be weaving on one side of your loom, not all the way around as you have been. Your first step will be to pick a side to weave your flap on. It does not matter which.
For pouch weaving, you will need to eat a delicious popsicle, stat. Preferably something chocolate. Rinse well. Weave your popsicle stick into your weaving, making certain to weave the opposite of the previous string. See above.
Now rotate your stick so that it lifts up every other string. Simply slide your needle into this string tunnel. This is where the kids Freak Out:
"Why haven't we been doing this the whole time?!"
"That is sooooo cool!"
Pull your needle all the way through so there is no excess yarn just like above.
Flip the stick down and use it to pack the weaving down. This means no more fork to pack the weaving. The kids like to refer to it as the "weaving guillotine". Where do they get this stuff?
Slide your guillotine, er stick, to the top of the weaving. Do not remove the stick. If you already did (tried to jump ahead, didn't you? Humph!) just reweave the stick back into your weaving. And don't do that again.
Remember, we are only weaving on one side of the loom. This means our needle will be going back and forth across our loom instead of around the loom. So, for this next step, you will not be turning your loom over but making a u-turn and weaving back. Notice I am not using the stick (I'll explain why in a moment). Be certain to weave in a pattern that is the opposite of the previous string.
Pull yarn all the way through at an arch. This will prevent some terrible thing called Draw In. More on that shortly. Slide your weaving stick down and pack the yarn.
Okay, if you smarties haven't figured it out, here is why you cannot use your stick when you are weaving in the opposite direction: you will unravel your weaving. This is why you can only use the stick when you are weaving in one direction. Sometimes the kids will draw an arrow on the stick so they know when to use the stick.

Ewww, this is bad! This is that dreaded thing called Draw In. This happens when the weaver is pulling too tightly. The year before my fourth graders tackle this weaving, we create a tapestry weaving. That's fancy talk for weaving on one side of the loom. This gives them lots of practice at avoiding and fixing draw in. You can see those weavings here.

The best way to avoid draw in: don't draw in. Stop pulling so hard when you are weaving back and fourth. Pull the yarn at an arch, like I showed earlier. The best way to fix draw in: remove it. That's right, unweave the unwanted. This might leave the end warp strings on the left and right loose making it difficult to avoid draw in again. If you notice that, turn your weaving over, pull up the slack on those strings and tape them taunt. Flip your weaving back to the flap side and resume flap weaving. Fleaving. Wlapping. Call it what you like.
And viola! Finished flap! I tell the kids their flap should be around 2" in height.
A sunglasses holder by a fourth grader.
Feel pretty good? Easy enough, right? Feel free to ask questions if you've got 'em. Next week I will show you how to remove your weaving and add a button. From there, we'll weave a cord which is the kid-crowd favorite. Happy weaving!
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Friday, June 15, 2012

In the Art Room: Weaving, Part 1

Woven pouches created by fourth grade artists. You can see more of their masterpieces at our school-wide art show here and here.

Since I shared with you photos from our art show, I've had several questions about the woven pouches that were featured. Because this project is so easy and fun, I thought I'd share it now that the kids are out of school and getting a little...well...restless. It's the perfect summer what-can-we-do-now-? craft.

In the art room, this project has become a rite of passage for my fourth grade students but can easily be created by kids as young as second grade.  Because this craft involves multiple steps, I've divided it up into four posts: Weaving Part 1: Getting Started; Part 2: Weaving the Flap; Part 3: Removing the Weaving and Finishing; Part 4: Weaving a Cord

Please, fellow art teachers and parents, leave comments below on how you teach this lesson differently. And, of course, questions if you got 'em. Have fun!
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • a loom. I purchase ours through Sax but you can create your own with thick cardboard.
  • Thin cotton string. This was bought for a couple bucks at Walmart but in a pinch, you could use yarn.
  • Big-eyed needles. Again, Walmart would carry these in their craft department.
 Preparing your loom:

These looms that I purchase through Sax have notches in them that are too far apart. When you weave with them like this, it creates a pouch that is a little too loosely woven, in my opinion. So I have the kids cut the part that sticks up (we call them "teeth") in half. It's a struggle because the cardboard is thick and there is some moaning and groaning but they can do it. 

If you are creating your own loom from cardboard, you will want to space your notches about 1/4" apart. I'm not really into exact measurements, so I say just eyeball it. However, make sure that you have the same number of notches on the top as the bottom.
 Warping your loom:

Warping your loom is the process in which you are putting the string on your loom that you will weave over and under. To do this, start at one corner of your loom and tape your warping string into place. I have the kids put the tape at the bottom of the notches. This will prevent the kids from accidentally weaving over or under this small string.
Now begin wrapping the warp string all the way around the loom. For example, from the taped end, go down to the bottom cut notch, wrap string around the back and up to the top notch and then go to the bottom again. You should have strings on both sides of your loom, making certain not to skip any of the pre-cut or notches-you-cut.

While you are warping, keep the string attached to the cone. I do not allow the kids to cut the string from the cone unless I have checked their loom. If they have skipped a notch, this allows them to go back and fix it without wasting any warping string.
 Once you've checked the loom and are certain no notches were skipped, cut the string and tape it down. Again, tape as close to the notches as possible. Use your creepy bending finger (shown above) to scoot those other warp stings over to tape the string underneath.

The process of weaving is that of going over and under the warp strings in an A-B pattern. The string you weave with is called the weft. No long needle like this one? Tape your string to the end of a pencil or skewer stick.
 Pull yarn through until you have left behind a 1" tail. Turn the loom over and weave over and under on the back. Once finished with that side, turn loom over to the original side.
 Now, this time, weave the opposite of the previous string. For example, in the photo above, I wove over and under because the string underneath was under and over.
 You know you are weaving correctly when you see something like this. Looks a little like the netting of a tennis racket.
 But it's too loose. Do you see all of those white warp strings through your weaving? Well, you don't want to. Use a fork to pack down your weaving until those warp strings disappear and all you see are the weft strings.
 Adding a new weft: 

Okay, this one is debatable. Technically, you are not to tie two stings together but overlap the strings to add another. Or something. But at this point, if I throw one more piece of info at the kids, they are likely to have an aneurysm. So, we simply double knot tie a new string to the old, snip the "tails" and keep on weaving.
 Incorrect weaving: 

How do you know if you are weaving incorrectly? Well, you'll see a lot of vertical warp strings, like you see in the yellow portion of my weaving above. This happens when you are not weaving the opposite of the previous string, but weaving the same over and over again. If you see this, you have to take it out and redo.
 Weaving away...

I tell the kids that their weaving must be somewhere in between 4-7" tall. This allows room at the top of the loom for weaving the flap and tying off the weaving. This should keep those kiddos all tied up (heehee, tempting, right?) until next week. I plan to take mine on an upcoming trip to keep me occupied.

Remember, you are weaving on both sides of the loom, front and back. Ya hear?
 So stay tuned!

Next week, we'll learn how to weave that flap. Again, feel free to leave any questions or comments and happy weaving!

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