TEACHING BASKET WEAVING



I teach mostly 2D drawing and painting classes at our high school.  I also teach Advanced Placement Studio Art classes to my top juniors and seniors which is a college level/honors 2D class .  My first hour is a craft class that is mostly peopled by seniors.  I love starting my day with my senior crafters.

When I started teaching 17 years ago after years of having my own art studio and working full time in social work, I had no idea what to do with a high school level craft class.  The teacher before had taught since I had graduated and for 30 years she had her students painting prepoured ceramic statues and doing cross stitch sewing.  I knew I wanted to go in a different direction.

Now I teach a variety of inexpensive crafts that focus on using recyclables and everyday materials.  We don't live near a major craft store and most of my students are on free and reduced lunches with no money to purchase supplies. As most folks know - crafting can be horribly expensive if you aren't careful.  

This week I have been preparing to start a coil basket making unit with my crafters.  I actually haven't done this unit for nearly 10 years so I had some brushing up to do.  I am excited to start the unit with my students.  We are using cheap clothesline rope for our basket core and then I am giving them a choice to weave with traditional raffia, yarn, strips of fabric or strips of plastic trash/store bags.

As an art teacher, one of the greatest challenges is managing a classroom filled with different supplies for different mediums.  It is also a challenge to prepare new units with lots of examples of project steps.  I am fortunate to have a giant Smart board/projector and a document reader which lets me demonstrate a tiny process and have it projected across a whole wall.  All these teaching techniques requires lots of hour outside of class to prepare. 

I am having a lot of fun weaving my examples.  I always get so inspired when I start a new unit.  I want to drop everything and just play away the day.  

Comments

Eileen Barton said…
How funny! I was looking for new craft to do and just started doing coiled baskets with yarn though I am using macrame cord until I can find clotheslines. Love your artwork!

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