So this summer, I was lucky enough to receive a $300 grant from the Wisconsin Art Education Association/Handweavers Guild for a fibers project. I chose to do a snow-fence weaving with some fabric. I was intrigued by Janet Echelman's work. She is an American artist who was rejected from seven different art schools but never gave up. She painted for ten years before winning a grant to go to India to make art. While there, she made a large installation out of the local fisherman's nets. She then began to create large and larger works of art. They now are oftentimes seen in large, crowded areas. They are currently trying to get the finds to have one placed in Times Square right now, actually. The sculptures are really interesting because they are made out of a light netting that catches the breeze. So when the wind blows, it's almost as if you can see the wind as it ripples through the netting.
For the students, I bought blue, purple, and green fabrics. We talked about how these colors were called "cool" colors and that they had a calming effect on people's moods. Yes, I may be trying to do a little subliminal mood altering in m classroom! The kids worked on weaving into the snow fencing for three or four class periods. I asked them to start out weaving one direction and after they had finished, they could weave the other direction. Each class had 6 squares of fence that were 4x4 feet.
After they finished, I have begun to install them in the classroom. I have been hanging them from the ceiling and twisting and turning them so that they create interesting forms, like Ms. Echelman's work.
Harmony and Consolidated Elementary Art Teacher in Milton, WI. UW-Eau Claire graduate. WAEA Membership Chair.