SchoolArts Magazine

November 2016

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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Page 38 of 54

34 NOVEMBER 2016 SchoolArts H I G H S C H O O L I n an attempt to try something novel and fun with my ceramics classes, and to introduce a new skill, I decided to teach a lesson on one of the oldest known crafts: basketry. When I first told my students that they would be working with basketry, most seemed intrigued. When I told them that they would be weaving underwater, they started asking even more questions. I'm certain students envisioned themselves weaving at the bottom of the school pool, wearing swimming goggles and flippers. In any case, my approach worked—I had their interest. Starting with a Clay Base Students made circular slab bases from clay and gave them decorative patterns by pressing in crocheted and lace doilies. To acquire doilies, ask for donations or look for them at yard sales and flea markets. Found objects or commercial rubber stamp sheets with decorative patterns work, too. To make circular bases for their baskets, students rolled ½" slabs of clay and carefully arranged the doi- lies on top. Using a rolling pin with medium pressure, they rolled their designs into the clay. Students then placed a round 4" diameter oak tag template on top of the clay and cut around it using a pin tool. Doilies were removed and damp sponges were used to smooth the edges of the clay. Preparing to Weave Next, holes were cut around the edges of the clay slabs to allow for weaving. Medium drinking straws worked perfectly to cut holes from the clay. An odd or even number of holes will work as long as there is an 1 ⁄ 8 " Underwater Nancy Corrigan Wilbert WEAVING BASKET

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