Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Home School Co-op -- Fiber Artists everyone!

Just by chance I told someone that I loved working with kids and I'd be happy to come work with their kids for a few hours.  This blossomed into an entire semester of teaching 12 children about the Fiber Arts.  They are my fiber artists, every one!  Once a week about 80 home school kids get to take classes organized by a home school co-op.  It is mixed age groups and 12 of those kids come to me.  They are learning to spin.  They started with thigh spinning, moved to hook spinning.  They made their own spindles and next week they will start using them.  We had a camelid day and last week on Valentine's Day we had a fiberlicious Day!   3 stations of activity and they were just enthralled.  We did dry felting (needlefelting), wet felting (felting a bar of soap), and a paper weaving activity.  I will  show some photos here of  young happy fiber geeks.  More Fiber Better!!!!

In this two dimensional needle felting activity the budding fiber artists used the cookie cutter shape of their choice and any of a multitude of colors to fill the cookie cutter prior to felting it.

                                    I was really lucky because I was missing some supplies (imagine my stash being low ... on ), but I called on Mielke Farms in WI and they got wool and needles to me right away.  Mielke Farms is a great and reliable resource for needle felting supplies and lots of other things as well.

Here some sudsy felting is going on !
More felting and some great color choices.  
I didn't get a photo of all the finished felted soaps (I wanted too, but we were stressed for time), however I will note that the kids had great senses of color, proportion, and composition with both the soapy wet felting and with the dry needlefelting.

This next photo is of their first weaving activity.  It was a simple paper woven heart basket (being Valentine's day), but the idea was two fold.  First, provide a weaving activity, and second utilize two colors and see how they interact in a woven item.  Eventually, they will spin yarn, dye it, and weave with it.  But that is a few classes down the road!  

Right now... I'm looking for a field trip to an alpaca farm, (gotta find one) and for someone with an angora bunny to come visit.  Working with these kids, really with any kids and teaching in general is energizing!  It makes me happy.

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