Shibori on the elementary level

black/purple butterfly

Originally uploaded by SOFennell

It was a good thing I checked my e-mail after breakfast this morning, otherwise, things might have been a little awkward arriving at the school where I was due to have a residency this week.

I’ve been “working” on the idea all year – in my head – playing with ideas and not really satisfied with any of them. I finally went back to the original plan (shown) and it was agreed that it was what we would attempt (for 2nd graders, soon to be 3rd graders) in indigo. This was my original idea using rubber bands or thread, then completing the process with an outline stitch.

Then, I thought, well why not stitch the image?

I quickly made up some quick samples to illustrate a couple of  possible approaches. I wonder now if they were too challenging. I simply don’t know, but I was ready for “mistakes” and “failure” knowing that any results showing any pattern or resist at all would be just fine, we’d work with it – part of the fun and challenge.

I was told the students would practice with needle & thread before my arrival – which they did. However, as it turns out,  they are not allowed to use real needles.  They did wind up practicing with larger plastic needles, but unsuccessfully….so, I’ve come up with another approach, something simpler, still involving shibori and we’ll do it next week. So, in the next few days I’ve got a bit more prepping do to make sure it works. In the end, perhaps it’s a good thing and maybe they’ll have a good experience with their end-of-year project – I hope.


4 Responses to “Shibori on the elementary level”

  1. shiborigirl Says:

    no real needles eh? good thing we didn’t ask ahead when i was doing quilting with the third graders some time back. it actually just didn’t occur to me and was not objected to by the teacher. times have obviously changed. (there were no fatalities)

    best of success. they will enjoy no matter what restrictions are imposed.

    • Susan Says:

      Yep. I was really surprised, and I made a point of buying a fairly “blunt” embroidery needle that I thought would be “safe” with that in mind. Hm!

  2. velma Says:

    i use SHARP tools (and even expensive ones) with emotionally disturbed students. here’s what i do: i teach about the tool, have them handle it, tell some stories about it and play it up big about how special it is. even a needle. then i place those expectations in their hands. over the years only one kid ruined a tool due to his neglect–left a steel file wet so that it rusted. he was mortified. one needle went missing, but was found…by a student.

    • Susan Says:

      I like your approach and I heartily agree that students need to learn to take that kind of responsibility, which really isn’t asking too much.

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