Thursday, February 15, 2018

Wonderful Weaving with Warm and Cool Colors!

My DragonWing Arts students recently finished some colorful paper weavings.  I posted some pics on Instagram and received some questions and comments, so I thought I'd share the (simple) details here.  It was an easy and successful project!
The students each were given three sheets of 12x18" white paper. They divided two of the papers into stripes lengthwise, and painted one with warm colors, and the other with cool colors.  The paints were fluorescent tempera, and they used one brush for warm and another brush for cool, but did not wash the brush between colors, so that they got some subtle color blends in their stripes.  The third sheet of paper was filled with shapes - the kids chose to use hearts, stars, and 'amorphous blobs' (random organic shapes).  The shapes were painted with warm and/or cool as desired.  Then everything was outlined thickly with black paint. Finally, we used Sax Tempera Gloss Varnish to paint a coat of shiny sealer on the paintings.  It really enhanced the colors!
The students each were given a 19" square of black poster board.  They cut the stripes from one painted paper, cutting right down the middle of the black lines, and glued down the ends of the stripes, side-by-side on the poster board, to create their warp.
 Then they cut the stripes on the second paper, and used them as weft, to weave through the warp.

When the weaving was complete, all the ends were glued down, and the shapes were carefully cut from their third papers.
I had been given a bunch of 3D-O's, and we decided to use them to make the shapes 'float' above the weaving.  Note the 'happy face' arrangement of the stars in the piece below! 
 I know it's hard to see the 3-D element in these photos; it definitely looks more effective firsthand.  But honestly? I'd never used 3D-O's before and the kids and I found it annoyingly difficult to peel the end papers off to reveal the sticky parts.  Next time, I'd prefer to cut little squares of heavy cardboard and have the kids glue and stack them under their shapes to create desired depth, in place of using the 3D-O's. 
The original motivation for this project was a pic I saw on Pinterest, using warm and cool colors to weave in contrasting directions, in layers of weaving.  There were no instructions, and I used the image simply as a starting point to develop my own project for my students.  I thought the floating shapes would be a fun enhancement for the basic weaving, since we weren't working with multiple layers.  I also thought the contrast of using fluorescent paints and black lines made the final images more lively. 
I can imagine lots of ways to further enhance the project - patterns in white on the black backing, perhaps?  Or black and white patterned strips woven through diagonally?   It's fun to imagine all the possibilities!!

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