Sunday, January 25, 2009

Teaching Children Fiber Arts

Well the new year is underway and with it has come some exciting new challenges!

My most exciting new venture is taking on teaching children Fiber Arts at Kaleidoscope Arts Foundation in Bermuda. The interest in fiber is growing very nicely here thanks to our efforts with the second annual Bermuda Fibre Festival that I organized which occurred in December. Our class enrolment was up by 10% with more than 300 spaces filled and more than two thirds attended by children from ages toddler through teens. This magnitude of interest encouraged the KAF director to add Fiber Art to her after school program for the winter term with me as teacher, and I am having a great time!

I teach a 5 & 6 year old class and a 7&8 year old class and both are going well. The children have had three classes so far and have performed their tasks very well. The curriculum began with felting since that is every one's favorite fiber art. It is easy to learn so students can have some immediate success; an important factor in our world of instant gratification. We have completed bracelets made from braided yarn which have been strung with felt beads as well as a treasure pouch which they created from flat felt work. I am sorry to say that I have left my camera at home and did not get photos of their work but will ask them to bring their finished pieces in for documentation before the end of the term.

We will now move on to hand spinning. YIKES! I have some ideas on how to help the children be successful with it and will let you know how that turns out. I fully expect that the yarn they produce using their fingers will be strong enough for them to dye them using Kool-Aid dyes and ultimately incorporating them into a woven project yet to come.

I find that I really am enjoying sharing fiber arts with them and that I am an effective teacher Their successful projects and enjoyment in creating have been boosters for my feeling of success, gratification and enjoyment!

I will add a photo of their work soon!

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