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MFA for Educators

Engage your students with the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to illustrate themes and concepts in any discipline.

Artful Adventures Gallery Training: Textiles

Artful Adventures Gallery Training: Textiles

Grades 6-8

-All art tells a story, specifically textile arts. Can you name some textile arts? Fashion/clothing, tapestries, quilts, rugs

Other Textile Exhibits to view: American Folk Gallery Quilts, Review Quilt and Color Exhibition, Flat Weaves (woven rugs and geometric prints) - Raoul Tschebull

Walking through the Art of Europe Gallery, there are several tapestries hanging in between sections of paintings. Each tapestry has different meaning and symbolism and tells a story. They look like paintings although they are not. Discuss hand stitched and manufactured as well as material. Did one person work on or several people, together at the same time? Also, the wall is not covered in wall paper; it's covered in fabric, monotone color, with ornate patterns and imagery.

Pacific Gallery, showing Aboriginal Art displaying two ceremonial cloths. Can talk about the dying process and how the traditional weave is like making a scarf. Show image and talk about large loom with foot pedal.

On tour, bag to bring: texture board; images of a loom; hand weaving materials such as, cardboard, burlap, embroidery hoop, embroidery cloth, embroidery floss, thread, plastic sewing needle, metal sewing needle, ribbon, examples of project and like

Textile Artforms: Weaving and Embroidery: Similarities and Differences

In Galleries, have artists bring drawing boards/ newsprint to sketch inspiration from the tour. They can take notes, sketch patterns, imagery such as flower and like.

The projects should be small to start, while learning/practice as well as time frame with visit. (3x3 or 4x4)

Teacher gives mini demonstration.

With the embroidery project, artists can draw their pattern or image in marker (sharpie) and colored markers. Then they are to use the different colored embroidery floss to match their color coded image. Embroidery is weaving the thread over and under the fabric in the loop. (There are different size loops; plastic or wood loops) as well as different techniques.

With the burlap project, artists can use plastic sewing needles or metal ones to weave embroidery floss, thread or ribbon through the burlap squares. Artists can make the squares larger by pulling individual threads out as needed. The sides can be embellished with hanging ribbon, sequins, beading or like.

With the cardboard project, artists can use their hands to weave the different yarns. Choosing the yarns can be fun with not only color but all the textures and specialty yarns available. You would snip the ends and tie off so the project doesn't fall apart. You can frame the artwork or attach to a backing paper.

In the Art of Asia Gallery/Contemporary Art of Japan, there is a small screen. There are strips of colored fabric that are strategically placed to design a unique fan-like composition. Student artists can do a similar project in the classroom using colored pieces of fabric and glue to create a fabric collage if sewing and weaving materials are unavailable. (Piecing togther) This can be one of several projects in a series of projects under this theme/unit. This project can be adapted for materials available, budget to purchase or in-kind donations.

Teachers can do a follow up community arts project in the classroom. Student artists and their teacher can work on a loom, weaving on and off throughout the year, with the deadline to complete the project by the end of the school year. The class can decide on a theme and purpose for creating this piece. The artists can hang the tapestry to be displayed in an area of the school that all the students can see/enjoy.

Artists can each create an artwork using an embroidery hoop. Discuss theme/imagery. After the artwork is complete, the artists trim the edges. Take out the fabric. Can spray paint hoop or leave natural. Place artwork back inside. Hang together as a cohesive collage/mural.