Students learn how to weave on a treadle loom or simple backstrap loom in hands-on instructional sessions designed specifically for your specialized classroom(s)! The artist will modify equipment, and provide suitable materials, training, learning aids and cooperative strategies to help each student weave their own piece of cloth or part of a class project. The weaving skills are well suited to grades 3 to 5 but adaptable to any ability or specialized setting. The artist may also demonstrate spinning yarn and weaving patterned cloth on a traditional treadle loom, if appropriate. During the planning phase, the artist will work with you and your support staff to craft a residency around your goals, theme, curriculum and/or group project ideas. Planning activities include a classroom tour and a meeting with staff to finalize plans, and share teaching strategies and specialized materials that would make a successful and memorable weaving experience for your students.
Jan French is a multi-fiber artist teaching weaving and directing woven collaborations in Triangle classrooms, festivals, museums, and historical sites since 2007. She has worked as a Teaching Artist in Wake, Orange and Durham counties since 2009. Ms. French is a member of the Triangle Weavers guild, and an educational volunteer for the NC Museum of History, the NC Museum of Natural Sciences, the Nasher Museum, and Triangle Land Conservancy. She earned graduate degrees locally in both environmental management and design, and has worked as an environmental consultant for USEPA, an open space planner, and a substitute teacher.
An ecologist from the beginning, Ms. French delights in connecting weaving to all things and connecting all things that can be woven! Her artwork is inspired by forms and processes found in nature, as well as art, architecture and cultural textiles from around the world. In 2017 she received training for working with students with disabilities and worked with 7 classes of PreK-5 at 2 Wake County schools. Both training and residencies were part of the Wake Arts Inclusion Project managed by Arts Access. Ms. French can modify her multidisciplinary and patient hands-on approach to help students explore traditional fiber crafts.