Students learn all about knots and weaving on a loom in 5 sessions as they build and assemble their own backstrap loom! Once constructed, each student will weave a long sample using colorful yarns. (The small portable looms are easy to store and set up at any location!) Students learn how to safely remove their weaving from the loom and then are challenged to apply their experience directly to the operation of a traditional treadle loom. Ms. French uses a multi-disciplinary, hands-on and project-based approach to explore traditional fiber crafts. During the residency, the artist will explain and demonstrate the process of spinning yarn and weaving patterned cloth on a treadle loom. The residency is well suited to grades 3 to 5 but adaptable to any ability or specialized setting. Short residencies (1-2 day) feature weaving and spinning demonstrations. During the planning phase, each residency can be modified to include your event, theme, or cultural context, and/or to create collaborative and legacy projects. Weave fiber knowledge and technology developed since the beginning of human history into your art, science, math or social studies curriculum!
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 environmental management and design and worked locally as an environmental consultant for USEPA and as an open space planner.
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. Truly an outsider artist, Ms. French delights in sharing her process, inspiring others to discover ways to connect and incorporate any material into new forms. Her multi-disciplinary, hands-on and project-based approach helps students to explore traditional fiber crafts. She challenges students of all ages to look closely, ask questions, and incorporate research (and even math) into their creative process!