Monday, June 20, 2011


We’re not done with you yet, Sheila Hicks! While the Addison exhibition Sheila Hicks: 50 Years (which has since moved on to the ICA in Philadelphia) provided a well of inspiration for many students in Andover, Lawrence, and far beyond, two classes have integrated weaving into their entire school year!

To right: Cardboard loom weavings by Oliver School first graders

Mary Guerrero’s first grade students from the Henry K. Oliver School in Lawrence started out on small cardboard looms, soon moving to collaborative looms made from painting stretcher bars (just like Sheila Hicks’s own mini-loom!). More recently they have been working with artist Kate Delaney on a large counterbalance loom that is reminiscent of those used in the Lawrence textile mills. Consistently thinking outside the box has included experimenting with materials including yarn, pipe-cleaners, lanyard, sticks, and plastic – all while connecting weaving to writing, math, social studies, and local history.

Meanwhile, in Mrs. O and Miss Sarah’s Kindergarten Prep class at The Children’s Place down the street from the Addison, the study of textiles has contributed to numerous other topics including the city of Paris, France (where Sheila Hicks lives!), spider webs, baskets, and spheres (also part of the year-long Great Shape Search curriculum). Recently Kindergarten Prep students designed and worked on hula hoop weavings (which also inspired the same in Mary Guerrero’s class) and made game boards by weaving colored paper.

Spring-time meetings between the Kprep and Oliver teachers and Addison education staff were mutually inspirational and infected the students as well. What if the two classes worked in collaboration? We could make weavings together and exhibit them for parents and the community! So, on June 16th Kprep met Room 203 from the Oliver School and the collaborative creative energy began to flow.

To left: Oliver student gets a tour of Kprep’s weaving projects from her new buddy

Room 203 boarded a big yellow bus, stopping first at The Children’s Place at Phillips Academy. The first graders were paired with a buddy in Kprep who became a tour guide, sharing all of their weavings and other classroom projects.
-Did you see this one? We made that!
-You take one, you put it on, and you weave it.

Above: Fence weaving outside The Children’s Place at Phillips Academy

After our classroom tour, we filed outside where the buddies began to weave the fence around The Children’s Place playground. We experimented with techniques and helped each other with ideas:
-We made a X from here. And I kind of tied it from here. We tied it together. This one I twisted.
-Hey, you could stretch it to make it longer.

At right: Collaborative weaving in the Addison Museum Learning Center

After a picnic lunch in front of the Addison, the fast friends filed into the Addison’s Museum Learning Center to collaboratively weave on cardboard looms. The first graders helped warp the looms and all the students took turns weaving.
- He does the under and I do the over.
- We’re weaving from both ends so we can weave together.
- We doubled it so it won’t fall apart.

Although it was hard for the new friends to say goodbye after such an exciting day of sharing their weaving ideas and techniques, the two classes will meet again at a reception for an exhibit of their individual and collaborative work at Café Verde in Lawrence. Parents and community members are invited to meet and see the students’ work at Café Verde and visit the other sites where the students’ work is exhibited.

Public Reception: June 23, 6pm-7pm - Café Verde 275 Essex Street, Lawrence

Exhibition: July 1 – August 20 - Lawrence Heritage State Park Visitors Center 1 Jackson Street, Lawrence

Beginning June 22 until they last: Oliver School Tree Weavings, corner Haverhill and Lawrence Streets, Lawrence

Currently on view until they last: The Children’s Place Fence Weaving, 10 Abbott Street, Andover, MA

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful combination of creativity, fun and team work. Kudos to the Addison staff for thinking up and executing such a great project!
An Impressed Parent