Thursday, February 13, 2014

Paper Weaving: Beyond the Checkerboard Part 1

 Paper is a great medium to use when introducing weaving. It's a good way to practice over, under, over, under and the in-process projects don't take up much space. The product, however, can sometimes end up a little plain. Paper weaving had never been a big hit with my students before we started using choice based art and showing some different options for pushing the projects beyond the checkerboard. The artwork in this post was created by 2nd and 3rd grade students.
I will be writing a few posts about ways my students have enjoyed expanding their paper weaving projects. The method in this post is cutting skinnier strips of paper which are stacked when weaving the weft. This is so simple and so fun! I precut 1 inch thick strips that students use for the weft. If the students want to stack, they simply take a regular strip and cut it down the middle to yield two skinnier strips. The edges aren't perfectly straight but we don't mind- I actually love the look of it not being perfect. I figure if something is going to be handmade, it might as well look handmade!
Some students want the strips to be even skinnier to make more patterns so they just cut them smaller.
 A few students have even tried creating new patterns. Instead of just using an AB pattern, they might try ABB, like the student below. Over, under, under, over, under, under.

I think that having really nice construction paper, in addition to the new techniques, has helped make paper weaving so popular. I only order Pacon Tru-Ray construction paper and lately my favorite "packs" to order are warm colors, cool colors, and brights. This gives you a lot more variety than traditional assortments.

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