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Experiencing Old World Art

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Experiencing Old World Art - Page Text Content

BC: 2010

FC: Heartlife 2010 | Experiencing Old World Arts

1: This book is a visual journal of the experiences from the art class for the third year students at Heartlife home school co-op 2009-2010. Ten students became apprentices in a variety of old world trades, crafts and art forms. Each student was required to spend time with an artist from the community and learn the ways of their art form. In exchange they were to do some volunteer work to show appreciation for the knowledge and to experience a taste of the apprentice life. The students were also shown a variety of craft and art in the classroom. Each of the pages is a reflection from students and mentors about the experience. I hope this inspires you to learn more about the old ways. There is peace and appreciation in learning the hard and slow way of doing things by hand yourself. This old lifestyle is a large contrast to our fast paced society. I have gained a rich appreciation for the Artists who have walked before me, and these student Artists who have walked with me during these precious months. Cheryl Null

2: Pine Needle Basket Weaving | We made pine needle baskets in class one day. Everyone grabbed a handful of pine needles outside. Then we took them back to the school. Before turning them into baskets, the needles had to be soaked in warm water and the ends needed to be clipped off. Then we tied them together, and wrapped them around themselves to make a basket. Baskets made with natural materials is one of the oldest crafts, It is older than pottery. The Seminole Indians were the first recorded to use Pine Needles in America. -Bodie

3: Natalie Card Weaving | Tablet Weaving | Tablet weaving (also known as card weaving) is a form of weaving in which you use tablets (cards) to create the shed that the weft is passed through. You can weave geometric patterns as well as words and phrases. Tablet weaving is popular with hobbyist weavers because the materials and tools are relatively cheap and easy-to-obtain. -Natalie

4: Dipped Wax Candles | The Romans are known to be the first people to use wicking for candles. They used animal fat. During the Renaissance in Europe they started using bee's wax which smells much better. Our candles are made with paraffin. It is fun to watch the layers build up as you repeatedly dip the string into the hot wax,

5: Quilling | Quilling was done by nuns in monasteries in the 1500's. They used the gold leafed scrap edges left over from making Bibles. Victorian women in the 18th and 19th century did this as a past time. It is a very tedious and time consuming craft. The supplies are inexpensive though and some amazing things can be made. Most of us did not really do much of this craft.

6: Spinning | Spinning is a way of making wool and other fur into yarn. The process starts by taking a small amount of the raw material and fluffing it out. This helps to remove knots and things that would cause bumps in the yarn. You then roll the fluffed material up into what is called a rolog. The next part is called carding. Two special brushes are used for this process. Place the rolog on Brush 1. Gently but firmly, Brush 2 is taken across Brush 1, taking the rolog off of Brush 1 and onto Brush 2. This process is repeated until the material is fluffy and smooth enough to spin. | The process of actually putting the material onto the spinning wheel is somewhat complicated, so the woman teaching us did that. After the material is attached, you begin pedaling with your foot, while holding onto the material with both hands. It’s essential to keep a steady rhythm with your foot, while also keeping a consistent tension on the yarn with your hands. Spinning requires a lot of consistency and focus. After you get the hang of it, it’s fun! -Makenzie

7: Loom Weaving | Each student had to visit a local weaving studio filled with looms where they had set up a specific loom just for us with the warp all set up. They showed us how use the shuttle to go through the weft. A pattern is created by pressing specific foot pedals. It took two to four hours to complete a dishtowel. I have a great appreciation for the work it took to make clothing this way.

8: Chain Maile | The earliest finds of chain maile is from the 4th century BC. Celtic chieftain's burial located in Cimesti, Romania. The use of maile was prominent in the Dark Ages, High Middle Ages, and the Renaissance. It was worn to protect the soldiers from knife wounds in battle. Its really difficult because not only do you have to create the small loops, but you also need to attach them all together. Its difficult and confusing but once you get some done you feel very accomplished. -Sam

9: Black Smith | Blacksmithing is used nowadays to make stairs, tables, rail road tracks, and many other things. Blacksmithing or sometimes known as Iron working is a very long and hard line of work. Since there are 9 different steps in Iron working. These steps are forging,drawing, shrinking, bending, upsetting, punching, combing, welding, and finishing. Each step is unique and each one has to be done before you can sell the product you have created. -Jr

10: Leather Work | Leather can be used for making book covers, jewelry, horse saddles (or any type of saddle you can think of), and the list goes on and on. You can pretty much make anything with leather. Leather was used in 1200 B.C., probably even before that. Then, it was used as leather garments and shoes. I really enjoy leather making. You feel so accomplished after you've done just a part of it. Right away, you can see the effects of your work. It's awesome. -Savannah

11: Soap Making | We learned how soap has been made since ancient times. We heard how goats milk is good for your skin. We had to wear protective gloves as we measured, mixed, cooked, and poured the oils, lye, and goats milk. We worked outside because the fumes from the Lye can burn your eyes. The soaps take months to cure. They smell sweet like the milk and coconut oils that we used.

12: Wood Working | Wood, along with stone was one of the first materials used to carve and build things out of. It was used to make tools, cooking bowls, wagons, games, floors, doors, house trim, picture frames, church decoration and so much more. They did not use sand paper instead they used a plane repeatedly until the objects were smooth. They made glue from animal bones or specially dried cheese. I am in the process of building a chess set, with the help of Caleb who has a wood shop in his home. I think wood working is neat because I can build what I want. -Ethan

13: Fresco Painting | There are several different types of paints that are used for Fresco, an apprentice would make the paints by hand. They paint on plaster before it is actually dry, this way the paint lasts longer. Michelangelo used fresco to paint the Sistine chapel. When our class used Fresco, we smashed chalk and added it to water to make paint, it was hard to get colors that wouldn't fade away, it was fun, I would love to see professionals use Fresco. -Skyler

14: Silver Jewelry - This Jewelry is made with precious metal clay, that you uniquely design and put in a kiln. Once its fired you take it out and polish it. That brings out the silver particles in it, and you are left with a beautiful piece of silver jewelry. Elise

15: Black Smith | On a sunny fall day we walked a few blocks to a The Portland Waldorf School where we visited their Black Smith shop. We watched the students heat and pound the metal. They were making knives, hammers, and fireplace tools. We each were allowed to try the hammering. It was loud but fascinating.

16: This is an old way of making a simple knotted cord. It dates back to the 9th century in Europe. Vikings used this method of weaving over dried bone. The cord was used for clothing or small ties. We each tried this in class. It was hard to remember to turn the tool over each time. It gets easily knotted if you don't remember the simple pattern. | Lucet Cord

17: Calligraphy | The word calligraphy has been used since the Roman alphabet was created, but the art form has been done since biblical times. Calligraphy is mostly done with pens, although in China it is done with brushes. I like using calligraphy pens, my favorite part is dipping them in ink, it feels very real. It takes lots of time to get good at calligraphy, I still have a lot to learn. -Skyler

18: Europeans discovered oil painting in the 17th century, although places such as Afghanistan are said to have been using oil paints long before Europe. The first European oil paints were made from raw eggs, crushed bugs, flowers, and minerals. We tried doing this in class with raw eggs and ink. It was very messy, but it worked to paint with! Oil painting is done in several layers. The first few layers are dark, painting general shapes, but no detail. This layer should cover the whole canvas, and will add a lot of depth to the painting later on. The next layers are about adding definition and color, using lighter colors as you progress. The final layers are the lightest, adding eye popping features. All layers work together to create a beautifully colored painting. In class, we each did a small oil painting of fruit. Some of us liked it better than others, but we are all glad to have been exposed to it!-Claire | Oil Painting

19: Glass Blowing | Glass blowing is the art of shaping a mass of glass that has been softened by heat by blowing air into it through a tube. Glass blowing involves three furnaces. I really enjoyed my experience glass blowing, because I loved being able to start out with just a liquid lump of glass and being able to complete many step to make it a beautiful piece. It was fun being able to create many objects and apply color to them. I would love another opportunity in the future to learn more about this unique art. Claire

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  • By: Cheryl N.
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  • Skyler Null
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  • Title: Experiencing Old World Art
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  • Published: about 8 years ago