(si-da-ne-la is Cherokee for family)
Presented by Sandy Babb
Session Two: July 16 - August 26
The concept of this class project is that of tribe/clan/family, that of roots, connection, and love. The elements used in this class, earthy stone, strong wood, fragile glass, and natural fibers that tightly bind represents the groundedness of family. Families are woven together in a colorful array of people and personalities (and sometimes a few loose treads) that results in a tapestry of beauty.
Beauty is an important part of the Native American culture, not just a matter of being surrounded by beauty, but being involved in the process of beauty, such as that of weaving. Weaving was and is not just a way of making cloth, textiles, baskets, or jewelry for pretty yet practical use or for adornment, it is an artistic expression rooted and grounded in love for the family. Cloth and textiles were woven to provide protection, covering, and comfort for the body. Baskets served a practical use for gathering, containing, and serving the family as extra hands. Jewelry symbolized ceremony and community.
A weaver working at the loom begins to tell a story that is written in color, feature, texture, design, and embellishment using beads and fibers. As the weaver sits at the loom to start a weaving a tale begins to unfold, it changes with each warp and weft, it moves and flows, the design as a whole becomes a form of communication that is so vital in family relationships. The chosen thread and bead language carry the meaning embedded in specific historical culture and familial context. Tribes/clans were often identified with specific color combinations or symbols that held special significance to that family unit much like today where we often identify with a birthstone of a specific gemstone type that holds a certain meaning for the month we were born in.
In this class we will be embracing these same concepts by weaving natural stone, wood, and glass beads and fibers into a timeless family piece inspired by the richness of the past. We will be making our own loom, learning how to design our bead and fiber story, basic bead and fiber weaving, as well as making meaningful small charms to make a stunning bracelet.