April 19th 2013April/May Calendar Announcements for The Heartworks and Renaissance Schools Read More
Abenaki Basket Maker Judy Dow Visits The Renaissance School
The Renaissance School hosted Judy Dow for a basket making workshop for the children on Monday, April 2. Judy is a nationally known basket weaver and teacher of traditional Abenaki culture and native practices. Her baskets have appeared in several museums across the United States and Canada, including a recent exhibit at The Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. Judy was invited to the school by Art Teacher, Laura Poirier, to share her wonderful basket making craft with the students.
Under Judy’s skillful direction, the Kindergarten through Second Grade students were able to create small gourd basket replicas using baby food jars, glue, and tissue. Each piece will be finished with the addition of yarn, beads and jute as well as hand drawn Native American symbols.
Third Grade students used yarn and yogurt containers to weave beautiful twined baskets, and many children were eager to go home to find even more yarn and plastic containers to start another. Using recyclables is a staple of Judy’s basket making workshops, especially when working with children. Respect for the earth and our environment guides Judy in the careful and thoughtful selection of crafting materials.
The Fourth through Sixth Grade class worked with Judy and Laura to stitch birch bark makucks using the prepared faux bark paper from a previous art class session, and some even attached long sinew-like straps creating the perfect basket for berry picking. Judy left materials and instructions for each of the children in the class to make a small replica of a canoe using their left over “bark” as a follow-up craft activity during an upcoming art class.