Weaving Words & Fibers with Arts4Kids
The Arts Council of Greater Kingsport offers a collaborative storytelling and weaving workshop.
It is only appropriate that during October, the month of the National Storytelling Festival and National Weaving, Spinning & Dyeing Month, that the Arts Council of Greater Kingsport offers a collaborative storytelling and weaving workshop. You may ask, what do storytelling and weaving have in common? Children in the greater Kingsport area will have an opportunity to experience first-hand the answer to this question through the Arts4Kids October program at historic Exchange Place on Saturday, Oct. 18 at 10 a.m.. Arts4Kids members, or other interested participants, should call 423-392-8420 to pre-register for this workshop; space is limited. Similar workshops will also be offered in the Riverview Community at Central Baptist Church and in collaboration with Kingsport Housing and Redevelopment Authority locations as part of the Arts Council’s Arts4Kids outreach offerings.
Saundra Kelley, storyteller, will begin the workshop by demonstrating the art of weaving a story through singing a ballad and telling the story, thus teaching the children about story through the use of weaving terms. The children will learn that the creation and composition of a story, is very much like the process that a weaver goes through. “When a story idea comes to them, they must first shear it away from its environs, card the burrs and briars out of it and clean it; then it must be spun into a yarn and woven into a story that can be told over and over again. Storytelling is, after all, a part of our heritage, as is weaving,” commented Ms. Kelley.
Following the storytelling component, the Overmountain Weavers Guild will be working with the children on a variety of looms introducing young artists to the wonderful world of fibers and weaving. Each student will have an opportunity to weave on a four shaft floor loom, but then have a choice of a smaller weaving project which they can begin and take with them. These will include backstrap loom, potholder loom, inkle loom or friendship bracelets. Also, included in this time frame will be a chance to see wool spinning being demonstrated, plus an opportunity to use a drop spindle and spin a piece of wool for yourself to give each student an appreciation of the work that goes into the production of fabric for clothing.
Saundra Kelley tells traditional folktales and personal narrative that reflects both her family’s southern tradition and her own relationship to the earth. She is noted for her passion for the environment and her place-based stories. In addition, she collects regional stories and oral histories from all over the southeast. She contributed Worm Grunter’s Wisdom to the environmental anthology, Between Two Rivers; she is a columnist for the Wakulla Area Times writing as the Tennessee Rambler, and is authoring her first book, Riding the Clouds, a collection of journey stories of fifteen Appalachian Storytellers. Kelley is a performing member of the Jonesborough Storytelling Guild; The National Storytelling Network; the Florida Storytelling Association and the Tennessee Writer’s Alliance.
The Overmountain Weavers Guild was established in 1972 to teach, stimulate, and furnish information to promote the growth and development of handweaving, spinning, dyeing, felting, basketry and other related fiber arts. Members use their knowledge to help others to learn and/or improve their skills. The Guild meets at Exchange Place on the third Wednesday of every month at 10:00 a.m.. The guild maintains a library of books, videos, looms, and equipment that members may check out for their personal use. They also have “Boot Camp” on the first Saturday of each month from 10:00 a.m.-12:00 that gives members opportunities to work together on problems they may be having. It is an informal venue and gives members a chance to discuss subjects relating to fiber arts and mutual interests.
Arts4Kids, is an introductory arts club for children ages 6-12 presented by the Arts Council of Greater Kingsport. Arts4Kids club registration is $20 for the school-year program, or $5/individual workshop. The program is designed to introduce children to a variety of arts and encourage their life-long pursuit of creative endeavors. For more information or to join, visit the Arts4Kids section of our website at www.kingsportARTS.org.
The Arts4Kids program is funded under agreement with the State of Tennessee, the Tennessee Arts Commission and National Endowment for the Arts, as well as, through generous support from the Kingsport Community Foundation (a fund of the East Tennessee Foundation), Eastman Chemical Co., the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Kingsport, and other local sponsors.
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