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Students will discuss similarities among a selection of baskets.
Students will create a 3 dimensional artwork using weaving techniques.
Students will design and describe pattern through the use of color in the artwork.
Yarn Assortment, plastic solo cups (16 oz. - .47 liter) one per student to cut into stakes (spokes) and one to remain uncut to use as a frame (to mold basket) Scissors, Permanent Markers, optional: Bead Assortment for embellishing baskets.
PERCEPTUAL - Students will identify art elements: texture, color, shape, and art principle balance.
HISTORICAL - Students will compare artwork from the past and present for purposes of documenting traditions.
EXPRESSION - Students will use design skills and use a variety of art materials appropriately.
EVALUATION - Students will describe intent and form conclusions about personal artworks.
Students will choose colors and lay out a pattern, then using the cup as the stakes (spokes) and the yarn as the weavers, students will perform continuous weave to create a basket. Beads may be threaded onto the yarn for embellishment.
This lesson could take on many cultural connections. Many Native American cultures made baskets. Select one that made the spoke like baskets - with a traditional weave patterns. Perhaps there is a basket weaver in your area who makes traditional baskets who could come in and demonstrate their craft. Resources Below | Hopi Wicker Plaques
Susan's students looked at contemporary baskets so the focus was just to look at baskets as art, instead of simply utilitarian. She collected a variety of baskets to show her students. Show images (slides or PowerPoint) and actual baskets from different cultures and time periods.
During one class day, she had 4 teams of students examine different baskets and complete an investigation worksheet about them. She gathered a selection of baskets of different materials giving the students an opportunity to really examine how they were made. Seeing the actual baskets was more meaningful than just looking at pictures. Check you local museum as a possible source for a variety of baskets. They sometimes have items available to loan to teachers.
Present vocabulary and demonstrate techniques.
Teacher prep: precut yarn and cups if desired - cups should be cut with an odd number of spokes.
Connect with experience: Show students the example. Brainstorm uses for it. Ask students if they think it is a work of art. Discuss briefly the elements of art the weaver used.
Divide students in teams to view examples/ images of baskets from the past and present. Students answer question about baskets and then teams report to the class.
Define & Teach Concepts: Define stake (spoke) weaver and continuous weave, basket frame. Show students the materials and explain care of them and how they are expected to put things away. Demonstrate weaving. Demonstrate starting, coming to the end of a weaver, then starting a new weaver.
Try it, extend it apply it: Students select weavers and organize a plan for creating a color pattern. They begin weaving. Students may help each other.
Create & Integrate: Students complete baskets. They will explain the pattern they are creating. They may add bead embellishment if desired. Student evaluate their results and compare this type of basket with the earlier examples.
EVALUATION CRITERIA & ASSESSMENT
Rubric on weaving skill and color plan
Participation in discussion noted in class log. Artwork graded according to student generated criteria.
Team members' names:
1. What materials were used to make the basket?
2. How could you use the basket?
3. Was the basket made by an artist? Why or why not?
4. How old is the basket?
5. Where do you think the basket was made?
The Language of Native American Baskets: From the weavers view - Shows different styles of baskets, techniques and more. (Archive)
American Art Company - Contemporary baskets
BasketMakers - Information Site about Basketry
Hopi Basket Weaving: Artistry in Natural Fibers - Generations of Hopi weavers have passed down knowledge of techniques and materials from the plant world around them, from mother to daughter, granddaughter, or niece. This book is filled with photographs and detailed descriptions of their beautiful baskets.
Hopi Wicker Plaques & Baskets - This survey details the beautiful styles and designs of woven plaques and baskets made by Hopi women artists of Third Mesa in Arizona. It presents 67 different design categories through over 475 color photographs.
Hopi Wicker Plaques:
Rhoda Saho - Hopi - Wicker-woven basketry - 12 ½" diameter
Item # C2163.57 / $450 Third Mesa wicker plaques or yungyapy as they are called at Hopi are the most common form of basketry at Third Mesa. Although a large number are made for sale, even a larger number never leave the reservation. They are used in payment for the Hopi bride's wedding robes, used as gifts to repay favors or for work performed, or as prizes in footraces. They are also used as part of the dance paraphernalia in women's dances and as gifts to newborn babies.
The warp material in wicker baskets is usually a single stem of a rigid nature. The weft is a material, usually stems from rabbit brush, which is more flexible. The basket is started in a cross-warp fashion and the weft is woven around the warps in a circular pattern. Generally the weft material is dyed with vegetable dyes to produce a large pallet of colors for designs.
This Third Mesa plaque woven by Rhoda Saho features an embroidered robe design (Tuii'yungyapu).
More on the Hopi - wicker style I shared - Third Mesa Style
Contemporary Hopi Arts and Crafts - A PDF about three basic techniques; plaiting, wicker, and coiling, as employed by Hopi basket weavers.
Second Mesa Style:
Hopi Miniature Baskets - PDF - Coiled baskets became the specialty of Second Mesa.
Information about Hopi Culture:
This site gives you basket images to compare:
(Does have a picture of Apache baskets)
(Copied) "Native Americans in the Southwest have had a long tradition as basket weavers. Archaeologists date this craft to several centuries before the time of Christ. One of the region's important prehistoric cultures is called 'Basketmaker.' In historic times, virtually all of the Southwestern tribes made baskets including the Apache.
Three basic techniques were used: coiling, wicker, and plaiting. Designs included complex geometric patterns and on occasion life forms of humans, birds, plants, and animals.
While the Pueblo people relied on pottery for containers and vessels, the more mobile Apache utilized baskets and animal skins for household utensils and as carrying devices.
The Apache created basketry bowls, burden baskets, canteens and jars (almost always covered with piñon pitch), trays, and other forms. They were assembled using native material such as sumac, yucca, willow, and devil's claw (martynia).
"Mission" is the cultural description frequently used for baskets from the Southern California region. Tribes of the region, which include Diegueno, Luiseno, Serrano, and Cahuilla, made similar styles of coiled baskets. Characteristic baskets from this region are globes and bowls, both shallow and deep, made of juncus rush and epicanipes grass. Like Apache basketry, geometric designs are favored, but some baskets have representational designs of animal figures, flowers, and plants."
These could be made as plaques by cutting plate into spokes/stakes (odd number - leaving a small space between) or made into baskets by cutting out small wedges (see diagram) in between each stake. It is a good idea to have the plate cut ahead of time. For plaques - a clay or foil tooled medallion could go in the center. Bottom of baskets could be covered with coiled yarn glued in place - or a simple yarn painting. For a finished rim, punch some holes around the outside edge. Thread big eye needle and do some over hand/whip stitching all around the rim with yarn or ribbon. Wrap around several rows of the weaving.