Sunday, August 5, 2007

Wrapped yarn

By far the most popular activity in my Belize art class was making God's Eyes. The first class I tried to teach had around 35 or so kids, and it seemed disastrous. The only way they seemed to understand what to do is if I went around to each, individually, and showed them on their own two sticks. I had perhaps made it to two thirds of the kids by the time the class was over.

But then I think they must have begun teaching each other, because it seemed that the next day, everyone not only knew how to do it, but were completely into it.

I had God's Eyes of all sizes and colors, all I seemed to hear was "Miss, more yarn, Miss" "I want red, Miss" "Miss I need more yarn".

This fellow took it all very seriously - he would not let me take his photograph until the large piece was finished.

To make a God's Eye:
  • two sticks (we used wooden skewer sticks with the points chopped off, and later we made mini versions on toothpicks)
  • yarn of various colors

Cross the sticks and tie together in the middle with one end of a longish piece of yarn.

Begin by wrapping the yarn entirely around one stick - over, under, and back over.

Move to the next point, in the direction the yarn is going, and wrap the yarn over, under, and back over.

I told the kids to repeat "over two, under one" as they worked. It also works well to rotate the cross as you go, so the point being wrapped is always pointing the same direction. Then the mantra is "over two, under one, turn, over two, under one, turn..."

To join colors, just tie the new yarn to the end of the old and keep going.

To finish, I just wrapped the yarn around the last stick a couple times and tied it off.

The second day we made these, I had the students string them together into hanging mobiles. They turned out really pretty, although it was difficult to get the kids to make crosses for the mobile structure, since they just wanted to use all the sticks to make more God's eyes.

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At January 14, 2009 at 7:47 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

My year 10 students make these on lolly sticks and we change the direction or turn over to add a 3D effect on their work as well as change the colour.

At January 14, 2009 at 9:05 AM , Blogger Amanda May said...

That sounds really neat, I would love to see how it works!


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