Post #2 Where I Am, and Where I Want To Go
I plan to explore the topic of textiles and art across the continents. Textiles traveled and evolved along the ancient trades routes of the Silk Road and Spice Trail and along with them a plethora of innovation, coded messages, and generational knowledge.
My content area is art but many other things tie into the textile traditions and I believe they make powerful foundations for a creative curriculum.
My current understanding of the subject is that textiles have deeply affected our world and the passage of messages, industrial processes and art forms, to mention a few. We are at a place in history (although I believe this is changing slowly) where many of us don’t consider much about where our T-Shirt comes from or why certain brands cost so much (or so little) but in my eyes, buying clothing and accessories is a political act, we are part od an influential ecosystem whether we realize it or not.
Up until the last few years my understanding of textiles has been through the lens of art and process, but my focus has shifted to understand how clothing and textiles changed history and how we can make decisions every day to empower the people who make clothes and textiles around the world. What I would like to know and what I hope to learn through further research is how we can use these traditions to engage learners and build a better understand of connectivity through cultures. I would also like to learn more about our textile traditions int he United States. For example, I attended an International Folk Art festival in Sweden with people from 48 different countries. We were invited to wear our national dress or folk costumes on the opening day and I realized I ha uno idea what to wear, nor could I identify a traditional american costume. I would like to understand more about our craft and textile traditions and why they seem to be so much less focused than the places I have visited.
My future goal and dream would be to create a study abroad program where students learn traditional processes of textile making in two to three countries over the course of a semester while studying the way they are connected to the countries politics, history and art. Even if I just end up doing this on a small scale it is a dream I would like to actualize. My M.A focused on the role of Folk Craft within education and planted many of the seeds I hope to see come in to bloom one day!
I have a textile book collection that I am continuing to add to, and also follow a handful of blogs and podcasts that I feel have a unique and thoughtful approach to talking about these issues, a few are listed below.
This series on Textiles is a fabulous addition to any library!