Where I am and Where I Want to Go

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.



Create your own Mudcloth

Wandering Silk Journal 

Collectivitea guest post: Seek What Feeds You

Conscious Chatter

This series on Textiles is a fabulous addition to any library!

Voices on Cloth 






8 thoughts on “Where I am and Where I Want to Go

  1. Kelly,
    Building cultrues in a classroom is very important. My philosophy is that while students in suburban areas can benefit from learning about Hispanic, African and Asian cultures, I think stydents in urban, African American-dominated areas can really benefit from studying other cultures. This is because the background has faced such oppression that people-especially young people- may think there is nothing other cultres can offer them. However, the more we teach our students about the world, the more open-minded they become and will continue to be as adults.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Professor!

      I feel so much can be studied and understood through them, my husband remind see that most people I talk to and teach aren’t living and breathing them so my challenge to myself is remembering other perspective and making them relatable and engaging to my students!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. First< I absolutely love that map of India using the different textile patterns and materials o denote different regions. That would be such a great resource when talking about regional cultural differences in India and illustrating how a nation can be filled with very distinct cultures.
    Textile can also be used/created as a document and can be considered primary sources in the study of history, which would really enhance a discussion on what the ultimate purpose is and if they can fulfill more than one, and what their actual cultural usage means.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Kelly

    Learning about cultures is key to understanding our students cultures. I commend you for not only learning through books and study but by actually immersing yourself in these cultures. You will be prepared to not only teach them, but connect to them on a level above just studying. Those maps are amazing!!! I am a lover of interesting maps especially ones that tell stories (like propaganda maps).

    I have studied Hindu culture, Buddhism, Catholicism, Judaism, and Islam in order to connect better to my diverse students so I completely understand what you are accomplishing and the difficulty of doing so. I commend you on your endeavors and hope that the travels you have been on help you to become a better teacher and your students better pupils. We must open the eyes of our students to a world that they may never experience outside of our classrooms.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Paul! Yes I have also studied several different religions and histories and it seems I find similaritie smore often than differences when I look closely, I see this echoed in textiles and i think it is why I like them so much as a vehicle, they are powerful but also approachable so they can be powerful communication/education tools.

      Liked by 1 person

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