Monday, November 7, 2011

Mudcloth, Part I

There are many ways to get to a destination. Ball painting is an activity unto itself. But let me introduce an idea -- or more specifically, a sound. The sound of a shuttle, whizzing through the thread of the warp on a loom. Imagine that sound multiplied by nine or ten looms. It reminds me of a classroom filled with 3 and 4-year olds making ball paintings.

Now, mudcloth -- as an art project -- may be more about printing, story, and tradition than it is about weaving. But I wanted to think about that sound, that rolling sound of a loom, today in class. To learn more about mudcloth, visit the Smithsonian Institution's Discovering Mudcloth, An African Voices Exhibit. Mudcloth is created in celebrated and meaningful steps. The fabric itself is a cotton that is stitched together in strips and the color is then fairly pushed into it in stages. The first layer initially appears a pale, brown yellow.

The sound of our shuttles worked, worked and worked across our looms to push the yellow into our fabric. Next week, we will add the next layer.

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