Sunday, May 3, 2015

Dream Catchers and Learning Through Crafting

This is another example of how to use a manipulative and the building of one to teach a lesson in geometry.  Making dream catchers and origami teaches us order and sequencing.  We learn patience and discipline.  We learn how to correct our mistakes, go back and fix things.  Beyond learning to how to self correct we learn about making and the effort involved in seeing a project created by our hands.  Beside the obvious lesson of building a project and gaining mastery of skills using our eyes and hands, we learn precision and discipline are valuable tools to us in completing projects.
 Steps matter, order matters, doing a thing right matters and also mistakes can lead to beautiful things too.
Dream Catchers are easy and simple to make. Any polygon will do but circles are the traditional shape. The hoop and  circle shape is an archetype and this had meaning to the first people, the native people, the creators of he dream catcher.  You can make your own ring out of a willow branch or some bendable object of your choosing.  You can choose to cover the hoop or ring with yarn or leather strips, sinew or string or nothing.   I am using a embroidery hoop that is larger to show  in this tutorial but you can use key chain rings or heart shaped objects and any polygon.  Any shape that connects to it's self.  I have used old bracelets and earring hoops. It can be fun to search in your home for the ring or hoop so be creative. This is one made out an old bracelet.

I like to tell the stories and share the history of the Dream Catcher's.  The internet is filled with variations to the lore.  I also recommend looking at spider webs before and after this process and pointing out to learners the sacred geometry in nature and how these designs in geometry are the building blocks and keys to so much around us.  This is a great sight for the lore on Dream Catchers. HERE

Need List
Any choice of string, yarn, embroidery thread, leather, sinew or cording.
Hot glue gun (Optional)
beads, feather's objects, notions /fetishes to tie on to streamers at the end as embellishments.

 STEP 1  Covering Hoops (Optional)
* Covering the hoop does make the geometrical design part less slippery on a metal ring as the yarn will have something to stick too.   With willow branch hoops and sinew string this slipping isn't an issue.  For little ones, I suggest pre-doing the willow branches or pre-wrapping the hoops as this is time consuming and boring for the little ones who attention span is limited.

To cover the hoop:
Begin with a knot on the hoop or ring.  You can use a drop of hot glue to anchor this first knot down and hold your work down to get started but it is optional.  Now go round and round tightly scrunching up the work till you cover the whole hoop.  Tie it down leaving a few inches of string to tie into loop to hang finished work later.  Keep going with this part, it does look nice even if it is boring.

STEP 2  Starting the Web Pattern

Choosing a different color string than the hoop color start off with tying the web thread off on the hoop.  Depending on your string material you may uses a needle here to do smaller dream catchers, you will be going around clock wise making looped crossing under and over the ring and then loops of thread. Resist the urge to pull tightly on your work as this will make it harder to find the next loop to work off.  You go around and round make a under over loop on the lowest loop to the right.  

No knots just progression to the next lowest loop on your right.  After a few rows around the circle you will see the shape (hopefully) of you web taking place.  Mistakes can be undone or not.  Beads can be added between loops for a pretty effect. How many times you looping your 1st row on the hoop
will determine your dream catcher's design.  What do Five points connected make.  What do 6 points make.  How far you keep looping around and around depends on the creator.  I like a big hole in the middle and then with another color begin again inside with a different count. Depending on the original size of the hoop you could do this many times.  A dream catcher inside a dream catcher, inside a dream catcher.  Play around with materials too.  Yarn, rope, fiber optic thread or LED thread?

Imagine - Play - Create - Experiment - Share - Reflect - Repeat

STEP 3 The Embellishments

The last part if the hanging of your beads and feathers.  String on shells and beads, use feathers or tie crystals and rocks on to the thread use glue gun to hold string to feathers and weigh them down so they hang right.  Look for beads with larger bored holes as you have to string them onto your thread or fit them through a needle.  You can get creative here.

Tie of Embellishment and make a loop with a string to the ends of the tied off string.  Hang you dream catcher up over your bed or napping place.  Little dream catchers can be worn as jewelry or attached to key chains or book marks as decorations.  We also use them to decorate Christmas trees and tie them as part of the bow or decoration on gifts.

No comments:

Post a Comment