Mar 6, 2014

Posted by | 1 Comment

Why Fiber Arts Make a Fantastic Art Club Alternative

Fiber Arts

Last year I talked about my experimental Saturday morning art club. I absolutely loved the experience, and it got me thinking more about ways we can improve the idea of the traditional art club experience. One of my favorite twists (pun intended!) is starting a fiber arts club. Here are three reasons to give it a whirl.

The supplies are CHEAP!
Yarn is a frequently-donated art room supply. Even if you don’t have donations, it is inexpensive to purchase and never spoils. Embroidery can be taught with yarn and burlap. Crochet and knitting patterns are free all over the internet. Hooks and needles can be reused over and over again after the initial investment. You can even teach finger knitting or make t-shirt yarn for a nearly cost-free club. Click the image below to download a free “how-to” if you’re interested!

Click to Download Free PDF

Click to Download Free PDF

 

Fiber arts good for the soul.
I love teaching knitting, crochet, and embroidery as a part of my art curriculum because they revive traditional folk art forms. The process can instill such pride and a feeling of productivity in students. It feels good to make something beautiful that can be used. I have seen some of my squirreliest students show incredible focus on fiber works.

You probably have a great community of volunteers at your fingertips. 
Many of your students may have parents or other relatives already practicing fiber arts. What a great way to get them into your classroom, especially if you are new to fiber arts yourself. Having these community members share their talents can expand the perception of who can be an artist and what can be art.

If you are looking for other ways to revive your art club practices, consider alternative times, locations, or materials. Strive to make your club an experience that extends your regular classroom instruction while igniting your own passions for teaching art.

How do you run your art club? Do you focus on one material or include a bit of everything?

What kinds of challenges have you had to overcome? 

Sarah-DThis article was written by AOE Team member Sarah Dougherty.  Sarah is the Visual Arts Curriculum Coordinator and Arts Integration Specialist for the largest school district in Iowa, prior to which she served as an elementary and HS art teacher for 7 years.

About Sarah | Sarah’s Articles

Print Friendly

  • http://www.pawlingschools.org/webpages/pchadwick/ pac

    My art club is at the high school level. It is open to all students all year. So the draw back is inconsistency. The pros are we get interest though out the year from many ages and different students. We have been working on murals the last few years. Murals on classroom walls, hallways and even the cafeteria ceiling. Art club also gets involved working on sets for the school play along with fundraisers to pay for materials.