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Lesson Plans

invitation: marcia eaton

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
brenda jones (oxydol)
Wed, 03 Feb 1999 21:23:29 -0600

This post is in response to Marcia Eaton's invitation to respond to the
Philosopher's Forum: Discussion for Feb. 3-18. One of the issues in this walk
was that of the "size" of an art work. This could not have been more timely
for one of my classes of high school students. These students have decided to
make a quilt to celebrate the 75th year anniversary of our school building.
Issues of layout and design were paramount at initial discussions. From the
outset, students truly saw this collaborative quilt as being one that would
hang on the wall. It seemed that size was almost a given: this was to be at
least a queen bed sized quilt, maybe bigger depending on whether or not alumni
would be invited to contribute design specific blocks.
So, the question of "size" on the Philosopher's Forum seems to relate to a
very practical art work in our class. After reading through the walk with
Marcia, Ron, and Marilyn, I immediately asked my students why they wanted a
"large" quilt. For any of you out there who may not be familiar with quilts
and quilt shows, miniature quilts are very legitimate in the quilting world.
These may be as small as 12 inches by 14 inches. So, whereas an individual
block in a king size quilt might be 12 inches square, the block in a miniature
might only one inch square. And yet, in these very small blocks will have the
same intricate pattern as a large block. Most of my students are struggling
with piecing together their individual 12 inch blocks that will go into the
large scale king size quilt. (FYI, each student designed their own block in an
art deco style...we studied the whole arts and crafts movement and the effect
that artistically designed everyday objects change the entire environment)
Most of these students believe that they would not be able to make their
designs in a small scale, even two inches square. It would just take technical
skills beyond their capability. And yet, all of them believe that the quilt
would not have the same value if it were a miniature. They bring up points
like people would not take it as seriously, people would not understand the
work that goes into a small quilt (there's that issue of work being equated
with value!), it would be too small to pay attention to, it couldn't be
functional (even though they don't want the big quilt to be "functional").
Although we have discussed this as a group, they are writing their responses
in their sketchbooks and I would be glad to share some with anyone interested.
Next topic we will discuss is the size of the Names Project AIDS quilt and
whether or not the same ideas could be expressed in smaller work and the
nature of the impact of such a large piece. Also on the table for our
discussions will be the works of Liza Lou and size.
Anyway, thanks to Marcia for the invite.