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pine needle baskets

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From: Jean Eger (jeaneger_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Fri Jul 20 2001 - 10:27:31 PDT


Regarding a pine needle basket exchange: there are two major cultural
influences in the San Francisco region: Chinese and Mexican. The Mexican
influence is very rich and alive in the arts. What a joy to have a student
whose family approves and encourages his or her art work because the culture
values artists. Same thing for the Asian cultural influence.

Mexican pinatas: it is easy to make a small fish pinata from 2 paper cups
glued together, crepe paper which you have fringed and wound around the
cups, and construction paper for the head, fins and tail. I first saw those
made at a children's festival in an Oakland park. Here's a recipe for one
using a balloon:
http://www.domestic-church.com/CONTENT.DCC/19981101/FRIDGE/pinata.htm They
sell pinatas in the Mission District of San Francisco for $5 and up. One
can buy them all over the area in grocery stores and party stores for $12
and up. Some are very elaborate sculptures. Also, the Day of the Dead
(Halloween) is a big art event in the Bay Area. Many local museums have big
displays of artists' altars.

I could also write you a lesson plan for an Asian-bound book and make you a
little book kit in exchange for a sweet grass basket. The Asian bound blank
book could probably be used for a sketch book too, if it was big enough.
Here's what I am talking about:
http://www.sff.net/people/Brook.West/bind/bindit.html Also, Chinese brush
painting is taught at San Francisco State University, so you know they
really want to keep that aspect of the culture alive. For that you really
need a Chinese brush which is shown here;
http://www.selune.demon.co.uk/cbp/intro.html (worth about $10.00) However,
you can use India ink, thinned slightly, instead of the ink stick for the
black color, plus ordinary watercolors for the colors. I studied brush
painting at the Chinese Culture Center where we spent four Sunday mornings
learning how to paint bamboo.

I haven't smelled sweet grass since I was a kid in North Carolina. I would
love to get my hands on some of that! Happy August art project for me!
Which one do you want? I bet Bunki knows a lot more about native crafts in
this area than I do.

Jean Eger Womack
http://www.jeaneger.com

> Also I live in the town in SC where the sweetgrass baskets are made. I
have
> some teaching packets about these baskets that include a small handmade
> basket, I don't want to sell them but would be interested in trading them
> for examples of folk art native to your area. The baskets are worth about
> $10-$15. Let me know if you are interested.
> Meryl in SC

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