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pine needle baskets


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: 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: 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; (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

> Also I live in the town in SC where the sweetgrass baskets are made. I
> 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