Hello! It has been four weeks since I last posted here, so that means I shall give you a summary of my learning these past four weeks.
First, I wove a basket. Surprise!
The process of weaving it is a bit of a story. In the beginning, I had been meaning to make a wastebasket out of it, but then it got too wide, so I decided to make it into an Easter-type basket. I started curving the sides outward, then added a handle via instructions on a book.
I have also collected some bamboo, from around our yard. I am thinking to use the bamboo as stakes for a sturdier basket, because all my baskets so far have been woven with thin stakes, so they are not quite as sturdy as I would like them to be. See more in Obstacles/Frustrations. I also researched a lot about bamboo basketweaving. It is very interesting. Here is a video and an article I looked at.
My mentor and I had our meeting yesterday, as opposed to Tuesday. (It is a rather long story). I will start off first with what we did during the meeting.
During the meeting, I asked her a few questions, one of them being whether she thought using bamboo for stakes was a good idea. She thought it was a great idea. I am quite confident moving forward with using bamboo for my stakes. I also asked her questions about weaving technique, because I have been confused about some of the weaving patterns recently after reading a book.
My mentor was in her office while we were having the meeting, and one of her co-workers was still there. As a result, I got to talk to her co-worker, who gave me some advice about weaving! I am very happy for that. I asked her about joining/splicing, and she was able to explain to me how you use two strands after the initial one. I also asked about the pairing weave, and my mentor told me that in their (First Nations) culture, they use the pairing weave, or twinned weave, when the strands are smaller, or if they are using cedar root.
To tell the story of why the meeting happened on Thursday, it is because on Tuesday, for Leadership, we were going to have a Biking Trip. Therefore, prior to Tuesday, I had told my mentor that we would have to postpone that meeting. When Tuesday rolled around, the Biking Trip was cut short, right on time for my mentor meeting if I had not cancelled it! Obviously, I could not just call my mentor and meet with her then, because when I asked her about rescheduling, she said she has a very busy schedule, and had scheduled other appointments to happen during the time I cancelled. Luckily, my mentor said we could do Thursday this week, which was our meeting yesterday, although she would be just leaving a school.
I learned through this whole affair that people can be busy, and not everyone has the luxury of being flexible with postponing/rescheduling. What made this hit home was when my mentor texted, “If you don’t show up to your own meeting, you can’t make it my problem that I have to rearrange my life to fit your needs.” Sadly, that is more than true. I now know that I cannot reschedule with my mentor if I cannot show up to my own meeting. For our next meeting, that is supposed to be Tuesday April 27th, I cannot go because of Kayaking Certifications. So, we will not be meeting altogether.
Some of the frustrations I have had while weaving these past four weeks is making rims, joining in new weavers, and making my baskets sturdy enough. With making rims, it is that I do not like how mine all stick out, and sometimes fall out. I resolved to ask my mentor (and her co-worker) about it, and I will study rim-making a bit more online. With joining in new weavers, the confusion was when I read a book and the pictures looked totally different from what I had in my hands. However, I think I am less confused now that I asked my mentor, although a video or two would help me. Finally, I thought of using the bamboo from our yard for thicker stakes, and that should make my baskets sturdier and able to carry more, rather than carrying light items such as my baskets now.
Concepts and Alternatives:
For How to Have a Beautiful Mind this week, we are writing about Concepts (Chapter 9) and Alternatives (Chapter 10).
Task: List some examples of concepts in your most recent sessions with your mentor.
Some examples of concepts in my most recent sessions with my mentor include: shapes, and patterns. We have also talked about how-to, and cultures.
Task: What alternatives has your mentor offered you throughout this project? What alternatives may another mentor have offered you? Discuss in detail.
Throughout this project, my mentor has offered me alternatives such as different meeting times when I had to cancel and weaving on my own/weaving with her. She has given me the alternative of weaving with materials other than cane (the material I primarily associate basketweaving with): cedar (and pine needles). She has also given me the alternative of learning about weaving in First Nations cultures.
Another mentor may have offered me alternatives such as weaving with other materials, learning about other cultures, or a specific type of weaving. For example, another mentor might specialize in weaving with, say, bamboo, and then we would have been weaving with bamboo all day long!! Perhaps this other mentor weaves with more ‘modern’ materials, like newspaper, or plastic string, as opposed to historical materials such as cedar that my current mentor’s culture has been weaving with for a long time. Or maybe this other mentor knows about weaving in European cultures, or African cultures, or…you get the idea. As for specific types of weaving that this other mentor could have offered as an alternative to me, maybe this imaginary mentor weaves in a more stitch-like fashion, as in some of the books I have read.
How are you going to present your learning during these past few months?
To present my learning during these past few months, I will have a lot of photos up in a post on my blog. I will organize them in sequence, like into a before-and-after collage-type presentation, or just a beginning-to-end timeline/reel of photographs—for example, Step 1, I did this, Step 2, I did that. There are a lot of features in the editor on my blog regarding photos, so I should be able to accomplish this. I will also organize the photos in terms of each basket I wove. Of course, I will also write a bit here and there to point out what I learned, and the milestones in my learning process.
What aspects are you going to focus on, knowing that you cannot share everything you have learned?
I am going to focus on what I wove. The end product(s).
What do you hope the audience will learn from your experiences?
I sincerely hope that the audience will learn about the abundance of the craft of weaving, but also how it takes a lot of time.
What are you going to need to do to make this learning centre interactive?
I will have to create a bunch of buttons and clickable items. For example, the reader might have to click up and down to see the next step in my weaving process of a basket, or maybe I will ask the reader at the end of the post (in written form) if they can remember, say, the material I wove with in Basket #1. In the beginning of the post, I will note that there will be questions at the end, so if you can answer them all, you get a virtual high five from me!