Weaving is one of the oldest forms of art making and historically was used for practical purposes to create warm clothing and blankets. In current times, macramé wall hangings have made a resurgence to adorn our living spaces. A finished weaving therefore can serve many purposes. The process of creating a woven piece can also have therapeutic value and can effectively be used in therapeutic group settings.
Girls at Maryvale’s residential campus learned step by step how to create a special weaving piece, first by learning different fabric dying techniques such as tie dye. Then they moved on to the labourious task of creating just the right tension in the ropes of the loom to hold the strips of fabric in place. They worked as a team to organize the colored strips together and weave them together. Finally, they adorned the weaving with messages of their choice, including those of hope and intentional living.
Throughout the process, conversations came up about patience, what happens when things don’t go the way you expect and how to compromise. These are important life lessons that were able to happen in the moment as a part of the therapeutic art process with the guidance of two Art Therapists. I was honored to co-facilitate this social skills based therapeutic art group.
- Please note that the art product was created from the beginning with the intention of sharing with a public audience, and the participants of the weaving group were aware of this as well. The girls were able to select personal pieces that they made to keep for themselves, while this final piece found a special place on campus at Maryvale. Any identifying information was removed.
Click here to see the final piece: https://www.maryvale.org/fostering-hope/weaving-a-way-to-connection
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