‘Fascinating’ fiber arts class at Bishop Marshall School
“Fascinating” was the word second grader Fischer Bornemann used to describe what he saw as the purple, red, green and blue dye he squirted from bottles onto a twisted and tied piece of cotton merged to create a unique design and new colors.
He and 17 other children were participating in the 4-part fiber arts class in the after-school program at The Bishop John A. Marshall School in Morrisville.
“This is probably one of the funnest things I’ve ever done,” Fischer enthused. “It’s really fascinating. Everyone’s turns out different.”
Once the children bring their dye-soaked cotton home in a plastic bag and have it rinsed and washed, they can make it into a scarf or a banner.
Rachel Leman, a teaching artist at River Arts in Morrisville, is teaching the fiber arts class that also includes lessons on paper making, felting and weaving. “You can make things that are useable, and it’s fun to do and something different,” she said. “I like teaching children. I like teaching children art.”
Fischer likes being creative, and he finds many outlets for his creativity: “building stuff,” drawing, sometimes “just scribbling.”
Seventh-grader Ramsey Davis, a participant in the outdoor fiber arts class May 10, said “God gives everybody creativity.”
Tie dying is a way to be creative and “you can just go wild with it,” she said; she planned to use her piece as a decoration. “It’s fun to do.”
And fun is an important part of the after-school program. “Our philosophy is that it’s fun and safe. We want our children to feel happy,” said Michelle Tomlinson, co-director of the after-school program for children in the 3-year-old preschool through eighth grade that runs from 3:15- 5:15 p.m.
In addition to art, games, reading, snacks and outdoor play, children are offered a variety of enrichment programs like the fiber arts class: cupcake decorating, ukulele and guitar lessons, a sewing machine class, for example. “We make it a point for them not to just sit in a room,” Tomlinson said.
Having outside teachers come to the after-school program to teach classes like fiber arts and cupcake decorating involves the community at large, which builds rapport between the school and others.