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Use Of Native Craft Materials | by Margaret Eberhardt Shanklin



Each chapter in this book contains information concerning the gathering, preparing, and use of the material as well as suggested adaptations. No patterns as such are given. The methods described are adapted to other materials which may be at hand in different localities of the country. The problems range from simple articles for younger craftsmen to the more advanced work of adolescents and adults. The articles made are the result of putting to artistic and useful purposes what would otherwise be wasted products.

TitleUse Of Native Craft Materials
AuthorMargaret Eberhardt Shanklin
PublisherThe Manual Arts Press, Peoria Illinois
Year1947
Copyright1947, The Manual Arts Press
AmazonUse Of Native Craft Materials

Introduction

As a teacher or group leader begins to see beauty and sources of handcraft materials in the countryside, so will the learner also search, experiment, and create objects of beauty and utility. Much of the information presented is based upon original experiments and observations. In writing the handbook, care has been taken to make the steps in gathering, preparing, and working of the materials plain and in giving adequate illustrations to aid the worker in handcrafts.

Each chapter contains information concerning the gathering, preparing, and use of the material as well as suggested adaptations. No patterns as such are given. The methods described are adapted to other materials which may be at hand in different localities of the country. The problems range from simple articles for younger craftsmen to the more advanced work of adolescents and adults. The articles made are the result of putting to artistic and useful purposes what would otherwise be wasted products.

There remains a vast field of research in native handcraft materials. The "theme" through the history of the crafts has been painstaking and artistic workmanship. The "variations" have come about through the use of the materials indigenous to the area in which each craftsman has worked.

-Chapter One. Straw
Wheat as well as rye and oat straw is an excellent material for weaving. The naturally shiny surface and soft yellow color enhance the beauty of the material. Straw used as the weft for table place ma...
-Straw Braids
The making of straw hats and bonnets was, until this century, a purely domestic affair. The straw was grown, prepared, braided, and sewed together by members of the same family. In New Hampshire, the ...
-Chapter Two. Corn
AMOST adaptable native material is the com plant. The stalk, cob, husks, and grain can all be used to construct practical and artistic articles. The Southern Highlands people are perhaps the most famo...
-Weaving On A Circular Loom
A simple circular cardboard loom strung up with cotton thread and woven with narrow strips of cornhusks make substantial hot-dish pads. These mats should not be used where water will be absorbed by th...
-Cornhusk Costume Flowers
Costume flowers made of the natural or dyed husks have a nice texture for use with wool or heavy rayon suits and dresses. Cut a simple pattern for a petal form and lay it lengthwise on the husk. Cut a...
-How To Make An Oriental-Rug Knot Loom
A shaggy type of rug is made by tying the husks on an oriental-rug knot loom. The loom can be made quite easily. A piece of plywood or the side of a box 6 inches wide and 18 inches long is the base. A...
-Chapter Three. Grass
THE tall grass known as slough grass, swamp grass, or sedge grass can be used for weaving place mats, for making baskets, or as a dye source. It is like the grass used in the British Isles for thatchi...
-Basketry
Basketry was a handcraft of early America. Baskets for carrying grain were made by the farm craftsmen from the native materials at hand. Expensive reeds and raffia were not used. Baskets are still ...
-Chapter Four. Rush
THE cattails and common rushes that grow in marshy places are also fine weaving, braiding, and basketry materials. The long flat cattail leaves retain a soft green color if gathered early in the summe...
-How To Make A Basket Of Cattail Leaves
A basket woven of cattail leaves may be used as a container for gift cookies and candies. Start weaving as one would weave strips of paper into a flat mat. Add weavers until the bottom of the basket i...
-Chapter Five. Clay
CLAY modeling is one of the world's oldest crafts. There is hardly a primitive people that have not fashioned useful and ornamental objects of the native material found at their feet. Fired bricks ove...
-Grog Clay
For those who wish to make large, heavy pieces, grog clay is a safer medium in which to work. Grog clay is particularly adapted to large pieces of pottery and ceramic sculpture. It is not only of an i...
-Marie Martinez, Potter Of The Southwest
Those who have traveled in the Southwest have seen Indian potters using their native clays for making graceful pottery jars. Marie Martinez of San Ildefonso is considered the best potter of the Southw...
-Coil Bowls
The coil bowls in Plate XXX were constructed without the use of a potters wheel. The coils may or may not be smoothed. The round coils make an interesting form for small bowls and jars. They are simpl...
-Clay Tiles
Clay tiles make useful gifts. They may be used for hot pads, paperweights, or pictures. Young children can make decorative tiles. Press a ball of clay onto a plaster slab or a piece of wood to an even...
-Building Pottery On A Wheel
Electric potters wheels and kick wheels are often too expensive for the average person. Small hand-turned decorator wheels may be used for building pottery. The technique is similar to the coil-built ...
-Building Pottery On A Wheel. Continued
As soon as the jar is finished and will hold its shape, cut it from the spinner top with a thin wire or a linen thread. Grasp the ends of the wire, hold the wire firmly against the spinner top, and cu...
-Slip Casting
Slip casting is an interesting process. Most ceramic figures and dishes purchased in stores are made in this manner. Duplicates may be made, although the original shapes are made by hand. PLATE...
-Ceramic Costume Pins
Costume pins may be made of clay. If more than one is to be produced, the form is first modeled in water clay or a commercial oil clay. The design should be compact and must not have undercutting part...
-Ornamentation
Besides ornamenting a piece with form decorations, colored clays or slip and mineral colors, known as under-glaze colors, may be used. Both may be obtained from a ceramics supply company. The slip, so...
-Glazes
Glaze is actually composed of ingredients which will melt and become a thin layer of glass on the clay when the piece is placed in a kiln and fired to a high temperature. Glazes are colored by the pre...
-Kilns
There are two types of kilns. In the direct-fire kiln, pronounced kill, the fire comes in contact with the pottery. Marie Martinez and other primitive potters, as well as certain commercial potterie...
-Kilns. Continued
The first firing of the green ware, also called raw ware, requires several precautions. Since the pieces are not glazed, they may be stacked together up to a point where they will not break or fit tog...
-Chapter Six. Others Corn, Nuts, And Seeds
When corn, nuts, and seeds are strung onto a strong cotton thread, beautiful bracelets and necklaces can be made. The necklace in Figure 18 was made of acorns with the cups. A large needle was pressed...
-Vegetable Dyes
The merits of aniline and vegetable dyeing have been tried. For fastness and greater variety of color the commercial dyes are more reliable. However, the beauty of a vegetable-dyed piece of cloth stil...
-Sawdust Modeling
Dry sawdust, when mixed with cooked flour paste, is an inexpensive modeling material. It is unlike clay modeling, since the sawdust does not stick together and is not pliable. It must be pressed light...
-Flower Arrangement
Expensive flowers are not necessary for interesting room and table decorations. The blossoms of wild plants are beautiful and offer a great variety of color and form. Figure 27. An ink pad. ...









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