Grandma’s Puzzle

Fred holds a red string in the shape of a 5 pointed star very close to the camera

I’ve been working up a story based on cutting the apple to reveal the 5 pointed star inside. So far the figures I have in the story are the Inuit House–playing a temporary home for a couple of mice who scurry away when the children try to pick up what they thought was an old birdhouse. Then there’s an apple figure, my invention, after the fashion of Ann Glover’s stories, and a triangular knife to prepare for the coming star. In the intro I do Osage Four Diamonds, also known as Jacob’s Ladder.

I found a wonderful painting of a grandmother doing a string figure as her hair merges with the web of stars in the sky above her, and got permission from the artist to use her image as an illustration for the blog about my stories. Many thanks to Jo Jayson for her kindness.×125

Grandmother Spider – The Weaver © Jo Jayson 2016

Residency at Watsonville Charter School of the Arts

This week I’ll be finishing up a semester-long residency at the Watsonville Charter School of the Arts, teaching string games and storytelling to the entire elementary school, ten classes: two classes each at every grade from Kindergarten to Fifth grade. I was able to do only a few brief lessons with the middle school classes. Now my dream is to get a grant to support coming back to WCSA to facilitate the middle school students doing a series of films of the elementary school kids telling stories with their strings!

Life saving string story: Aymara weavers plug holes in hearts

From AJ+, videos from Al Jazeera

I love this story, such the perfect illustration of what I call tradigital stories, where there is an intervention of binary-code empowered contemporary technology, fused with and inextricable linked with a traditional technological art.

It’s like the story of the pilots crash-landing or parachuting into New Guinea, during World War II, and routinely being killed by the locals, until someone suggested each pilot be given a loop of string and taught a few string figures, with the instruction to begin immediately to show their figures to anyone they encounter. Reportedly, many lives were saved. Yes!

Fiber arts save lives!