Gerald L Findley
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Weaving is a wonderful handcraft for older students and adults. It gets the two hemispheres of the brain talking to each other, develops eye/hand/touch coordination, enhances cognitive awareness — and it’s fun and produces useful and beautiful things. The problem of teaching weaving usually amounts to a question of resources and space: full sized looms are expensive and take up a lot of space. The solution in many situations has been to simply forego weaving altogether and move on to other things.
Needless to say, we are delighted to have found Fingerweaving Basics. This method of weaving using only dowelling for the initial tye-up and finger dexterity to create weft patterns ranging from very basic to imaginatively complex is a beautiful way to offer students the full experience of genuine weaving with very simple tools. The book is fully illustrated with clear and lovely drawings that demonstrate each technique in a step-by-step way; there is a full discussion of materials and methods, including making a warping board for measuring lengths of weft.
Part of the charm of this exhaustive tutorial is the Native American history and cultural notes that appear throughout the book – there are inspiring photos of many Osage belts, along with brief notes as to their use and a bits about traditional fingerweaving in the tribal context. To me, all this history makes the craft even more inviting.
Highly recommended for eager students in 6th grade and up; for everyone grade 10 and up.