Interweaving fun and art with youth

Local girl Addison Mintkenbaugh, right foreground, is busy creating a woven object on Saturday morning at the first art workshop in the Saturday Mornings at The Murphy series this summer. She said she is 7½ years old.

WILMINGTON — There are a lot of options in the ancient art of weaving and about 20 youth tried their hand at it on Saturday in the first of the Saturday Mornings at The Murphy series of exploring art workshops.

Largely using natural materials such as a Y-shaped branch, wheat, feathers, sea shells, barley and dried grass, the participants ages 7 to 16 wove those things in random patterns, along with fun colors of yarn.

They started off with the Y-shaped branch and then wrapped yarn to make the warp for their loom, said Carol Tedrick, who led the workshop and who makes her living as a Wilmington-area weaver. Her business is named Handwoven Wonders.

The young artisans did a couple different types of weaving, she said, so they were able to learn some designs instead of simply the standard over-under plain weave.

They did some twills, too, and double-weaves, according to Tedrick.

The finished product can be displayed by either hanging it or placing it in a vase or standing it up in a chunk of clay. For good measure, the young weavers can do the other side as a different piece of art.

There are five more workshops scheduled in the Saturday series, with space still available for more youth. There is an $8 fee for the 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. class.

Upcoming topics are working with clay on June 27, painting with Maryanne Wolfe on July 18, dramatic speaking with Gary Kersey on July 25, dance with Cole Haugh on Aug. 1 and the harmonica with Tim Hughes on Aug. 8.

This is the fourth year for the multiple arts programming for children on summer Saturdays.

Diane Murphy said, “It gives children an opportunity to express themselves in ways they may not be able to otherwise. And there is such a variety of art forms. Kids need something to be able to express themselves.”

Murphy is a member of The Good Fairy Fund Committee that oversees Saturday Mornings at The Murphy, as well as Charlie’s Bucket Band, and a program new this year, Charlie’s Summer Art Camp.

The summer art camp started on Monday for at-risk youth in the community. They will paint a mural, keep a journal, write poetry and write a song, said Murphy.

Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768 or on Twitter @GHuffenberger.