Having learned about the history of silk and how it is made, we bought silk to see and feel what those silk cocoons can become.
I went to two fabric stores, one of which had no real silk, and the other only had Dupioni silk, which was not the soft shimmering silk we had in mind. Nonetheless, we wanted 100% silk, and Dupioni silk is beautiful, with its thick weave and luster. It was interesting to compare it to the Chinese silk robe my sister bought me on her trip to China a few years ago.
Making a Silk Calligraphy Scroll
With our length of silk, the girls each made a calligraphy scroll. They each had a piece of silk that was approximately 10" wide and 24" long. We also used a bamboo calligraphy brush, black acrylic paint or ink, a wooden dowel and black embroidery thread (or yarn, or ribbon) to hang it.
The girls first thought of which word they would like to paint in Chinese characters. After much deliberation and a few changes of minds about what words would represent this time in their lives, they each chose their words: Elle chose 'Friendship' and Pea chose 'Forgiveness'. We googled the Chinese characters for these words, and they practiced painting them on paper first.
We initially used calligraphy ink on a small sample piece that worked very well. However, once Elle did her calligraphy with ink on the silk, the ink bled, likely due to how much larger these characters were rather than our sample lines. She still liked the end result, which was a relief :) Pea decided to use black acrylic paint, which did not go on as smoothly, but did not run, and she was happier with that result.
|Elle's scroll, with the Chinese character for "Friendship".|
|Pea's scroll, with the Chinese character for "Forgiveness".|
The scrolls are now hanging on their bedroom doors, reminding them daily of important values.
In learning about silk, we learned its history and legends with related books, learned the process of making silk, and even tried raising our own silkworms.
You can find more cultural and historical activities at the following linkups:
You can find more creative and kid friendly activities at the following linkups: