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Craft in America
Geoff Stelling banjos

GEE'S BEND AND THE ORIOLE MILL: TIME AND TEXTILES

In this lesson, students will explore various forms of fabric construction while considering ideas of hand work, time invested in creating art, the marketing of textiles, and humans’ use of textiles. Students will view two segments of the Craft in America: INDUSTRY episode; on the quilts of Gee’s Bend, Alabama, and The Oriole Mill textile factory in North Carolina. Students will examine several concepts introduced in the videos, including the comparison of creating by hand versus by machine, the function of time in the making and valuing of crafts, the marketing of textiles through association with place, and students’ essential connections with textiles. Students will practice their choice of quilting, weaving, sewing, or knitting, and then design and create fabric squares for pieced textiles. Through this work, students will determine their own perceptions of the value of handwork, time, marketing, and their daily use of textiles.

Grade level: 9-12

Episode: INDUSTRY

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Download the Lesson Guide & Support Materials as pdfs to get started in your classroom.

Gee's Bend & The Oriole Mill: 
Time & Textiles
Full Guide & Worksheets

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Background Reading
Lesson Overview

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Teaching Tips
for Teachers

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Further Information
Resources & Materials for Teaching

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Vocabulary
Vocabulary & Key Terms

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Discussion Questions
for Students

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Worksheet #1
Time, Value, and Place: 
Ideas About Textiles

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Worksheet #2
A Collection of Squares: 
Making a Textile

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Buy Craft in America on DVD

INDUSTRY episode: Handmade in the Creative Economy