Monday, October 12, 2015

Elaborate Designs

I want to begin by saying that I am totally enjoying my Re-Crafting Math project. It has given me so many opportunities to meet wonderful people and understand how they use numbers to weave beautiful designs. Today was a special day because I got to meet with the founder of Textillery, Judith Rose.  She began weaving 40 year ago. Currently, she has 12 weavers working for her. Here are some pictures to get you acquainted with her work.

I was mesmerized by the things that she weaves and sells to her customers. I looked around at all the beautiful creations while she finished writing an email. As I moved around, I was awestruck by the textures, designs, and feel of the woven items. I could totally understand why, when she told me that if one of her customers had a fire or something happened to their past items, they had to replace them with new from her because they couldn’t live without them.

Judith shared with me that when she got stuck with numbers her husband created a computer program to make her life easier. Interestingly, her husband, John, told me that she uses a lot of math without even knowing that she is doing so. She said that it is because she loves weaving so whatever she needs to know to overcome the hurdles, she learns it and that clearly shows in her designs.

She said that she found math problems in school out of context. Since I have taught math for eight years, I immediately understood what she meant when she said that she was taught math using problems that didn’t make sense to her. All the weavers I met have communicated that their school math programs lacked encouragement and real life problems that could connect them with their passions.  

When I look at their beautiful craft, I know that they use high concepts of math along with what they learned in school mathematics. The best part is that they don’t even realize that they are using it, it comes naturally to them. I could see that they are naturally curious about math if it is related to what they like to do or if it is a part of the world around them. When Judith explained the basics of weaving to me, I figured out that the fabric design line is elongated when the slope of the weaver’s angle is greater than one and if it is less than one the fabric design line is shortened and the weaver would use less yarn.

I am looking forward to having more such awesome experiences and share with you guys in my next blog post!


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