Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Arts in Ghana

Hey! Jess here not Ben

Here in Ghana I have been focusing my time in the afternoon classes on basket weaving, kente, and batiking.

Basket weaving is actually much simpler than it appears and it is cheap. Baskets are made from a local plant whose leaves are cut apart to give the frame of the basket and the weaves. Starting the basket is pretty hard however. Once you lay down rods into a circular shape, you have to begin weaving the basket and it is hard to make the weaves tight while keeping the rods in the posititon that you want them in. After weaving a few rows, you simply bend the rods upward and continue weaving until your basket is done.

Kente however, is much different than basket weaving. With the loom, stings are attached to ropes to put in between your toes. You press your foot down and pass a sting horizontally between all the vertical stings and then press your other foot down and reapeat the process over and over. However, after awhile, your shoulders and back begin to ache and it is hard to do for much more than five minutes at a time.

Batiking is amazing. There are many different methods that can be used to batik. You could use a stamp to press hot wax onto a cloth or you could sprinkle hot wax onto your cloth. To die it, you can either submerge the entire cloth in dye or fold your fabric and hold part of it in dye and then hold the other part in another color die. If you are going to submerge the cloth however, and you want your cloth to be more than two colors, you will need to restamp hot wax another time after the dye dries and then dye the fabric again. After your cloth is finished, you take the wax off the fabric by submerging it in boiling water and then placing it in cold water after and scrubbing away the wax.

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