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Craft workshops at the Reach

As part of The Reach’s ongoing Living History series, The Reach Gallery Museum and the School District #34 Settlement Workers in Schools (SWIS) are presenting A Story to Craft, two hands-on workshops.

Local artists will share the heritage and cultural importance of five art forms.

The first, being held on Thursday, Jan. 31, features African hair braiding, hair weaving and hair plaiting, which is a tradition and an art in Africa. Women gather to share time and create beautiful patterns in hair. More recently, hair extensions and beads enhance the creative designs!

Also featured will be Aboriginal beadwork. The historical practice of making beads from a variety of materials and using them for personal adornment evolved when glass beads were introduced but in both the early and contemporary practices, the beautiful designs that were created represent something of personal importance to the maker or wearer and a reflection of the beauty of the spirit and the natural world.

The next session, on Saturday, Feb. 7 features Punjabi Phulkari, a traditional pattern of weaving in Punjab. It is an embroidery technique literally meaning "flower working". Later this form of embroidery became restricted to embroidered shawls and head scarfs for everyday use called "phulkaris." These are worn by women all over the Punjab during marriage festivals and other joyous occasions. Traditionally they were not sold at markets but were purely a domestic folk art that satisfied creativity and brought colour into the day.

Chinese calligraphy is the way/method/law of writing. Chinese calligraphy is normally regarded as one of the "arts" in the countries where it is practiced and where it originated. Chinese calligraphy emphasizes motion and is charged with dynamic life.

Japanese Origami is a traditional activity where a single square of paper is folded in different ways to create shapes like animals and beautiful plants. In Japanese the words "oru" (folding) and "kami" (paper) form the origin of the word origami. This art form has become part of the cultural heritage of Japan.

Both workshops are free but space is limited and pre-registration is required. Contact Kris Foulds, kfoulds@thereach.ca or 604-86408087 ext 112 to register.\

The Reach Gallery Museum Abbotsford, is located at 32388 Veterans Way.

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