The University of Michigan has a program called The Cancer Center Art Therapy Program and its at no cost to the the patient or families. A quote from the first paragraph of their website, "Research has proven that art making has a positive impact on pain management, depression, anxiety, and stress reduction." At this point I am going to have to say that any artist has know that for centuries. For me I made it a point to turn my apartment into a working studio space for me. Since doing this, I know my personal well being is in a wonderful place.
And, this is one the cool parts that I love telling my students about. Rosey Grier, when I was growing up I remember watching him play for the Pittsburgh Steelers team know as "The Steel Curtain!" These guys were so good that they won 4 world champions. Anyway, in the 1970's Rosey was well known for having hobbies like, "needlepoint" and "macrame", but this didn't stop him from realizing what he knew. A link showcasing some of this work. During those moments when his anxiety was high he would needlepoint and help slow him down. Is there research backing up this up, nope I just know from being a person who has ADD, some might say serve but, not me. Its just fun! When I'm doing my work, everything that feels overwhelming is much easier to deal with after some time in my studio.
So here is my intent with the loom you can see here, it have it a classroom to be used an art therapy tool. When a student is having one of those difficult moments he/she can go get the loom that is folded up and stored in the classroom. Sets the easel down on a table, pulls it up which will lock the block in the back. The student goes gets the three oak shuttles I made for this loom. There are 3 colors, why not more? Cause I only have 3 shuttles. Focus. Using the ruler/block the student raises the wefts up in the air, making it easier to pass the shuttle through. The student knows that there is no time limit to complete this and that several people may work on it. During the time the teacher is teaching a lesson the student is still in the room and has not left the classroom. The student will know that this is not an way to get out of working but, a tool to assist them when they feel the need to take a break during class. This almissing anything. For me several things happen, the visual arts get infused deeper into the classrooms within the building. Students visual arts skills improve at a younger age, as well as there: fine motor skills, spatial relationship, muscle memory, focal maintenance and the list goes on.
One last thing the loom may appear large, it measures about 18x18. Trust me there is a reason for this measurement, the student who this is for will end up with a really nice treat from the weaving.
Have a great evening and I welcome your comments.