“Friends in Fabric”

On Thursday the 15th September an artist, called Ciara, who is a past pupil of RJS, came into Assembly. She told us about an art project that we would all take part in the following week. The project was to make a ‘Friendship in Fabric’ display out of tie-dye flowers. Everyone in the school would make one. Every class would be given a different colour. Form One’s flowers would be vibrant pink, Form Two would have dark green, Form Three a bright yellow, Form Four would have midnight blue, Form Five lilac and Form Six a rusty red. Ciara told us that the aim was to attach the flowers to a canvas background. All of the flower stems would be intertwined and linked together in order to symbolise the strong bonds of friendships within each class and across the whole school.

After Assembly on Monday morning each class took turns to go down to the Art Room to dye their fabric. First we all had to dunk our cloth into a basin of water then wring it out. Next we watched Ciara put a special dye into some water. While she was doing that we were told to ‘go wild’ with our elastic bands to make our own individual designs. Once everyone had finished tying their rubber bands around their cloth, Ciara told us to plop the cloth into the coloured water. Ciara was busy at work while we were in our classes. After 15 minutes she took the pieces of cloth out of the water and rinsed them for us. At this point they just looked like bundles of coloured cloth. When we went back to Ciara we untied our elastic bands, revealing our amazing patterns. We left them down in the Art Room overnight to dry. When we arrived back in school the following morning Ciara ironed all the pieces of cloth with help of Julia.


The next step was to make the flower shapes. Ciara gave out cardboard templates and we used markers to trace around them. These were going to be the petals. We cut out the petals with fabric scissors, arranged them in a circle and folded them up. Everyone chose a thread colour and then we sewed the petals together using needles. We pricked our fingers loads of times,
although it didn’t hurt as the needles weren’t very sharp. We sewed to the end of the fabric and turned them inside out. They looked really like flowers!

The finished project is called ‘Friends in Fabric’. It has been mounted on a 1.5 metre square canvas. Ciara and Julia placed all the flowers onto the canvas with strong glue. Every class’ flowers are arranged into groups. Most of the flowers have yarn coming out of the end like a stem. In our classes we discussed important aspects of friendship which will be included in a smaller explanation of the canvas when it goes on permanent display. We loved seeing the finished canvas at Assembly this morning – it looked like a giant bunch of friendship flowers!

It is now on temporary display outside of Form Two, but will soon be framed and protected and put up somewhere in the school where it can be enjoyed for years to come.

By Form Six