Kids can weave some magic with ‘Mexican Eyes of God’ or ‘Ojo de Dios’
This weaving project children is a big hit for group activities like birthday parties and school holiday workshops. Teenagers love doing it I did a workshop as part of the art program with teenagers in the mental health unit at Sydney Children’s Hospital and they loved making them too.
The weaving is derived from The Huichol, indigenous people of Mexico. They sometimes made decorative, ceremonial shields with coloured string and sticks. These shields were called God’s eyes because through them they believed a God might keep a watchful eye over the people who made them. They symbolise the ability to see and understand unseen things.
The project gives children the opportunity to explore texture, colour, patterns and scale.
They can be made with sticks as small as toothpicks through to paddle pop sticks, chop sticks or sturdy sticks from the garden. As the artist increases their skills they can explore with 2, 3 or more sticks. The more sticks, the greater the complexity and visual impact.
Making the weavings is also a very mindful technique. Once a child gets the hang of it, they can develop a rhythm and flow to the winding of the wool around the sticks.
‘I love this, it’s soooo addictive’ one of the boys said in a recent workshop.
When the boys from this class got home, they taught their mums how to make them too. That’s what I love about craft – it’s contagious! It can bring children together and create connection between children and their parents as they work on a project together.
I like to add extra embellishments like pom poms, hand sewn felt pieces, beads and buttons. By adding an embroidery hoop to the mix I’ve created what I call the ‘Mexican Dream Catcher’. This hoop is decorated with ribbons and the weaving is glued to it with a strong adhesive like a glue gun.
It’s one of those projects that can take 15 minutes up to an hour, depending on how involved the children get with the embellishments. Once they’ve mastered one, I guarantee it will be hard to get them to stop.
They easily be hung up individually or a group of them that can be tied to a stick to make a mobile or group ‘installation’.
Would you like to make one?
Stay tuned. We’ll have a kit available soon. See the sneak peak below.