I little while ago I had the great pleasure to meet the super talented Maryann Talia Pau, weaver and artist. She was running a star weaving workshop as part of a
little huge community project and art installation she is working on called 1 Million Stars to End Violence.
Here is my chat with Maryann…
What is the million stars project?
1 Million Stars to End Violence is an epic ‘Weave jam’/project that I started last September after the violent death of local Brunswick woman Jill Meagher. It started as a personal response to the sadness and community outpouring of emotion. People from our church helped to look after a vigil that local women began on the steps of our church. I helped to collect written messages for Jill’s family but couldn’t find any words to write. I saw a quote by Dr Martin Luther King Jnr that someone had placed in the sea of flowers, that said “Returning hate for hate, only multiplies hate, adding more darkness to a night already void of stars. Only light and love can drive out the darkness.” That had a profound impact on me and so the weaver in me decided to weave stars as a symbol of light and hope. I wanted to keep weaving stars and teach as many people as I could, so that we could make hope, light and courage to end violence together.
How can readers participate?
I’m inviting people to learn how to weave these 8 pointed stars and to send them in to be part of a massive display in December. Any one is welcome, women, men and children, and they can learn by attending any of the free workshops I run each month, in a different location across Melbourne, with some interstate. People can also watch my tutorial video on Youtube. My hope is that people will learn and keep passing it on by creating a Star Weave Jam with their own communities – in a local cafe, park, beach or lounge room! All you need is some plastic gift ribbon, scissors, a share plate and a tub to collect the stars in! It’s a great way to get to know people be part of an international community art project! People can stay up to date by visiting the website www.onemillionstars.net
What are you going to do with all the stars?
All of these beautiful stars, woven across cities like Melbourne, Alice Springs, Sydney, Brisbane, Auckland, Rarotonga, Milwaukee, Texas & London are going to be strung together and displayed as one large installation at The Royal Exhibition Building, Carlton for The Big Design Market Fri 6, Sat 7 & Sun 8 December 2013. I think it’s important for us to see them up this year, to have a sense of achievement, that this is what we can do together! My vision is to have them up and on display once a year till 2015 so that we can see how big it is growing. This project is teaching me that anything is possible!!
Watch Maryann’s Video to learn how to make these eight pointed woven stars.
So since the workshop I’ve been keeping busy weaving stars out of anything I can get my hands on, it’s slightly addictive and very satisfying knowing that they will become part of something beautiful and meaningful.
One if my favourite mediums to weave with is old magazine pages. It costs nothing and is a fun way to recycle unwanted magazines or catalogs. Here is how I make four ‘ribbons’ out of a magazine page.
1. Neatly tear out a page.
2. Cut or tear into 4 equal width strips
3. Fold each strip over twice (into thirds).
4. Follow Maryann’s video tutorial
5. Ta Da! Pretty star from an old magazine page.
Colourful pages will give you colourful stars. You can also use strips of old wrapping paper too.
With your new found skills you can weave stars to decorate your home too, then send them off to Maryann when you are finished with them.
String them together to make a garland or mobile like I have here. I’ll be making some more to decorate my tree this Christmas.
Why not make some and add them to Christmas gifts as an embellishment? The uses this festive season are endless.
Get together with a group of friends and have your own ‘Weave Jam’ session, it’s a great excuse to spend some time chatting with friends and eat cake!