A karate belt, hair bows, stuffed animals, medals and even a part of a horse’s bridle are just a few of a myriad of “keepsakes and special things” Lakeview Elementary students brought to school recently to be woven into an intricate and one-of-a-kind fabric time capsule. 

“The range was amazing,” said long-time Lakeview art teacher Terri Barton. 

She helped to arrange this unique opportunity for the youngsters to have one of their sentimental belonging weaved into a permanent wall hanging. 

Barton applied for a grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission and was awarded $3,000 to make this project happen. 

Artist-in-residence Victoria Sowers came to the elementary school for an entire week with a 300-year-old loom.

According to Barton, Lakeview is the first school in Tennessee to have Sowers lead a project.

She set up the ancient look in the art room at the school. Barton asked each of the students to bring in something for the fabric time capsule

“Something they could part with, something that was special and could be saved forever in the fabric capsule,” Barton said. 

About 500 of the school’s 581 students found their special, personal item to weave into time capsule. 

The students assisted the artist and helped to weave their item into different colored strips of T-shirt material. Each class took part, with rotating sets of two students flanking Sowers to pull down the loom in three consecutive swipes to weave in their objects. 

“It was all done in a progressive way through the week,” Barton said.

The finished project will be 4 feet by 10 feet. Sowers finished the project and it was scheduled to be on display when the students returned from Christmas break. 

“It’s just so beautiful and will hang in the school years after the students move onto middle school,” Barton said. “But the younger students will enjoy passing by and examining to find their special donation for several years to come.”

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