Explore, Discover, Create! with Learning To See inspiration artist Porfirio Gutierrez

Porfirio Gutierrez is a Zapotec weaver from Oaxaca, Mexico, whose family has been weaving for generations.  The Zapotec people, like many indigenous cultures, live in harmony with ‘mother earth’.  They honor the gifts of nature, use them with respect, and use only what they need.  Porfirio is an ambassador of his Zapotec heritage by helping his people to preserve their ancient culture and sharing it with the world.  Learn more about Porfirio at www.PorfirioGutierrez.com.


Above, Porfirio greets students in his native Zapotec language at Rio del Valle Middle School.  

These are weavings created by LTS
students from Anacapa Middle School.

Have you heard of REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE??? 

You can make a weaving with things you already have in your home right now!
People from all over the world have been doing it since ancient times.
What a great way to honor mother earth!

The potholder above was made with a shoe box for the loom and cut up jeans for the warp and weft. The bowl used a paper plate for the loom and warp.  Aluminum foil and yarn were used for the weft.

Weaving with a paper plate: Click here!


Weaving words:

Weaving – a way of making fabric by crossing threads over and under each other.
Loom – a frame (or board) to hold the weaving
Warp – The threads stretched up and down (vertically) on the loom.
Weft – The threads woven under and over (horizontally) the warps

Other supplies:

  • Scissors
  • Ruler and pencil
  • Tape

Other homemade weavings to research and try:

Watch this great tutorial above,
then decide which supplies you will use!  Click HERE to learn more great stuff about art from the Metropolitan Museum of Art!

Traditional Out-of-the-box!
Loom Wood frame with nails or notches or rectangle of cardboard The whole box, old wooden frame, hula hoop
Warp Non stretchy string Twine, wire, stretchy string, rope
Loom & Warp combo back of a chair, your fence, tree branches
Weft Yarn Old t-shirts cut into strips, wire, ribbon, lace, candy wrappers, sticks

WAIT!  Don’t throw those old t-shirts and other clothes away!!!

They are easily cut into long strips that can be used for knitting, crocheting, weaving and all sorts of great stuff.  Watch the video below to learn how!

A cereal box makes a great loom!  Wrap your warp around and around, then secure with tape.  This fun weaving was made with strips from an old t-shirt and a potato chip bag!


Learning To See has been adapted for comprehensive online learning!  We utilize Zoom (& other video platforms) and have webpages to support each lesson.  Art supply packets are provided for each student.

Our standard 8-week in-the-classroom residency is $550 (including instructor and supplies).
You can “Adopt A Classroom” for $550.00. Click HERE to donate.

Four week and single lessons are also available. Our lessons are cross-curricular and support the California content standards. Many of them can be tailored and grouped to work with a particular unit of study, i.e. zoology, social studies, history, language arts, sciences, etc. They are adaptable to a wide range of grade levels from elementary through secondary grades and beyond, including community groups and programs. Programs are supported in a variety of ways, including school and PTA funds, grants, or personal donations from an individual or group of parents/grandparents.

Our program is taught by professional artists who have extensive educational experience. We feel that this criterion helps to guide the student with a deeper understanding of the art making process.

For more information, or to arrange a residency in your neighborhood, call 805.653.2501 or email [email protected].


Your donations support the programs that are at the heart of the FOTM’s mission…

to document and archive extraordinary artists and their work through photographic portraits, audio and video interviews and biographical research that encompass each artist’s experiences, artistic reflections and development; and 2) to present this work to a broad public through extensive education outreach to all ages – including at-risk youth through our Learning to See Youth Outreach program, Art & The Creative Spirit Enrichment Program for Seniors, a public monthly Artist Spotlight Series, exhibitions, publications, website and an extensive resource library.

Thanks to Our Sponsors

Reed Foundation
Hilton Foundation
California Humanities
City of Ventura
Ventura County
Museum of Ventura County
Image Source
Ventura Picture Framing
BofA Performing Arts Center
Custom Printing
California Arts Council
The Breeze