Using Digital Images for STEAM Education and Discovery Through Fiber Art

  • Julie Carmen
Keywords: makerspaces, information literacy, STEAM, digital images, illuminated manuscripts, laid work


The concept presented in this article proposes using digital images as a pathway to study science, the arts, and technology by way of embroidering enlarged images from illuminated manuscripts. Art galleries, libraries, archives, and museums (GLAMs) can provide this learning opportunity within makerspaces, as a service for users to create patterns for embroidery. Should makerspaces install stations for embroidery pattern creation based on concepts only? Will GLAMs offer more of their local historical images for users based on this method?  What will come first, the images to engage users or the demand for historical images from users? This process is a dynamic approach to simultaneously teach some computer/software skills, information literacy including fair use and citation, with digital image use to create artistic derivatives inspired by historical drawings. Based on the author’s own creative experience and promoting this method in conferences and articles, she presents an approach to teach pattern creation in makerspaces as a method of increasing digital image use for the study of STEAM subjects, offering opportunities to reach more users to understand art history, fiber art, digital images, and heighten research skills.

Author Biography

Julie Carmen

Julie Carmen is an independent research librarian living in Ellensburg, Washington with her husband, five cats, and two dogs. For the past 25 years, her focus has been using digital images from two 13th century manuscripts to create patterns for embroidery while practicing the medieval stitch, laid work. Her interests include history, music, organization of metadata, and archival applications to special collections for further preservation and study.

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