Hex Signs

We lived in Boyertown, PA for 7 years, and we saw plenty of hex signs on barns everyday.  There are more towards Kutztown and surrounding rural areas.  Hex signs are only found in this area of PA and are a tradition of the Pennsylvania Dutch (not the Amish).  We usually start the lesson with examples of hex signs, mostly from things I have collected from the annual Kutztown Festival.  We use a ruler and compass to help the design to be symmetrical. I print out the other elements that are used in Hez sign designs and their meanings: diselfink, rosette, scallop, star, oak leaf, tulip, heart, pentagram. This is usually the first time artists have used a compass in art, so I give them plenty of practice paper to make circles. We use stiff bristol for the finished work.  Hex signs are very colorful, so we use colored pencil or crayon, and paint will work great.

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