So many of my students have asked for a dragon class and my answer has always been that there isn’t enough time. This year there is! I have designed a new dragon pattern just for Fiber College. In this class you will create a beautiful batik fabric dragon in a choice of draconic colorways with gorgeous layered fiber wings.
For the dragon’s body and legs students will learn how to sew a template pattern, create a wire armature and finish the body with firm and smooth stuffing. The body will be embellished with a natural fiber mane and beading or a completely beaded spine using Czech glass beads, glass seed beads, real stone beads and fresh water pearls. The head will be embellished with natural shell or pearl horns, Czech glass tooth beads and hematite beads for eyes..
For the dragon’s wings, we will be creating a fabric made by layering hand dyed silk and soy silk roving, mohair locks and sparkling angelina fibers, sandwiching these fibers between translucent organza, then over-stitching with fancy threads. The organza layers will then be partially burned away with a heat gun to reveal the colorful fibers below. Armature wires will be added to the wings and the wings will be embellished with beads. This technique produces a fascinating textured wing in colors and patterns that reflect the student’s creative vision."
In this two day natural dye workshop, we will explore dyeing with traditional sources from start to finish. On day one, we will go over fiber selection and preparation for dyeing. We’ll explore mordants and which ones are appropriate for different types of fibers. While our fibers are mordanting, we’ll start making dyes! We’ll grind, soak and extract colors from dye plants, insects and possibly fungi. We’ll look at dye gardens and possibly harvest fresh dyeplants. It’s all happening from scratch in this class!
On day 2, we will fire up the dyepots, creating a beautiful range of colors from our dyestuffs, while expanding our range with modifiers and overdyeing. Expect to leave with yarn samples, recipes and techniques for natural dyeing on your own.
At the end of this all encompassing two-day class you will leave with your own handmade “Story Scarf”.
This course is designed for intermediate to advanced felters with a thirst for knowledge and a love for dynamic, fast paced learning environments!
Day 1: Through hands on learning you will discover a plethora of techniques used to create stunning textures using loosely woven cloth, an assortment fibres, yarns, and physical manipulation.
The techniques covered will include nunofelting, nunofelted windows, windows, creating resists and pockets, felt cut-away, soft felt, silk rosettes, and a variety of fringing techniques. At this time students will also discover the infinite possibilities of dying animal fibres with PRO WashFast Acid Dyes, one of the friendliest dyes both for you, and the environment. Course material will include dye safety, colour mixing, value and hue gradations, as well as how to create a “felters dye pot”!
In the afternoon we will begin unraveling the narrative of your story scarf. This time will be used to reflect on techniques learned, to contemplate colour schemes, and to get to work sketching out your masterpiece.
With special instruction on be benefits of dying wool before felting versus after, students will have the choice to begin pre-dying materials at this point.
Although students will have a variety of materials provided to sample with, creativity and innovation is encouraged! Most loosely woven cloths and animal/plant based fibres can be used when felting, from your grandmothers lace, to your dogs fur, consider the story you would like to tell! Please let your imagination run wild!
With our exciting new felting techniques in mind, we will dive into the fabulous process of felting! After carefully laying out the wool according you’re your own designs, we will begin the wonderful transformation of fleece into felt. The next six hours are completely yours to create an entirely unique, functional work of art with my supervision!
The two day chainmail class will start with a brief overview of chainmail and the differences from historical chainmail and the chainmail we will be making in class. The class will provide excellent knowledge and experience for beginner and intermediate level students. It will also be a good refresher for more advanced students. Several reference books will be available for the students to learn more about chainmail and see pictures of historical garments.
The students will learn the process of chainmail construction from bare wire to finished product. We will start with how to wind wire into coils of rings and then cut the coils into rings. The class will have several projects that lead the students from basic weaving of chainmail fabric to completing a pouch project using several weaving techniques. The class includes instruction on two of the three styles of chainmail weaving (European and Asian weaves). In addition, the class will cover basic inlay pattern techniques. For the inlays, we will be using metals of different colors (e.g., steel and copper).
The class will include discussions about different metals used for specific types of projects. In addition, ring sizes, thickness of wire and how the two factors relate to project construction will be demonstrated by the class projects. The class projects include a keychain, a European chainmail weave sampler for all four basic weaves, an Asian chainmail sampler, a bracelet, an inlay sampler, a necklace, and a pouch.
In this class you will learn to create nuno felt, a luxurious, textural, lightweight cloth with drape and flexibility. Using silk organza and merino wool, you will create your own one-of-a-kind nuno felted scarf, designed, hand felted, and dyed to your own liking!
You will learn essential nunofelting skills like how to scour silks to remove unwanted sizing, and discover what other types of material can be used to create nuno felt. We will also dive into the wonderful world of PRO WashFAST Acid Dyes, allowing you to walk away from this six hour course with a brilliantly coloured, stunning, one-of-a-kind nuno felt scarf!
Student brings a smile
The $45 materials fee includes 250g merino wool, a scoured silk blank, kiss my face soap, as well as access to pots, spoons, buckets, bubble wrap, sponges, PRO WashFAST dyes, citric acid, etc. Additional wool will be available for purchase.
The chainmail clinic is a multi-day activity where the students can participate in which ever days they choose. All levels of students may attend any of the days and all of my resources will be available each day. This will allow students to progress at their own pace. I will be setting aside specific days and times to teach specific skills and types of chainmail. All three basic types of chainmail (European, Asian, and Persian) will be included in the clinic. The following is a clinic syllabus.
Steven will take a lunch break around noon but the students may take their break(s) any time they wish.
To see additional pictures of the types of chainmail and some of my projects, use the following link.
A Dozen Ways to use Variegated Yarn "It has happened to most of us: We fall head over heels for a gorgeous skein of multicolor variegated yarn, we buy it, we knit it, and then we discover it was so much prettier when it was just a skein. Eesh.
Let’s explore some tips, tricks, and techniques that employ variegated yarn to best advantage. We will demonstrate and discuss how variegated yarn behaves through truckloads of swatching and examples. Come ready to learn some new stitches, formulas, and grand ideas. Fall in love all over again with that colorful skein of yarn.
"Here in Maine, we are surrounded by nature and wrapped in textiles. Why not combine the two? Eco-printed cloth is created by layering prepared silk and linen with local plants and flowers. The cloth and leaves are bundled together, tightly bound and steamed. This process creates a permanent transfer of pigment from the leaves to the cloth. No external dyes, inks or paints are used in eco-printing. All color and pattern come from the plants themselves!
This process releases extraordinary secrets from local plants we see every day and often take for granted. Eco-printing allows us to look beyond the usual green of leaves and to see their shape and architecture, and explore their chemistry.
Eco-printing techniques developed and popularized by India Flint of South Australia, focus on bioregionalism and the use of sustainable, organic and non-toxic materials.
This technique-based workshop will focus on creating small samples on cloth and paper but you will leave with the knowledge (and hopefully the desire!) to experiment on your own. Eco prints can be used to create wearable art, decorative pieces, such as pillows and wall hangings, and even quilts!
Natural, Sustainable, Beautiful!
Class Overview 30-45 minutes – Explanation and discussion of eco-printing, mordanting techniques and cloth and fiber properties, demonstration of wrapping and binding techniques.
1 hour – Prepare two bundles.
45 minutes hour – Steam one bundle, simmer one bundle. While cooking the bundles, prepare eco prints on paper – layer vegetable matter and paper, steam in a ‘flower press’.
End of class – wait as long as we can for the bundles to cool (it’s worse than Christmas!) – unwrap bundles and assess samples.
Come back at some point later in the day to unwrap paper prints.
Inspired by the Mexican huipil, you can sew this simple folk blouse, tunic or dress in just a day! You can make it with or without sleeves, design your own neckline, and add pockets if you like. Cal will bring the easily-customized pattern, and guide you through sewing your own garment that you can make again and again. This classic style is ripe for embellishment, so you may wish to embroider, applique or print on it after it's made, or incorporate a piece that you've already worked. (note from organizers: Cal will be offering a "$20 block printing pick up class Saturday night after the beach bonfire...no advanced sign up required...bring your new dress or tunic!)
Students should bring: a working sewing machine + ext cord, 2-3 yds (depends on length, sleeves) lt-med wt woven fabric: cotton, linen, gauze, voile, Thread, sewing kit: scissors, pins, seam ripper, tailor's chalk, tape measure. optional: 1/2" single-fold bias tape for armhole/neck
Basic Skills Assumed (you're comfortable using the sewing machine and have made a few simple projects)
Needles:US 7, 8 or 9 and some a few sizes larger.
Learn one of the classic bookbinding stitches - coptic binding - with a fun recycled twist! We’ll begin the class with an introduction to bookbinding terms and begin dissecting an old hard cover book you bring to salvage the cover to use for your own hand-bound book. We’ll build our ‘book block’ by folding, cutting and ripping a variety of paper for your book’s pages and work on embellishing and re-enforcing the cover and pages with decorative paper. You’ll learn how to pierce sewing stations, wax thread and finally bind together your book with the decorative and functional coptic stitch.
Learn how to form a coil basket starting with a base, forming the coil of pine needles, and sewing with sinew. Both practical and beautiful.
Students should bring a smile
The $10 materials fee will cover a kit with enough prepared pine needles, a base, needles and sinew, and a ferrule to complete one basket. Other tools such as needle nose pliers, scissors, and drills will be available for use during class.
Everyone can participate
No need to plan ahead...Ellen makes custom dye jobs easy...use your prepared yarns or hers...It's like your best friend is an expert dyer...and she's done all the work in time for you to come and play! Pay as you go...play as you go!
Marty will guide you through the creation of a wet felted background (approximately 9x12 inches). Wet felting is a simple and creative process that just about anyone can do. Marty will supply a sea of colors to choose from and step by step instructions on making a lovely background for your “painting” using a little soap and some warm water. Your background will be just that, a background without much detail. When it is dry you will add the details in part b. Please bring a photograph to work from.
The best way to be a better photographer is DO IT! This hands-on digital photography class will make you look at things...a little differently.
The class is designed teach you new photo skills, increase your camera confidence and break you out of your photography habits.
Gale will present a short talk , regarding color, composition and working with the light. The main activity of the class will be working in groups and individually on a visual scavenger hunt. We will find and create specific images, designed to make you look at the world a new way. You’ll be asked to use suggested photographic techniques to capture the images in the hunt. The last hour will be a review/critique of student photos in a group session.
This is a great class if you want to rev up your camera skills you want more confidence when photographing the real world around you- at home, on your farm or as you travel or you want help with shooting specific subjects because they don’t turn out the way you intend, especially fiber, textile & crafting subjects
In this workshop photographs (your own or references from magazines) will be used to create motifs and to germinate visual ideas. The Elements and Principles of Art will be discussed and defined. Anne will lead the class through a series of design exercises and you will walk away with sheets of small "thumbnail" designs which can then be developed into working patterns or motifs.
Delight your feet with a bedside treat. Just as the Gee's Bend quilters created beautiful, functional pieces out of any cloth that was available, so did prior generations of homemakers, including the Shakers. Before it was produced commercially, cloth making was a laborious process requiring multiple time consuming steps. Consequently, no scrap of cloth, no matter how small was ever thrown out before it was completely worn out, and old clothes frequently found their way into rag rugs. The Shakers created Confetti Rugs by incorporating scraps of fabric into their knitting to make plush, warm rugs that feel great on bare feet. Once you learn the basic technique, many interesting, colorful designs will reveal themselves.
In this class you will learn the basic confetti technique, some tools for planning larger pieces, and an easy method for joining small strips of knitting into a larger rug.
Indigo is a natural blue dye derived from the plant Indigofera tinctoria and related species. Indigo has been used as a colorant for nearly 5,500 years. The dye is extracted from the leaves through a lengthy process of soaking and fermentation, drying and grinding. When the cloth or fiber is removed from the dye vat it changes, as if by magic, from yellow-green through green and turquoise to blue. Multiple dips in the dye vat are required to create dark shades.
Shibori (絞り染め, Shiborizome) is a Japanese term for a variety of methods of embellishing textiles by shaping cloth and securing it before dyeing. This creates resist patterns where the dye does not penetrate all parts of the cloth. The word comes from the verb root ‘shiboru’ – “to wring, squeeze, press.” Rather than treating cloth as a two-dimensional surface, with shibori it is given a three-dimensional form by folding, crumpling, stitching, binding or twisting. It is the pliancy of a textile and its potential for creating a multitude of shape-resisted designs that the Japanese concept of shibori exploits and explores.
Participants will learn the basics of several shibori techniques - binding (and capping), pole wrapping, stitching, scrunching and folding. The class will use two different indigo vats, one prepared from fresh indigo leaves and one made from powdered indigo. Students may wish to work on pieces for dyeing after class time is over; arrangements will be made to have access to the vats.
Students will work with fat-eighth size pieces of organic cotton quilting fabric, but silk scarves will be available for purchase at cost.
Students should bring: Close fitting rubber kitchen gloves pencil, notebook
The $12 Materials Fee includes: organic cotton fat eighths (blank silk scarves available for purchase at cost), thread, needles, binding tools etc vats and all indigo supplies
Everyone can participate
Bring your yarn, bring your textiles, and bring your t-shirts. This is your chance to dye with natural indigo.
This will be whirlwind tour of indigo. There will be a quick chat about indigo and a demo of “good vat practice.” (Wet, wring, enter, massage, soak, squeeze, extract, oxidize (and jump for joy!)).
What to bring:
Close fitting kitchen gloves, Playtex yellows work well.
All materials to be dyed must be natural fibers.
4 oz of yarn (or a small projects worth) OR a t-shirt or an item of clothing OR 1 yard of cloth (no more than 150g, please)
All items to dye must be “prepared for dyeing” – if your yarn, cloth or clothing is not specifically labeled “PFD” or unprocessed, it must be scoured to ensure even dyeing. There are lots of methods out there. However, 2-3 washes with an unscented detergent in the washing machine does the trick for clothing or commercial yardage. Yarn may be scoured by simmering gently with a small amount of natural soap (Dr. Bronner’s, Mrs. Meyer’s or your favorite.) Please check with Amelia on Friday or Saturday if you have any questions about your preparations.
Wear an apron, and/or stainable clothes.
Organic quilting cotton and silk scarves will be available at cost.
Our dear knitter is recuperating her wrists, a photo will follow shortly. AKT
This class explores the pleasures of knitting with pure, unspun silk (silk hankies). Lace, baby garments, warm things - all can be knit straight from this form without spinning! We'll talk about how silk hankies are made, about pure silk, and you will learn how to draft and knit this lustrous, strong, and inexpensive form of silk. Students will make a shawlette.
Students should bring 2.25mm (US1) or 2.75mm (US2) knitting needles (a set of dpns, a pair of straights and a 16" circular). Look for needles with a sharp point
The materials fee includes silk hankies, pattern, and other supplies to make working with silk easy
Basic Skills Assumed
Do you love to roam the beach during Fiber College? Would you like to take a little bit of it home with you after turning it into a charming piece of jewelry? Students will bring small, flat, stones collected from the Searsport Shores beach. We will then transform these stones by wet felting soft merino/silk and embellishing with seed and other beads. This is a simple and fun process. Participants will have time to complete one pendant and likely begin 2-3 additional ones.
This class involves completing a needle felted landscape on your wet felted background after it has dried. Marty will guide you with techniques for placement of details and some basic shading. It is incredible how little bits of dyed fiber can transform your background into lovely art suitable for framing.
When you know how to knit circles, you can shape rugs and berets, skirts and shawls, forage bags and dresses. Whether you use a fine lace-weight yarn and small needles, or a bulky worsted yarn and larger needles, the geometry is the same. This class will cover at least four different growth patterns for working circles from the center out, as well at least one method moving from one “slice” of the circle around.
We will practice circular Cast Ons and Cast Offs, and experiment with how to integrate color and stitch patterns in the different ways we can construct a circle.
Eco-printing techniques developed and popularized by India Flint of South Australia, focus on bioregionalism and the use of sustainable, organic and non-toxic materials.
A small collection of flat-ish rusted objects nails, washers etc.
One gallon sized ziplock bag containing a variety of leaves and/or flowers and twigs from your yard, garden, or along the roadsides.Store the leaves in the refrigerator or jar of water if you're not collecting the morning of the workshop.
Notebook and pencil or pen
Rubber kitchen gloves (optional)
NEW in 2014, after the beach bonfire there will be $20 "let's do it" classes... Saturday night Susie Stephanson will teach Proddie Pins and Cal Patch + Amy Lou Stein will teach Block Printing. No pre-registration, no need to bring materials...Susie and Cal will have all that you need!