Textiles Workshops at Penland

Workshops are open to serious students of all levels unless specified in course description; beginners welcome.



summer session 1

may 25 - june 6, 2014


Heather Allen Hietala, Voyage of Knowledge,

steel, gut, seeds, paper, linen, 5H x 17 x 4 inches


Heather Allen Hietala
Gut Containers: From the Inside Out

This exploratory workshop will investigate the container and containment—physically, metaphorically, and in any other way that presents itself. Students will create forms using wire, cloth, gut, handmade paper, and thread. Through a series of studies we’ll consider the properties of our materials: steel is hard, gut and cloth stretch, gut shrinks, stitches bind. We’ll employ basic tinkering and fiber construction techniques—including coiling, stitching, and twining—to construct vessel forms that we’ll enclose with skin. Students will keep journals to record the creative process, from idea to sketch to samples to objects. All levels, but moderate hand skill and dexterity will be helpful. Code 01TA

Studio artist; teaching: Arrowmont (TN), Haystack (ME), Warren Wilson College (NC), Haywood Community College (NC); fellowships: NEA Regional, Tennessee Arts Commission; exhibitions: Elder Gallery (NC), Blue Spiral 1 (NC), Oeno Gallery (Ontario); collections: Racine Art Museum (WI), Biltmore Estate (NC); representation: Blue Spiral (NC), Oeno Gallery (Ontario).





Nick DeFord, Found, embroidery on map,
15 x 22 inches


Nick DeFord
Needle to Paper

Embroidery is a fantastic means of embellishing fabric, but we’ll take needle and thread to paper to explore a drawn/stitched line. The workshop will start by covering the basic stitches and techniques of embroidery and then move to the intricacies, challenges, and surprises of using a needle with paper. We’ll discuss the various surfaces that are possible and also spend time with the work of contemporary artists who use embroidery. Students will work through a series of exercises and projects designed to examine the possibilities of paper stitching in both two-dimensional and three-dimensional artwork. All levels. Code 01TB

Studio artist, program and studio manager at Arrowmont (TN); teaching: University of Tennessee, Arizona State University; exhibitions: William King Museum (VA), Vanderbilt University (TN), Georgia College Museum, Knoxville Museum of Art (TN); collections: City of Phoenix (AZ).






summer session 2

june 8 - 20, 2014


Karie Reinertson, Custom Inlay Doctor Bag,

canvas, brass hardware, vegetable-tanned leather,

15 x 17 x 5 inches




Karie Reinertson
Handbag Design/Build

Taking inspiration from nature, art, and fashion, students will explore introductory construction techniques and design for various styles of handbags. Students will develop their own handbag style using textiles, leather, canvas, and hardware. All levels of skill are welcome as long as you are comfortable with a sewing machine. Code 02TA

Studio artist, handbag designer and owner of Shelter; Garden and Gun magazine’s Made in the South Award finalist; residency with Lisa Sorrell (OK); exhibitions: PLAySPACE, (San Francisco), Transformer Gallery (DC), Pacific Northwest College of Art (Portland).








Joan Carrigan, Entwined Vase, cedar bark,

sedge, beargrass, cedar root, waxed linen,
12 x 5 x 5 inches




Joan Carrigan
Baskets: Technical & Material Explorations

If you are curious about different ways to weave a basket or you are interested in incorporating basket-weaving techniques into another medium, this session will offer you a broad range of exploration. We’ll cover plaiting, twining, rib, coiling, and knotting, and we’ll discuss and use a number of purchased, recycled, and natural materials to illustrate the creative potential within basketry. There will be a special emphasis on the use of natural materials and how to harvest and prepare them for weaving. All levels. Code 02TB

Studio artist; teaching: Salt Spring Basketry Workshops (British Columbia), Horticultural Centre of the Pacific (BC), Emily Carr University of Art + Design (Vancouver); Canada Council grant, two Handweavers Guild of America awards; exhibitions: Margit Nelleman Gallery (BC), Circle Craft Gallery (Vancouver).


“Over the years, I have been fortunate to study with numerous outstanding basketmakers from many different countries. I have continued to travel and to explore a wide variety of techniques and materials. For the past twenty years, I have taught basketry extensively and have found this to be a very rewarding aspect of my basketry experience.”





summer session 3

june 22 - july 4, 2014


Jim Arendt, Ian (detail), cut denim

Jim Arendt

Every pair of jeans tells a story! This workshop will explore advanced appliqué techniques for creating representative imagery using reclaimed denim. Through a series of exercises, you’ll learn how materials communicate and can invigorate your artwork. We’ll explore how basic techniques can be leveraged to create fantastic results in two and three dimensions. We’ll transform everyday materials through “shear” force into dynamic objects of beauty. Old jeans and an adventurous spirit are the only prerequisites. All levels. Code 03T

Studio artist; teaching: Coastal Carolina University, South Carolina State University, University of South Carolina; top prize at ArtFields 2013, people’s choice at Fiberart International 2013; exhibitions: Sumter County Museum of Art (SC), 2013 Museum Rijswijk Textile Biennial (Netherlands); Best in Show at Hub-Bub Gallery’s Emerging Carolina (SC), Best in Show at Fantastic Fibers at Yeiser Art Center (KY); collections: University of South Carolina.





Amy Putansu, Wheat (detail), hand-dyed

handwoven silk double cloth

Amy Putansu
Doubleweave, Double Cloth, & Multilayer Fabrics

Doubleweave, double cloth, and multilayer fabrics are fascinating techniques that are possible on simple, eight-harness looms. Students will work with fine yarns, learning to handle an expanded repertoire of materials as warp and weft. We’ll create a series of small fabrics woven in a variety of structural combinations that include multiple layers and blocks. The focus will be technical: drafting double and multilayer weaves, learning efficiency in warping, and other tools and tips. We’ll treat the loom as a design tool as we highlight materials within given structures to create innovative fabrics. Intermediate: students should be able to warp and dress a loom, be comfortable with plain weave, and be familiar with weave drafting. Code 03TB

Professional crafts fiber instructor at Haywood Community College (NC); other teaching: Arrowmont (TN), Peters Valley (NJ); exhibitions: Arrowmont, Southern Highlands Craft Guild Center (NC), Handmade Design Expo (NC); collections: Jack Lenor Larsen, Martha Stewart.






summer session 4

july 6 - 18, 2014


Jen Swearington, Cowl Tee, tencel, wool, screenprinted

Jen Swearington
Screenprinting on Fabric

screenprinting is versatile and fun and capable of producing everything from improvisational compositions to intricate designs. We’ll start by creating stencils on the screen—harvesting found-texture rubbings, painting and hand-cutting paper stencils, using grocery store materials, and exposing finely-detailed photo emulsion. Then we’ll move to the print table to explore composition and implied pattern by loosely layering prints onto rich surfaces. Finally, we’ll design and print structured repeat patterns such as brick and half-drop layouts on yardage. Bring T-shirts and items from home that could use some spark, along with your favorite designs, imagery, energy, and ideas. All levels. Code 04TA

tudio artist, designer, Jennythreads; teaching: Arrowmont (TN), Penland; exhibitions: River Gallery (TN), Lark & Key Gallery (NC), Western Carolina University (NC); author/illustrator, Printing on Fabric:Tools and Techniques with Screens, Stencils, and Dyes (Lark).





Nathalie Miebach, O Fortuna, Sandy Spins,

data, reed, wood, rope, bamboo,

24 x 18 x 18 inches







Nathalie Miebach
Sculptural Weaving

This workshop will introduce students to basket-weaving techniques (twining, plaiting, coiling, random weave) that can be applied to contemporary sculptural explorations. Using open bases, multiple beginnings, integration of solid objects, mixing traditional and nontraditional materials, and using traditional weaving techniques as binders are just some of the ideas we’ll explore. The emphasis of this workshop is on play and using these sculptural approaches from the perspective of a tinkerer willing to take risks with materials and the outcome of work. All levels, but some sculptural experience will be helpful. Code 04TB

Studio artist; Pollock-Krasner award, TED Global Fellowship; residencies: Amherst College (MA), Fine Arts Work Center (RI); exhibitions: Craft and Folk Art Museum (Los Angeles), Fuller Craft Museum (MA), Museum of Science (Boston); collections: deCordova Sculpture Museum (MA), Spencer Art Museum (KS).

Nathalie explores the intersection of art and science by translating scientific data related to meteorology, ecology, and oceanography into woven sculptures and musical scores/performances. Her main method of data translation is basket weaving, which functions as a simple tactile grid through wich to interpret data into three-dimensional space.




summer session 5



Jessica Brommer, Bast Derby, leather, size 8





Jessica Brommer
Hand-Welted Shoemaking

Students in this workshop will make a pair of fully functional leather shoes, built on lasts customized to fit their feet, using only hand tools and century-old techniques. We’ll cover the basic concepts and skills of bespoke footwear, from fitting and last modification, materials selection, pattern tracing, clicking and skiving, sewing, carving the insole, lasting, inseaming, hand-soling, and finishing. Styles will be limited to the classic Oxford, Derby, and Mary Jane, but students will be able to do a great deal of customization through choices in materials and detailing. All levels, although good hand strength is needed. Code 05TA

Studio artist, designer, owner of Stalworth Shoes & Boots (NC); former painter who began making shoes after taking classes at Fashion Institute of Technology (NYC), and apprenticing to showmakers in New York and Oregon; exhibitions: Zeitgeist Gallery (TN), Turner Carroll Gallery (NM), Linda Durham Contemporary Art (Chicago); collections: New Mexico Museum of Fine Art.




Mary Zicafoose, Mountain for Buddha: Sky, weft-faced

ikat tapestry, wool on linen warp, 65 x 62 inches

Mary Zicafoose
Tapestry: Wrapped/Unwrapped

This workshop, which draws on three decades of tapestry and rug weaving experience, will include instruction in color theory, loom etiquette, signature tapestry and weft-faced ikat design, dye and weaving techniques, finishing work for exhibition, sales, ethics, practices, and creative exercises. This is a comprehensive workshop offering inspiration and technical solutions for creative non-loom-controlled processes for weavers at many different levels of experience. Intermediate: students should be able to warp a loom and be comfortable with basic weaving. Code 05TB

Studio artist, co-director of American Tapestry Alliance; teaching: Pacific Textile Arts (CA), Tapestry Weavers South (Atlanta), Mendocino Arts Center (CA); Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts residency (NE); exhibitions: Robert Hillestad Textile Gallery (NE), Fort Wayne Museum of Art (IN), 13 International Triennial of Tapestry (Poland), American Textile Museum (MA); collections: 12 U.S. embassies; creates tapestries, fine carpets, and prints based on archetypal symbols steeped in tradition and saturated with color and intention.






summer session 6

august 10 - 22 , 2014


Kristen Tidwell, Be Well Designed Bag, Echino laminate fabric,

nylon webbing, open cell foam and PEVA lining,
patent pending closure, 8 x 9 x 4 inc

Kristin Alexandra Tidwell
Design for You: From Concept to Distribution

This workshop will cover the essential steps and give you hands-on experience in each phase of starting a creative business around sewn products. We’ll look at brand fit, financial assessment, planning, and creative strategies to refine your design. You’ll research and develop a technical package, a final sample, and a production-ready pattern. I’ll share the tools I use in my design studio to bring a product to market. Students must bring research on target markets, concept drawings, a rough pattern, and a sewn sample to refine in class, plus a computer. Intermediate. Code 06TA

Studio artist, designer, owner of Sew Specialized (NC); Emmy nominee for costume design for NBC’s Another World; designer for clients including Boppy, Inc., CBS’s As the World Turns, Lincoln Center, Broadhurst Theatre, Lyric Opera of Chicago, American Repertory Theatre.







Tali Weinberg, Not Red (detail), handwoven

linen, hemp, cotton, dyed with cochineal

and madder root

Tali Weinberg
The Language of Weaving

We’ll experiment with a variety of weaving techniques with an emphasis on color, material, pattern, and structure as the vocabulary of woven language. Focusing on the interactions between these elements, students will learn about color theory and material properties as they use the floor loom to create experimental samples and finished pieces. We’ll take inspiration from the global history of weaving and contemporary art, while students are encouraged to develop their own technical, material, and visual vocabularies. All levels; beginners encouraged. Code 06TB

Studio artist, curator, executive director of Textile Society of America; teaching: California College of the Arts, Textile Arts Center (NY); residencies: Textile Arts Center (NY); exhibitions: Berkeley Art Museum (CA), Asian Art Museum (San Francisco), Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art (CA); collection: Berkeley Art Museum (CA).






summer session 7

august 24 - 30 , 2014


Ana Lisa Hedstrom, Bow Tie Whirl, hand-dyed

and pieced silk quilt, discharge dyed, natural dyes,

40 x 40 inches



Ana Lisa Hedstrom
Shibori: Kyokechi & Katano

This class will explore pattern dyeing by channeling dye through patterns cut into clamps (kyokechi) and by machine-stitching folded cloth before dyeing (katano). We’ll compare various dye applications with these techniques: a natural-fermentation indigo vat, natural dyes from extracts and plants, and synthetic dyes. We’ll add texture by resist-scouring organza. The workshop will include discussions of design, with an emphasis on piecing for clothing, quilts, and art textiles. Samples and books will be available for inspiration. All levels. Code 07TA

Studio artist; teaching: San Francisco State University, California College of the Arts; NEA fellowships, fellow of the American Craft Council; exhibitions: Fresno Art Museum (CA), de Young Museum (San Francisco); collections: Cooper Hewitt Museum (NY), Museum of Arts and Design (NY); commissions: American Embassy, Brunei.






Ismini Samanidou with Sharon Blakely,

Pairings (detail), ceramic spoon, woven cloth



Ismini Samanidou
Memory Place

This is a concept-led workshop presenting an opportunity to think freely and experiment with weaving as a medium for embodying ideas. Bring along an object that has meaning for you and holds memory. Through discussion and practical work, we’ll consider how this object can be part of the process of conceiving and making a woven piece. We’ll also explore the ephemeral alchemy of found materials and how photographic documentation of woven structures and the weaving process can expand the possibilities of their permanent physical presence. This is an open workshop where we can experiment on and off the loom with a variety of materials. All levels. Code 07TB

Studio artist; teaching: University College Falmouth and Central Saint Martins (UK); Josef and Anni Albers Foundation residency; exhibitions: Crafts Study Center (UK), Center for Craft Creativity and Design (NC), Shaw Gallery (UT); collections: Victoria and Albert Museum (London), Crafts Council (UK).





fall concentration

september 21 - november 14, 2014


Donna Brown, Gears, hand-dyed,

immersion and resist dyed, discharge,

screenprint,natural dye extracts, silk,

34 x 21 inches

Donna Brown
Natural Dyes: Explore the Possibilities

This workshop will explore the natural-dye process in depth, using plants, extracts, and earth pigments. Students will experience the many ways natural dyes can be used for textile art and develop a personal, natural-dye color palette to create cloth for wearable art, quilts, or wall pieces. Techniques will include immersion dyeing, mordant application for color effects, printing, shibori, resist dyeing, stenciling, discharge, block printing, monoprinting, basic and improvisational screenprinting, and personal imagery. All levels. Code F00TA

Studio artist; production natural dyer for Treenway Silks (CO), natural dye sales representative and instructor for Table Rock Llamas Fiber Arts Studio (CO); teaching: Denver Art Museum, Campbell Folk School (NC), Earth Palette Conference (NM), Surface Design Association, Color Congress, Mayan Hands (Guatemala).








fall session 3

november 2 - 8, 2014


Beth Ross Johnson, Element: Earth (detail), cotton, earth pigments,

stretched canvas, 12 x 12 inches





Beth Ross Johnson
Weaving: The First Layer

Woven cloth is made from layers of elements—warp, weft, color, woven structure, and overall design—that require design considerations at different levels of scale. By learning to warp with multiple threads, to beam on without tangles, and other tricks of the trade, we can use the process of winding a warp as a way to establish a foundation for fabrics that will go where we want them to go. Students will get to warp a loom at least twice. This class is for beginners as well as experienced weavers who dread the warping process and would like to get over that. All levels. Code F03TB

Studio artist; teaching: Campbell Folk School (NC), Nantahala School for the Arts (NC), Haywood Community College (NC), Great Tree Zen Temple (NC); exhibitions: Castell dell’Ovo (Italy), Piedmont Crafts, Inc. (NC), SAY Sí Gallery (TX).




spring session 3

april 19 - 25, 2015


Lisa Sorrell, Bramble and the Rose, leather

Lisa Sorrell
Working with Leather

Students in this workshop will learn to identify different types of leather, cut and skive leather, and create projects using leather inlay and overlay. We’ll start with all students creating the same projects as they learn techniques. As the week progresses, students will be encouraged to use what they’ve learned to create something original. All levels. Code S03TA

Bespoke cowboy boot maker; gold medal at International Shoemaker’s Days (Germany), gold medal from The Netherlands Shoemaking Association, first place for cowboy boots at Sheridan Leather Show (WY), best artist in leather at Western Design Conference (WY), bronze award at Smithsonian Craft Show (DC); featured artist in the PBS series, “Craft in America.”