Textile Workshops at Penland



We have eliminated the early-registration lottery. We will begin accepting registration for 2018 summer workshops at 9:00 AM EST on Monday, January 8. Registration for full-pay students will be on a first-come, first-served basis and will continue until workshops are filled. Spaces are reserved in each workshop for scholarship students. Scholarship applications are due by February 17.

Penland offers 1-, 2-, and 8-week classes taught by visiting instructors in our well-equipped studios. Class topics include tapestry weaving, sewing, knitting, quilting, surface design, natural dyes, shibori, basketry, and more. Workshops are open to serious students of all levels unless specified in course description; beginners welcome.

Textiles Spring One-Week Session One
March 25 – 31
Jane Callender
Indigo Shibori

In this workshop students will engage in the multifaceted art form that is shibori, creating resists and dyeing in three different indigo vats to exploit indigo’s exceptional capabilities. (Additional dyes will also be available.) Through simple geometry and pattern planning, we’ll explore the many textures and pattern variables possible with stitched shibori. We’ll also cover itajime, cylinder wrapping, binding, and reserving, learning to engineer them in isolation and in combination with stitching to produce unique samples using natural fiber fabrics. A time of personal observation, interpretation, and study will bring the workshop to a close. Students should have basic hand stitching skills. Second-floor walkup studio. Studio fee: $40. Code S01TB

Studio artist, owner of Callishibori; teaching: Maiwa Symposium (Vancouver), Kuwait Arts and Textile Association, Aranya Natural (India); London Arts Board individual craftsman award; author of 2000 Pattern Combinations and Stitched Shibori.


Jane Callender, "Study Sample," indigo on cotton, 16 x 11 inches (Photo copyright by Search Press.)
Textiles Spring Concentration
March 11-May 4
Amara Hark-Weber
From Shoes to Boots: Footwear 101

This workshop will walk you through the basics of footwear construction, patterning, and finishing—and everything in between. Each student will design, pattern, click, close, last, and finish each of their own pairs of shoes or boots. We’ll cover three assembly techniques: we’ll start with cemented shoes, move to pegged shoes, and then we’ll cover hand welting. The workshop will be taught through demonstrations and individual instruction. Be prepared to work hard and be forgiving, as shoemaking is not for the faint of heart. Strong hands are encouraged; a strong will is necessary. All levels. Note: this workshop is taught in a third-floor walk-up studio. Studio fee: $215. Code S00TA

Custom shoemaker; teaching: School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Quest University (British Columbia), University of Wisconsin-Madison, and privately; William R. French and Jerome fellowships, Minnesota Artist Initiative Grant, 2017 Rare Craft Fellowship.


Amara Hark-Weber, "Untitled Gold and Black," salmon, water buffalo, and cow leathers, thread, ladies size 8-1/2
Textiles Summer Session One
May 27-June 8
Lavanya Mani

This workshop will explore kalamkari, a traditional Indian drawing, printing, and dyeing process once known famously as chintz. Through lecture-demonstrations and hands-on application, students will learn how kalamkari was made historically, how it is practiced today in various parts of India, and how it can be adapted for the contemporary studio. We’ll create strong, vivid colors using classic dye. We’ll cover fabric selection and the procedures and techniques for preparing fabric so it is receptive to the dye, including scouring, and pre-treatment with tannins and mordants. All levels. Code 01TA

Studio artist; exhibitions: solo at Chemould Prescott Road (Mumbai), Victoria and Albert Museum (London), Kochi-Muziris Biennale (India), Galerie Pagoda (Paris), Pearl Lam Gallery (Shanghai).

Lavanya Mani, "The Emperor’s New Machine," natural dye on cotton fabric, 6 x 9 feet
Textiles Summer Session One
May 27-June 8
Susie Taylor
Weaving Origami & Other Dimensional Possibilities

Students in this workshop will imagine, engineer, and create flat woven textiles that transform into dimensional forms. We’ll start by folding paper models that will lead into weaving and folding discontinuous pleats. This process involves modifying the loom and the weaving process and relies both on loom-controlled structures and hand manipulation techniques. We’ll explore other dimensional possibilities through frequent discussions about drafting, loom modification, and analysis of existing woven forms. We’ll experiment and collaborate. Students must be able to warp a floor loom unassisted and have an understanding of weave structures. Code 01TB

Studio artist; teaching: Tyler School of Art (Philadelphia), Arrowmont (TN); exhibitions: 9th International Fiber Art Biennale (China), 11th International Biennale of Contemporary Textile Art (Ukraine); publications: Artistry in Fiber Vol. 1 (Schiffer).


Susie Taylor, "Twill Diamond Positive," linen, 
24 x 24 inches
Textiles Summer Session Two
June 10-22
Ruth Miller
Embroidered Portraiture

This workshop will teach a process for creating realistic portraits with hand-stitched embroidery. Accurate observation will replace preconceived notions of reality and form the basis for shaded and colored-pencil reference drawings. We’ll use grids to transfer line drawings onto stretched fabric for under-images made with wool yarns. We’ll cover stitching placement and yarn combinations that will create 2d forms with complex color fields. Students may begin a full portrait or complete several small studies; the workshop will cover all parts of the process. A willingness to strive for accuracy is necessary but a prior ability to achieve it is not. All levels. Code 02TA

Studio artist; teaching: Tougaloo College (MS), Our Children’s Foundation (NYC); NYC Urban Artist Initiative grant, Mississippi Arts Commission fellowship; exhibitions: solo at Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art (MS).


Ruth Miller, "Teacup Fishing" (detail), wool, fabric
Textiles Summer Session Two
June 10-22
Wendy Weiss
Pattern & Motif: Warp Ikat with Natural Dyes

We’ll prepare cotton warps to create patterns and singular motifs using Indian-type ikat resist and natural dye on warp and weft yarn. Beginning to advanced weavers will learn all the steps of setting up the loom from back to front with an ikat warp. Beginning weavers will explore basic weaving with their original warps, while intermediate and advanced students will design more intricate resist patterns and work with weave structure design. Students will complete at least two warp ikat weavings in hues of red, yellow, and purple. All levels. Code 02TB

Professor emeritus at University of Nebraska-Lincoln; other teaching: Peters Valley (NJ), MidAtlantic Fiber Association (PA), Handweavers Guild of America (WI); two Fulbright Nehru Scholar awards; exhibitions: Surface Design Association (Santa Fe), 15th International Triennial of Tapestry (Poland).


Wendy Weiss, "Resist," cotton, natural dyes, 22 x 40 inches
Textiles Summer Session Three
June 24-July 6
Anna Toth
Denim: Fabric of Resistance

This workshop will focus on patterning and constructing a custom pair of denim jeans for each student. We’ll also reflect on the cultural and historical significance of the material. Students will leave with a pair of jeans made specifically to their measurements, as well as a booklet of instructions and sewn examples of the techniques involved. Students will have the opportunity to embellish their finished jeans using embroidery techniques, specialized hardware, etc. We’ll work with non-stretch blue and black denim. All levels; sewing experience will be helpful. Code 03TA

Studio artist, teacher, founder of Asheville School for the Apparel Arts (NC); Charleston Fashion Week Emerging Designer award and People’s Choice award (SC), featured designer at Ragtrade Atlanta; publications: Southern Makers (Princeton Architectural Press).


Anna Toth, "Sashiko Jumper," blue denim, cotton thread, zipper
Textiles Summer Session Three
June 24-July 6
María Dávila & Eduardo Portillo
Weaving Ideas

This workshop will investigate how textiles can transmit ideas and capture a sense of place. Working with floor looms, weaving exercises exploring diverse techniques and materials will get us closer to the properties of those materials and an understanding of their potentials and limitations. Discussions and recording of Penland’s environment, history, and daily life could be starting points for connecting textiles and meaning. Individual projects may take the form of weaving samples, drafts, or objects. Our intent is to lay the groundwork for work that students will continue at home. This workshop will frame questions; answers will come with practice and time. All levels. Code 03TB

Collaborating studio artists; 2017 Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship; exhibitions: Whitworth Gallery (UK), Cooper Hewitt Museum (NYC), Textile Museum (DC), Foundation TAC (Venezuela), Longhouse Reserve (NY); collections: Museum of Arts and Design (NYC).

A short video about María and Eduardo’s fascinating process.

María Dávila and Eduardo Portillo, "Al Amanecer (At Dawn)," silk, moriche palm fiber, copper, natural dyes, 75 x 37 inches
Textiles Summer Session Four
July 8-20
Christina Roberts
Plant to Print

We’ll explore the modern applications of ancient pattern making on cloth using mordants, natural dyes, and screen printing. We’ll start with studio safety, mixing mordants, preparing dye baths, basic screenprinting, and producing amazing color swatches for reference. We’ll explore many ways to create imagery with photo-emulsion screenprinting. Daily demonstrations, discussions of historic and contemporary works, and plenty of time for experimentation will allow students to engage in the exciting world of natural dyes. An organic indigo bath and clay resists will add more possibilities. All levels. Code 04TA

Studio artist and master printer; co-founder of Marafiki Arts, a nonprofit that uses textiles to promote sustainable economic development; teaching: Tyler School of Art (Pennsylvania), Nagoya University (Japan), Turku College of Art (Finland), Makerere University (Uganda); research fellowship from Winterthur Museum (DE).

Christina Roberts, "Ladok Cement Worker in Logwood," cotton, iron and copper mordants, logwood dye, 50 x 45 inches
Textiles Summer Session Four
July 8-20
Gabrielle Duggan
Sculptural Fibers

Building on weaving and off-loom traditions, we’ll explore unexpected approaches to sculptural fiber work. We’ll broaden definitions of traditional techniques by re-situating media, technology, and approach through fundamental dynamics such as unification, tension, and balance. We’ll work primarily off-loom— machine and hand knitting, spinning, crocheting, felting, etc.—and apply these experiences to basic weaving on a floor loom. Unconventional media will be welcomed; we’ll troubleshoot collaboratively. Throughout we’ll consider implications of labor, gender, race, and class and explore how work can occupy space in ways that are both intuitive and calculating, invasive and non-invasive. All levels. Code 04TB

Visiting assistant professor at University of North Texas; residencies: Ponyride (MI), Musk Ox Farm (AK), Governor’s Island (NYC); exhibitions: Garis and Hahn (NYC), Southeast Center for Contemporary Art (NC).


Gabrielle Duggan, "Fictitious Force," cotton, architectural remnants, stones, 12 x 14 x 9 feet
Textiles Summer Session Five
July 22-August 7
Kim Eichler-Messmer
Natural Dyes & Quilting: Expanding on Tradition

This workshop will explore the potential for combining natural dyeing and quilting. We’ll cover a wide variety of natural dye techniques on cotton fabric including immersion dyeing with indigo and mordant dyes, overdyeing, shibori, clay resist, mordant painting/printing, and discharge. After creating a colorful library of dyed and patterned cloth, students will learn the basics of quilting including traditional and improvisational piecing and hand and machine quilting. Throughout the workshop we’ll channel our inner pioneers and practice patience, perseverance, and thoughtfulness. All levels. Code 05TA

Associate professor at Kansas City Art Institute (MO); other teaching: Arrowmont (TN), QuiltCon (CA); exhibitions: Quilt National (OH), International Quilt Festival; author of Modern Color: An Illustrated Guide to Dyeing Fabric for Modern Quilts (C&T Publishing).


Kim Eichler-Messmer, "How the Light Gets In," hand quilted, naturally dyed and discharged cotton, 54 x 54 inches
Textiles Summer Session Five
July 22-August 7
Kyoung Ae Cho
Mixed Media: Conversations with Nature

Paying close attention to marks that time has left behind in nature and the environment, this workshop will explore ideas while expanding visual and conceptual language. Students will be encouraged to use natural resources and found objects in creating outdoor installations as well as objects in the studio. This class is less of a how-to and more of an experience in discovery, questioning, and finding ongoing ways of working. All levels. Code 05TB

Professor at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; other teaching: Kansas City Art Institute (MO); exhibitions: Lynden Sculpture Garden (WI), Muskegon Museum (MI), North Carolina Museum of Art, Gregg Museum (NC), Kohler Arts Center (WI), Kemper Museum (MO); Sheldon Museum (NE), Tweed Museum (Duluth).


Kyoung Ae Cho, "Excess-Reworked" (detail), crabapple, burn marks, thread, canvas
Textiles Summer Session Six
August 12-24
Jane Keith
Color onto Cloth: Printing on Silk & Wool

This experimental, practice-based workshop will explore a wide range of approaches to applying color and pattern onto silk or wool using acid-dye paste: screenprinting, monoprinting, hand painting, stenciling, etc. Students will learn to mix their own print paste, while understanding the different auxiliaries needed and what each one does. We’ll begin with a couple of days generating visual research information from which to develop ideas—including experimental mark-making techniques and different drawing approaches. The final outcomes will vary according to the individual and may include scarves, wallhangings, wearables, and more. All levels. Code 06TA

Co-director for textile design at Duncan of Jordanstone College (Scotland); founder at Jane Keith Designs (high end textile accessories); has worked with clients including Liberty of London, Victoria and Albert Museum (London), and Museum of Modern Art (NYC).


Jane Keith, "Harlequin Hanging 1," hand painted wool, 60 x 60 inches
Textiles Summer Session Six
August 12-24
Susan Iverson
Pushing Tapestry

After basic instruction in tapestry weaving, this workshop will give students an opportunity to investigate pulled warp—a technique that may be used to create shaped tapestries and 3d forms. This little-used method has great potential for experimentation. We’ll also cover other ways of shaping tapestries. Students will be encouraged to play with these techniques so they become catalysts for idea formation and development. We’ll weave on floor looms and frame looms. All levels. Code 06TB

Professor emeritus at Virginia Commonwealth University; NEA fellowship, Virginia Commission for the Arts prize, Theresa Pollak Award (VA); exhibitions: solo at Greenville Fine Arts Center (SC), 15th International Triennial of Tapestry (Poland), “FABRICations” (traveling), Hunterdon Art Museum (NJ).


Susan Iverson, "Beyond the Surface I," wool, silk, linen, 231/2 x 361/4 x 2 inches
Textiles Summer Session Seven
August 26-September 1
Lindsay Ketterer Gates
Sculpting with Fiber Techniques in Wire

This workshop will cover basic wire techniques that can be used to create 3D forms. We’ll explore the world of contemporary basketry, the use of found and commonplace objects as embellishment, and working with wire mesh. Techniques will include looping (knotless netting), random weave, tinkering, twining, and coiling. Students will be encouraged to combine techniques with unusual materials and/or with the materials and techniques they typically work with. Students may work as small or as large as they wish. All levels. Code 07TA

Studio artist and development director at Peters Valley (NJ), teaching: Haystack (ME), Arrowmont (TN), Peters Valley, Pittsburgh Fiber Arts Guild; exhibitions: “Rooted, Revived, Reinvented: Basketry in America” (traveling), Fuller Craft Museum (MA), Duane Reed Gallery (St. Louis); collections: Art in Embassies (Djibouti), Museum of Arts and Design (NYC), Racine Art Museum (WI).


Lindsay Ketterer Gates, "Lily of the Valley," stainless steel mesh, coated copper wire, steel, patina, paint, 28 x 14 x 6 inches
Textiles Summer Session Seven
August 26-September 1
Cassie Dickson
Weaving Traditional Linens

Discover 18th century methods of processing flax plants into linen cloth using a flax brake, scutching tools, and hackles. We’ll cover methods for growing and retting the plant, dressing a distaff, and spinning the fiber to make linen thread. Students will work collaboratively to dress floor looms with prepared warps and explore traditional weave structures: Ms and Os, bronson, huck, and twill. Expect to finish two or three heirloom towels and samples of different weave structures. All levels. Code 07TB

Studio artist; teaching: Campbell Folk School (NC), New England Flax and Linen Symposium, Southeast Fiber Forum; exhibitions: Lyndon House Arts Center (GA), Asheville Arts Commission (NC).

Cassie Dickson, "Flax and Twill Runner" (detail), flax, cotton, linen