Textile Workshops at Penland
Penland offers 1 to 8-week workshops 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 Summer Session 1
May 29–June 3
Traditional Hand-Sewn Leatherwork
This workshop will cover the foundational skills of hand-sewn leatherwork using the traditional, two-needle saddle stitch with natural vegetable-tanned cowhide. We’ll begin with small projects followed by large tote bags that can be customized with pockets and hardware. Techniques will include surface decoration, wet molding, hardware installation, pattern drafting, and leather treatment. This is a relaxing, machine-free way to construct objects of great beauty and integrity. No experience is necessary, but this workshop does require good hand dexterity and enough arm strength to pound hand tools with mallets. All levels. Upper textiles studio.
Studio artist; teaching: Metropolitan State University (Denver), University of Minnesota, North House Folk School (MN); multiple individual artist grants from Minnesota State Arts Board, two McKnight Foundation fellowships (MN); collections (visual art): Minneapolis Institute of Art, Museum of Contemporary Photography, Portland Art Museum (OR), Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University (CT).
Textiles Summer Session 1
May 29–June 3
Workshop of Exploration and Possibilities
In this workshop we’ll explore many areas of weaving: students may choose to focus on tapestry, rugs, cloth, overshot, etc. We’ll also engage in color exercises. I will be glad to answer student questions ahead of time and take suggestions for content. To maximize use of class time, students may choose to bring a warp, wound, and ready to go. Intermediate level: students must be able to dress a loom unassisted. Lower textiles studio.
Professor emerita at University of North Carolina-Charlotte; Penland Outstanding Artist Educator Award; collections: Mint Museum (Charlotte), North Carolina Museum of History, Greenville Museum of Art (SC), Southern Highland Craft Guild (NC); numerous private collections, former Penland Resident Artist.
Textiles Summer Session 2
June 5–June 17
Emily Parkinson and Sarah Parkinson
More Is More with Mordants
Join us for a full-speed, full-fun session of pattern play, mordant printing, and natural dyes! Students will learn to combine precise and repeatable screen printing techniques with the rich and storied hues of classic dyes. Daily pattern prompts will get our ideas flowing and inspire original, multi-layered designs made with brushes, pens, cut paper, found imagery, digital manipulation, and more. We’ll expose our patterns onto screens and print them with a range of thickened mordants. Then we’ll prepare dyes, including cutch, madder, cochineal, weld, and indigo, and experience some true dyer’s magic as our printed textiles take on varied shades in a single pot. Bring your exuberant curiosity and leave with a foundation of printing and dyeing skills, a library of samples, and a handful of finished pieces. All levels. Upper textiles studio.
Emily: co-founder of Homebody Textiles, co-founder of Wildflower Delivery Co.; teaching: Snow Farm (MA), Penland; exhibitions: Growing Color Symposium (NC), Red Brick Arts Center Portraiture Exhibition (CO), CraftWeek Atlanta/Southeast (online), Penland Gallery; publications: UPPERCASE Magazine, Nature’s Colorways (Longthread Media).
Sarah: director of marketing at Pilchuck Glass School (WA), co-founder of Homebody Textiles; teaching: Snow Farm (MA), Penland; exhibitions: Growing Color Symposium (NC), Dartmouth Graphic Arts Workshop (NH), CraftWeek Atlanta/Southeast (online), Penland Gallery; publications: UPPERCASE Magazine, Nature’s Colorways (Longthread Media).
Textiles Summer Session 2
June 5–June 17
Limitations as License
Friction with the perceived limitations of a discipline can often spark the fire of creative thinking and problem-solving. Students in this workshop will learn (or review) the fundamentals of weaving, including measuring and winding warps, dressing looms, calculating sett, and drafting on paper and the computer. These fundamentals may be seen as limitations, but during the second half of the class we’ll apply the skills acquired and honed in the previous week to personal projects by exploring/deploying a variety of weaving techniques that challenge the loom’s limitations, such as layered weaves, pile weaves, deflecting structures, and pick-up techniques. Students should bring a laptop computer if they have one. All levels. Lower textiles studio.
Studio artist and certified master weaver; teaching: Vävstuga Weaving School (MA), Campbell Folk School (NC), Arrowmont (TN); publications: Handwoven, Complex Weavers 40th Anniversary Book, The Art of Weaving 4th Edition.
Textiles Summer Session 3
June 19–July 1
Ann B. Coddington
Sculptural Basketry Plus
We’ll explore basketry as a sculptural medium capable of expressing ideas and carrying meaning beyond its utilitarian traditions. We’ll focus on twining with waxed linen and reed and also cover other processes such as netting, looping, random weave, and crochet. Most importantly we’ll share, discover, connect, interact, play, create, and have fun! All levels. Upper textiles studio.
Studio artist; teaching: Eastern Illinois University, Northwest Basket Weavers Guild (WA), Los Angeles Basketry Guild, Arrowmont (TN), Haystack (ME); Varda residency (CA); exhibitions: Quincy Art Center (IL), Textile Center (MN), Cedarhurst Center for the Arts (IL), Basketry in America (traveling).
Textiles Summer Session 3
June 19–July 1
Woven Cloth, Raw Material
We’ll create weaving-based artworks that start on the loom and finish as mixed-media collages. Experimenting with nontraditional interventions in the weaving process, including unweaving and on-loom painting, we’ll create a body of small weavings to develop an understanding of the qualities and characteristics of painting with pigment on thread and cloth. Off the loom, our woven cloth will become our raw material as we learn to stabilize, layer, and assemble woven elements into larger collage/mixed-media works backed with paper or unstretched canvas. Intermediate level: students must be comfortable setting up a loom and weaving plain/balanced weave. Lower textiles studio.
Studio artist; teaching: Virginia Commonwealth University; exhibitions: Reynolds Gallery (VA), Center for Craft (NC), Museum Rijswijk (Netherlands); collections: North Carolina Museum of Art, Markel Corporation (VA), Dominion Energy (VA).
Textiles Summer Session 4
Cloth Is Material
This workshop will be a rich examination of the materiality of fiber and its narrative influence on handwoven cloth and our design process. We’ll trace fiber stories from origin through finished works. Ranging from the last organic cotton farmers in West Texas to the importance of Landrace wool cultivation, discussions will touch on fiber agriculture and processing, sustainability, and cultural ownership. Through sketching, writing, and sampling, students will be asked to create woven work deeply integrating material and form. We’ll cover a variety of fundamental weaving drafts, hand finishing methods, and decorative weaving techniques including leno and overlay. All levels. Lower textiles studio.
Studio artist, vice president of client services at Higg Co, providing sustainability assessment tools to apparel and textile industries; Albers Foundation Research Residency (CT); lectures: Museum Design Summit (Santa Fe), DO Lectures (CA); collections: Rhode Island School of Design.
Textiles Summer Session 5
Dr. Anthony Wilson
Construction, Fit, Embellishment
This workshop will be an introduction to apparel construction and fit. Students will customize commercial patterns, prototyping with muslin and then creating finished garments with a variety of material choices. We’ll have one-on-one fitting sessions and demonstrations of various construction, finishing, and embellishment techniques. Students can expect to complete at least two garments. Bring your favorite woven fabrics from home. Sewing skills will be helpful, but this workshop is open to all levels. Upper textiles studio.
Assistant professor of apparel design and merchandising at Appalachian State University (NC), owner of Anthony Wilson Designs (NC), a custom clothing design business; exhibitions: International Textile and Apparel Association conferences (NC, LA, TN), Costume Society of America annual meeting and symposium (VA), North Carolina Museum of Art.
Textiles Summer Session 5
Skins, Skeletons, Nets, and Knots: 3D Textiles
In this experimental workshop, students will learn methods for building skeletal structures with rigid and semi-rigid materials such as rattan, bamboo, wood, wire, found materials, and recycled frameworks. Techniques will include lashing, chaotic plaiting, and wire construction. To put skins on these structures, we’ll work with knotted and knotless netting, gut, and rice papers. Paintable graphite, wax, and kakishibu tannin will further modify surfaces. Exercises, brainstorming, and problem-solving challenges will guide your production of a series of prototypes that will ignite your studio practice. All levels. Lower textiles studio.
Studio artist, professor emeritus at Community College of Rhode Island; other teaching: Haystack (ME), Peters Valley (NJ), Maiwa (Vancouver); exhibitions: Wayne Art Center (NJ), Cheongju International Craft Biennale (Korea), International Shibori Symposium.
Textiles Summer Session 6
July 31–August 12
Tomoko Torimaru and Yoshiko I. Wada
Boro Transformed and One Needle, One Thread
In this dynamic workshop, we’ll reinterpret the Japanese folk tradition of boro (tattered, mended, patched items) and delve into the Miao traditions of stitchery and piecework. We’ll make a folded case to keep threads, learn basic stitches for ornament and reinforcement, and create intricate fabric mosaics and appliqués from scrap fabrics. Topics will include stitching, piecing, patching, mending, fulling, and strengthening fabric by dyeing it in an organic indigo vat. These processes will record the history of reuse, repair, and the time spent stitching, bringing boro’s imperfect beauty and hidden value to the surface. All levels. Upper textiles studio.
Tomoko: researcher, author, teacher; author of One Needle, One Thread: Miao (Hmong) embroidery and fabric piecework from Guizhou, China, co-author of Imprints On Cloth: 18 Years Of Field Research Among The Miao People Of Guizhou, China.
Yoshiko: studio artist, curator, author/co-author of books on shibori, kimono, boro, and contemporary textile art; teaching: Haystack (ME), Arrowmont (TN), National Institute of Design (India), Okinawa Prefecture Fine Arts University (Japan); honorary fellow of the American Craft Council, president of World Shibori Network, two Japan Foundation fellowships, co-chair of all eleven International Shibori Symposia.
Textiles Summer Session 7
Everyone has a story and the act of storytelling is healing for both the teller and the audience. In this workshop, inspired by the Kenté cloth weavers of Ghana, we’ll blend storytelling and weaving using shapes and symbols on painted warps that will be woven into long strips and then sewn together to create beautiful, woven designs. We’ll create imagery and pattern on warps through painting, dyeing, printing, and discharge. We’ll conclude the workshop by hand-stitching our strips together. All levels. Lower textiles studio.
Assistant professor at Massachusetts College of Art; residencies: Michigan State University, Sacatar Foundation (Brazil), St. Mary’s Art Center (NV); exhibitions: Honolulu Museum of Art, Wellin Museum of Art (NY), Jack Bell Gallery (London), Gallery Fritz (Santa Fe).
TEXTILES SHORT SESSION
September 25 – 30, 2022
Topaz M. Terry
Sewing with Bicycle Inner Tubes
Used bicycle inner tubes are an often overlooked material that can be sewn into durable, water-repellent, mold-resistant, and easy-to-clean items. It does not behave exactly like fabric or leather, but it can be worked using techniques from both of these craft traditions. We’ll process and machine-sew inner tubes into a strong “fabric” and then explore techniques for constructing leather-like bags and accessories with that material. Students will leave with a universal-fit belt and a bag made from a selected pattern. Experience using a sewing machine and/or working with leather will be a plus, but this workshop is open to all levels. Flex studio.
Studio artist, owner of BicycleTrash (DC); member of the collaboratively-run Brookland Arts Walk (DC); memberships: Made in DC, DC Department of Small and Local Business, Craft Industry Alliance; Penland Winter Residency; work shown nationally including Smithsonian’s Craft Optimism (online).
TEXTILES FALL CONCENTRATION
October 2 – November 11, 2022
The Ikat Portfolio: Weaving Resist-Dyed Cloth
This workshop will cover the basic templates for creating warp, weft, and double-ikat cloth. Daily demonstrations and weekly weaving projects will teach a broad range of resist-dye processes and approaches drawing from many ikat makers and the diverse cultural expressions of global ikat. Class assignments will include designing cloth using multiple-resist wrapping sequences and dye baths, building visual complexity through a selection of warp-shifting methods, exploring woven narrative imagery, and using ikat as a vehicle for contemporary art/cloth making. We’ll also explore possibilities for incorporating ikat wrapping structures into sculpture. Our study will be enriched by virtual presentations from several contemporary American ikat artists. All levels. Second-floor textiles studio.
Studio artist; co-director emeritus of the American Tapestry Alliance; teaching: St. Mary’s College (IN), Maiwa (Vancouver, BC), Arrowmont (TN), Penland; exhibitions: “Craft Forms 2021” at Wayne Art Center (PA), Moreau Galleries (IN), University of Mississippi Museum, San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles (CA); collections: Museum of Nebraska Art, United States Art in Embassies Collections globally; author of Ikat: The Essential Handbook to Weaving Resist-Dyed Cloth (Penguin Random House).
NOTE: This workshop takes place in a second-floor walk-up studio that is made partially accessible by a stairlift.