Textile Workshops at Penland


Penland offers 1-, 2-, and 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.

NOTE: Many aspects of Penland workshops will be altered for 2021 because of the pandemic, but we’re moving ahead with optimism and care. Before you apply, please read our COVID-19 Safety Guidelines document so you will know what to expect and what will be expected of you. And know that, if conditions force us to cancel workshops, you’ll get a full refund on your payment.

Paper – Special Session
May 9-15, 2021
Bhavna Mehta
Paper Plus

This workshop will combine paper and thread in a unique process. Using a combination of cotton and abaca pulp, we’ll form small sheets of paper in various sizes and use colored cotton thread to make marks, patterns, and images. We’ll layer embroidery done on Solvy (a water-soluble membrane) onto wet paper and fuse the two materials to make the fibers bond and the images float. Dried paper sheets can be cut, folded, and further embroidered to create objects with volume and narrative. Students will develop their ideas through play, experimentation, and collaboration. All levels. Paper studio.

Studio artist; teaching: Women’s Studio Workshop (NY), San Diego Book Arts (CA), University of California San Diego Extension Program, Penland; grants: San Diego Foundation Creative Catalyst (CA), California Arts Council Artists in Communities.


Bhavna Mehta, "Resist with Your Voice #4," Canson paper, embroidery floss, 15 x 15 x 1/2 inches
Textiles – Special Session
May 9-15, 2021
Emily Parkinson and Sarah Parkinson
Prints, Patterns, and Plants

Spend the week immersed in the wonders of mordant printing! Students will learn to combine precise and repeatable screenprinting techniques with the rich and storied hues of natural dyes. We’ll start with daily pattern play, using short prompts and exercises to get ideas flowing. From there we’ll create multilayered negatives, expose them onto screens, and print our designs on cellulose fibers using a range of thickened mordants. We’ll mix classic dyes, including pomegranate, cutch, madder, cochineal, and weld, and then try not to gasp as our printed textiles take on varied shades in a single dye pot. Students can expect to leave with a solid foundation of screenprinting and natural dyeing skills and a small selection of samples and finished pieces. All levels. Third-floor textiles studio. 

Emily: co-founder of Homebody Textiles (NC) and Wildflower Delivery Co.; teaching: Snow Farm (MA); exhibitions: Growing Color Symposium (NC), Red Brick Center for the Arts (CO), Cornell Fashion Collective (NY), Penland Gallery; publications: Martha Stewart Sustainable Gift Guide 2020, Better Homes and Gardens online gift guide. Sarah: digital media manager at Penland, co-founder of Homebody Textiles (NC); teaching: Snow Farm Summer (MA); Penland Winter Residency; exhibitions: Growing Color Symposium (NC), Dartmouth Graphic Arts Workshop (NH), Penland Gallery.


Emily Parkinson and Sarah Parkinson, "Bandanas as Flags," cotton, thickened mordants, natural dyes, 24 x 24 inches each
Textiles Summer Session 2
June 6-17, 2021
Patricia Cooke and Jeana Eve Klein
Say It Softly

We may speak loudly in this workshop, but we’ll do it through the softness of textiles. Using language as a starting point—phrases, mottos, slogans, and powerful single words—we’ll make ideas literally tangible. Using a range of textile processes, we’ll translate words into physical forms, including appliqué, reverse-appliqué, trapunto, piecing, embroidery, and embellishment (with plenty of sequins). Students can expect to produce a set of process samples and one or more finished pieces by the end of the workshop. All levels. Northlight building.

Patricia: Instructor of Sculpture at U of Miami (FL), BFA from Appalachian State (NC), MFA from U of Miami (FL). exhibiting in many galleries throughout North Carolina and Florida including a duo show at the Scrap Exchange in Durham (NC).

patriciacooke.com | @misstreesh

Jeana: Professor of fibers at Appalachian State University (NC); other teaching: Arrowmont (TN); Artspace residency (NC), North Carolina Arts Council Individual Craft Artist Fellowship; exhibitions: Museum of Design (Atlanta), PULSE Art Fair (Miami).


textile installation that reads "I didn't write a #secondcivilwarletter, but I haha-faced it.
Jeana Eve Klein, "Recent Activity: Would My Trump-Supporting Facebook Friends Shoot Me?," recycled textiles, sequins, beads, 53 x 68 inches
Patricia Cooke, Pushing up the entire genus, fabric, faux flowers, steel, wood, 45 x 30 x 22 inches
Textiles Summer Session 2
June 6-17, 2021
Beth Ross Johnson
Reuse, Recycle: Sakiori, Sashiko, and Boro

All weaving traditions have ways to recycle worn cloth into new textiles. In this floor-loom weaving workshop, we’ll look to the Japanese folk technique of sakiori and zanshi for inspiration as we use rags and leftover threads to create fabrics for clothing, bags, and other domestic textile items. We’ll also explore the possibilities of sashiko and boro stitching to mend, reinforce, or embellish fabrics and set up an indigo vat to overdye our fabrics. All levels. Second-floor textiles studio.

Studio artist; teaching, Campbell Folk School (NC), Nantahala School for the Arts (NC), Haywood Community College (NC), Great Tree Zen Temple (NC); exhibitions: Tryon Center for the Arts (NC), Piedmont Crafts (NC), Busan Calligraphy Biennale (Korea), Webster University (MO).

fabric in an oatmeal shade with colorful woven details
Beth Ross Johnson, detail of "Zanshi Yardage," natural colored cotton, leftover ikat threads with natural dyes, 24 epi, 12 x 16 inches shown
Textiles Summer Session 3
June 20 – July 1, 2021
Jessica V. Gatlin
Suit Yourself

This workshop will be a hacker’s guide to pattern drafting, alterations, and custom clothing. Using a combination of construction, mending, and printmaking, we’ll impose personal and/or cultural values on existing garments and objects. Through making and altering, we’ll also engage in dialogue pertaining to consumption, access, labor, value, and exchange. We’ll cover sewing, fit adjustments, garment deconstruction, embroidery, mending, and screen printing. Expect to finish two or three pieces, but the emphasis will be on process and experimentation. Basic sewing machine skills will be helpful, but this workshop is open to all levels. Northlight building.

Assistant professor at University of Maryland; residencies: Ox-Bow (MI), Wassaic Projects (NY), ACRE (WI), Eugeniusz Geppert Academy of Fine Arts (Poland); exhibitions: COOP Gallery (TN), Co-Prosperity Sphere (IL), Seedspace (TN), The Holland Project (NV).


woman wearing a shift dress (plain white on one side, black and white pattern on the other)
Jessica V. Gatlin, "Untitled (Printed Dress)," screenprint on cotton, 48 x22 inches
Textiles Summer Session 3
June 20 – July 1, 2021
Erin M. Riley
Imagery in Tapestry

Weaving a tapestry is a journey of the mind and body; every move is deliberate and decided. In this workshop we’ll work through color, line, gesture, and abstraction to explore how tapestry techniques can be employed on a floor loom to create your vision. We’ll cover weft-faced weaving techniques, hatching, shading, color blending, tapestry composition, and drawing preparation, equipping you with the tools needed to translate your imagery into tapestry language. Students will complete one sampler/sketch and one final piece. All levels. Second-floor textiles studio.

Studio artist; teaching: Textile Arts Center (NYC), Weaving Kind Makerie Retreat (CO); residencies: MacDowell (NH), Yaddo (NY), Bemis Center (NE), Museum of Art and Design (NYC), Dieu Donné (NYC), Vermont Studio Center; exhibitions: Henie Onstad Museum (Oslo), Gana Art Center (Seoul), Tang Teaching Museum (NY); representation: P.P.O.W. Gallery (NYC).


tapestry of a tattooed woman in her underwear in front of a mirror
Erin M. Riley, "Reflections 4," wool, cotton, 59 x 48 inches
Textiles Summer Session 4
July 4-15, 2021
Graham Keegan
Natural-Dye Block Print

How do you take color from a plant and adhere it to fabric? Answering this question will require us to answer these: What is fabric? What is the structure of color? How does one move and control each color? We’ll begin by extracting color from locally foraged plants, then we’ll work with extracts from plants grown specifically for their coloring components. With a solid understanding of different types of color and how they interact with fabrics, we’ll begin to shape and control their application onto the cloth. After carving simple printing blocks from a number of materials, we’ll print patterned cloths in many colors. By creating printing mediums of the right strength and consistency, we’ll explore the possibilities of layering print, color, and pattern. Students will create a collection of sample fabrics (24-inches square) with the intent of moving toward producing larger work. All levels. 

Studio artist, textile designer, and natural-dye advocate; teaching: Marshfield School of Weaving (VT), Snow Farm (MA), workshops across the country as part of his annual Indigo Tour; designs used by boutique designers and international brands on garments, home goods, wallpaper, and accessories.


diamond stamped pattern in black, white, and gold
Graham Keegan, detail of "Diamonds in Tessellation," madder, iron/tannin, cotton; woodblock print
Textiles Summer Session 6
August 8-19, 2021
Betty Maney
Cherokee White Oak Market Baskets

This workshop will begin with a thorough presentation and demonstration of Cherokee basketry. Students will then begin by scraping white-oak splints to a final finish before dyeing. The splints will be coiled and then dyed using walnut bark or hulls (dark brown) or bloodroot (burnt orange). Each student will then carve an interlocking, white oak handle for their market basket. The second week will cover the weaving process from start to finish, including the interlocking handle. The dyed splints will be used to create woven designs in the baskets. The availability of white-oak splints is limited; other materials will be available for students who want to make additional baskets. Please note that making Cherokee white-oak baskets is labor intensive. All levels. Second-floor textiles studio. This workshop has a studio fee of $350.

Second-generation basket weaver and owner of Betty Maney Gallery; teaching: Campbell Folk School (NC), Museum of the Cherokee Indian (NC), Swain High School (NC), Cherokee Youth Arts and Culture Camp (NC); exhibitions: Asheville Art Museum. Asheville Giduwah Festival (NC)  Museum of the Cherokee Indian, Cherokee Voices Festival (NC).

Facebook: bettymaneygallery

rectangular basket with weaving in multiple shades
Betty Maney, “Market Basket,” white oak, natural dyes, 13 x 8-1/2 x 11 inches
Textiles Summer Session 7
August 22-28, 2021
Stephanie Metz
Felt: Fiber in the Round

This workshop will be a thorough introduction to the tools, processes, and possibilities of needle felting. Students will learn to manipulate wool into free-standing, solid felt sculptures using barbed felting needles to coax loose fibers into sophisticated shapes. We’ll explore solid and hollow form-building, armatures, and adding mixed-media. Felting particularly lends itself to representing organic forms, and students are welcome to bring source material. This innovative use of a humble, inexpensive material is bound to energize your art-making. Note: feltmaking involves repetitive and vigorous hand and arm movement. All levels. Third-floor textiles studio.

Studio artist; teaching: Arrowmont (TN), Yuma Symposium (AZ), California College of the Arts; recent exhibitions: Jack Fischer (San Francisco), de Saisset Museum (CA); collections: Triton Museum (CA), National Centre for Craft & Design (UK).


installation of large, textured pod sculptures
Stephanie Metz, "In Touch: Hanging Pods," wool, industrial felt, filler, cable, approximately 50 x 30 x 30 each
Textiles Summer Session 7
August 22-28, 2021
Hillary Waters Fayle
Plants: Muse & Material

In this workshop we’ll use plants and other botanical materials to explore the connections between nature and humanity. We’ll spend time looking at and learning about plants: taking guided walks, drawing, stitching, spinning, pressing, printing, painting, and studying botanical material. We’ll source plants, nuts, seeds and other material to brew our own inks and dyes for textiles and paper. We’ll also experiment with leaves and other plant materials as a substrate: woven, cut, knotted, stitched, collaged, etc. The workshop will blend art, science, and natural history as we create botanical collaboration. All levels. Second-floor textiles studio.

Assistant professor and head of fibers at Virginia Commonwealth University; exhibitions: Blue Spiral 1 (NC), Momentum Gallery (NC), Sager Braudis Gallery (MO), Pensacola Museum of Art (FL), Ellen Nöel Art Museum (TX).


circle of embroidered leaves
Hillary Waters Fayle, "Circular Meditations I & II," stitched and embroidered holly leaves, 
14 x 14 inches
Textiles Fall Concentration
October 3 – November 12 (six weeks)
Amara Hark-Weber
Blue Suede and Beyond: Introduction to Lasted Footwear

Students in this workshop will design and build their own handmade leather shoes. Starting where all shoes start, we’ll measure feet, learn basic last alteration, and then move on to patterning, upper making, and various construction techniques, including cemented, pegged, lining-lasted-stitch-down, and hand-welted. We’ll use many types and colors of leather, and students can expect to make at least one pair of shoes with each of these constructions, resulting in a small collection. We’ll go over everything from start to finish to make lovely, lasted and lined shoes. With an emphasis on foundational skills, this workshop is open to all levels.

NOTE: Material costs will vary depending on the number of shoes made and what kind of leather is used, but are likely to average $250 per pair with an estimated 4-6 pairs over the course of the class, so a total of $1000-1500, depending on student designs.

Custom shoemaker; teaching: School of the Art Institute of Chicago, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Quest University (British Columbia), Penland; 2017 Rare Craft Fellowship from American Craft Council, Minnesota State Arts Board grant, Jerome Fellowship; exhibitions: St. Xavier University Chicago, Brooklyn Shoe Space (NYC), Dubuque Museum of Art (IA), Otis College of Art and Design (Los Angeles).

harkweberstudio.com | @harkweberstudio

Scholarship information here.

NOTE: Participation in fall workshops will require proof of full COVID-19 vaccination.
Most campus activities will return to normal operating procedures.

Boots by Amara Hark-Weber
Amara Hark-Weber, Black Boots, calf and salmon leather, rubber heel cap, metal shank, size 41