Past Textiles classes
Adire: A Yoruba Textile Art
Adire (Ah-Dee-Re) is the name given to indigo dyed cloth produced by the Yoruba women of Southwestern Nigeria, using a variety of resist dye techniques. Several varieties of Indigo plants grow in different parts of Nigeria, and the rich blue cloth was once produced in very limited quantities and was much coveted as a sign of wealth and abundance. In this two-day intensive class, students will learn the basics of two traditional methods of Adire – Adire Eleko (Cassava paste resist) and Adire Alabela (Soy Wax resist). Students also will learn about the rich textile craft history, trade, and symbology of this Yoruba textile art from a Nigerian-American artist.
Bauhaus Block Printing for Textiles
Drawing inspiration from the history of Bauhaus Textiles, students will be introduced to repeat block-printing using a geometric and structured approach. Day 1 will be spent exploring the weavings of Anni Albers & other Bauhaus textile artists, while developing drawings and designs suitable for block printing. Negative & positive space will be emphasized alongside bold, graphic expressions. Day 2 will teach students how to carve blocks, mix inks and print on fabric. Each student will leave with a completed piece of patterned yardage.
Bedouin Weaving from Israel and Beyond
The ancient art of Bedouin weaving remains to this day, an indigenous process of making peace and renewing the world. This understanding once belonged to all the diverse cultures of the Middle East. But today, it is mostly Bedouin communities who keep these practices alive, using the nomadic ground loom as a bridge between our inner and outer worlds, and a way to make peace.
This class will show participants how to build this bridge. It will also offer a historical backdrop to the origins of Bedouin weaving, examine the complex cultural identities of Israel and Palestine, and present the way in which this endangered fiber art is being used as a tool for reconciliation and cultural renewal. Students will be taken through the processes involved in weaving, from spinningwool string on a “marzal” (Bedouin drop spindle), to designing and weaving their own 5-6 foot long “sharashib,” a traditional Bedouin tent band.
Students will gain confidence in understanding the fundamentals of one of humanity’s oldest, undying means of expression, and leave with a finished sharashib to adorn their homes. Together we will tie our personal stories onto a long thread of ancient stories that connect us all, and we will see how a bundle of sticks, a few stakes, and some string can transform the world for the better.
Open to beginning weavers and more advanced students.
Students should be prepared for 4 intense days of weaving, using handmade looms. This style of weaving involves sitting on the ground, and may be challenging for students with back issues. Props, pillows and blankets will be provided to make this as comfortable as possible. Please visit our STAY page for a listing of local accomodations. Coffee, tea and snacks will be provided, students are responsible for his/her own lunch.
Beginning Embroidery: Crewel Pillows
In this one-day workshop, students will create a one-of- a-kind embroidered pillow, using crewel embroidery techniques. Crewel embroidery is a form of free embroidery, in which one “paints” with stitches, using wool yarn and large areas of filling stitches to make a dense, textured design. Students will learn basic and advanced stitches, and can use one of several provided patterns or create their own. Each student will leave the workshop with an embroidered panel that is ready to be sewn into a pillow.
This four-week course meets every Wednesday evening, teaching students the basics of weaving on a table-top rigid heddle loom. This is a great beginner’s loom that provides a complete weaving experience, while teaching skills and techniques that are transferable to other types of looms, including larger floor looms. Warping, weave structure, pattern and color will be the focus of this 4-week class. Students will be welcome to come in for open studio hours during most weekends, 10am-4pm (schedule to be provided)
Beginning Weaving (June Session)
This four-week course meets every Thursday evening, teaching students the basics of weaving on a table-top rigid heddle loom. This is a great beginner’s loom that provides a complete weaving experience, while teaching skills and techniques that are transferable to other types of looms, including larger floor looms. Warping, weave structure, pattern and color will be the focus of this 4-week class. Students will be welcome to come in for open studio hours during the weekends, 10am-4pm.
Building a Practice: Weaving as Contemporary Expression
Join artist Francesca Capone in this 6-week session exploring the methods, theory and practice of weaving. This session will help textile artists & weavers explore the limits of the medium, in both concept and practice, in a supportive group environment. Participants will share works in the progress with the group, gaining both technical and conceptual feedback in 2 formal critiques, with additional evenings spent visiting the studios of established Portland textile artists, and working in the WildCraft studio. Readings, mini-lectures and other resources will be provided by Francesca and guest artists. Students enrolled in this session will receive 25% off tuition on any WildCraft class during the Fall 2017 season. Prerequisite: Experience in warping, dressing, and weaving on a handloom.
To apply for this 6-week program, please email a short letter of interest, describing your goals and creative needs, along with 5-8 images of recent work. Email subject line should read: Application, Building a Practice, with letter of interest & images sent to: email@example.com
Coastal Dye Plants & Campout
Beat it out of the city and come explore the Oregon coastline, and the many dye plants that make their home in this coastal landscape! Students will learn to extract dye from plants, trees, flowers and weeds found along the roadsides, edges of beaches and nature preserves around Tillamook and Netarts Bay. Over the course of 2 days, we’ll learn to identify and sustainably harvest numerous dye plants, from manzanita and goldenrod to salal and oregon grape.The group will learn to mordant fibers, using sea water and cook down dye plants over fires built on the beaches. We will use non-toxic mordents and animal fibers (wool & silk) to create a journal of swatches and samples. In addition to discussing contemporary trends in natural dyeing, we will explore the history of natural dyes as used by Coast Salish Native peoples, learning which plants were prized for dying wools and other animal fibers.
Camping is reserved for the group at Cape Lookout State Park. Students are responsible for bringing tents and camping gear. Dinner is provided on Saturday evening. All other meals are the responsibility of each student. This workshop is ideal for those who are comfortable being outside in all weather, and are active, healthy and able-bodied. We will be hiking, processing plants outdoors and building fires on the beach. It can be rainy and windy at the Oregon Coast, even in the summer.
Flax to Linen: Willamette Valley Fiber & Spinning
Come experience the beauty of fiber flax fields in bloom. This spring, Fibrevolution will be growing fiber flax in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. On day one, the group will meet in Sublimity, OR, for a tour of a working farm and flax field in bloom. Shannon Welsh will guide a hands-on exploration of fiber flax, with a demonstration on how to hand-process flax straw into a flax strick and then how to spin it into linen yarn. On day-two, at our Portland studio, students will learn how to hand-process flax, creating a beautiful skein of yarn to take home.
Students will be responsible for transportation back and forth from the farm on Day One, and to the Portland studio on Day Two. Information, directions etc. will be provided a week prior to the workshop.
Floral Folk Embroidered Tunic
In this 4-week workshop, students will be guided through several folk embroidery styles on the way to creating a hand-embroidered, tunic-style dress or top. Beginning with a study of embroidered samples and images from Mexico, Hungary, and other cultures, students will design and embroider their own tunics, incorporating their own stories into their pieces. After learning basic stitches, students will design the yoke of their tunics, and learn how to combine stitches to embroider the patterns and motifs of their choosing. Each student will finish the class with uniquely designed, hand-embroidered pattern pieces that they can assemble into a dress or tunic top at home.
Flower Farm Dyes: Natural Dyeing on Sauvie Island
This one-day workshop brings plant-dye enthusiasts out of the studio and onto the farm! Students will be working outside, harvesting and deadheading, learning which plants and flowers yield excellent colors in the dye pot. We will experiment with color combinations, non-toxic mordants and animal fibers to add to your journal of swatches/samples. Students will leave with recipes, swatch book and a hand-dyed silk scarf.
Ikat fabrics are one of the oldest known patterned textiles in the world. Ikat is a technique used to pattern cloth, using a resist on the yarns prior to dyeing and weaving. The resist is formed by binding individual yarns with a tight wrapping applied in the desired pattern. The yarns are then dyed and woven. This class will lead students through the process of resist-dyeing warp threads, dressing a rigid heddle loom, and creating a finished weaving.
Suitable for brave beginners and intermediate weavers.
Students will be welcomed for open studio hours during weekends, 10am-4pm (schedule to be provided)
Natural Dyes of the Columbia River Gorge
The Eastern edge of the Columbia River Gorge, with its dramatic cliffs, rolling grasslands, and windswept hillsides is barely two hours from Portland, Oregon – yet, when you are there, it feels a thousand miles away. The area is home to an abundance of native plants valuable to natural dyers, such as balsam root, lupine, juniper, and bitterbrush. This workshop explores both the landscape of the Eastern Gorge and its rich and unusual dye plants. Students will learn to mordant cotton, silk and wool, and create light-fast dyes using native and local plants.
Root to Flower: Natural Dye Intensive
Come explore a multitude of natural dye sources, from common herbs and spices to exotic roots and barks to native NW plants. In this one-day intensive, the ancient art of dying textiles with plants is given contemporary relevance as we explore the range of colors and techniques available to the natural dyer. Students will learn to extract dye from plants, trees, flowers, weeds, roots, herbs, and powders. We will use non-toxic mordants, and animal and plant fibers (wool, silk & cotton) to create a journal of swatches and samples.
In this one day workshop, students will learn how use traditional and experimental materials to create a 3D, textured, embroidery sampler. Materials include wool, fabric, rope, beads, mirrors, and paper - students are encouraged to bring in their own unique materials as well. Students will also learn more advanced textural stitches such as bullion knots, woven picot, and shisha stitches. Previous embroidery experience recommended but not required.
Interested in exploring textile surface-design and experimenting with with natural dyes? In this workshop participants will design and hand draw patterns on silk fabric using a gutta resist then will paint the fabric with plant based dyes. We will discuss a variety of textile processes including mordanting protein fibers, natural dye extraction and application and drawing with water soluble resists. Each student will go home with a hand painted yard of silk fabric as well as fundamental textile design and natural dye knowledge.
Snow Peak Fiber Mill & Arm Knitting
Snow Peak Fiber Mill creates beautiful yarns from the ground up: skirting, scouring, picking, carding, pin drafting and spinning. In this workshop, students will tour this working wool mill with the owners: learning the steps that transform raw wool to roving, and ultimately to yarn. Day-two, back in the Portland Studio: students will explore knitting without needles, using thick fibers spun at Snow Peak. Students will learn how to adjust yarn gauges, cast on, arm knit, bind off, slip stitch finishing and weave in ends, ultimately creating a rug/wall hanging/ dimensional textile.
Tapestry is a weaving technique used to create complex pictorial imagery. Instead of passing weft yarns across the entire width of the weaving, forms are built up vertically with multiple colors. In this class we will cover warping, the trials and errors of planning an image-based design, various tapestry techniques, weft shading, and finishing techniques. Students will leave with a completed pictorial wall hanging. This class is suitable for brave beginners and intermediate weavers. This workshop begins on Friday evening (6:30-9:30pm), at Kayla Mattes personal studio in SE Portland, and continues 10am-4pm both Saturday & Sunday. More details will be provided upon registration.
Textile Block Printing For Illustrators & Designers
Block Printing is a versatile technique, ideal for those who love to create image and pattern. This workshop is dedicated to students who have an active drawing/design practice, who want to learn to transform their unique imagery into printed fabric. Skye will lead students through the process of selecting drawings/designs that will translate successfully, as well as teaching the group how to cut, carve, place and print their blocks on fabric. Come with your drawings and leave with patterned fabric!
Textile Screenprinting with Natural Dyes
Learn how to transform natural dyes into pastes suitable for textile screenprinting. Direct-stencil methods and photo-emulsion techniques will be explored, as students print their own designs on fabrics. Class time will be devoted to learning about mixing natural dye pastes and thickeners, along with hands-on printing and setting the dye. A great class for natural dye enthusiasts looking to create unique imagery on textiles. Students will leave with numerous samples on linen and silk as well as their own patterns printed on fabrics of their choosing.
The Art of Mending
Extend the life of your clothing, while creating functional art and building vital and utilitarian sewing skills. This workshop series focuses on the multi-functional use of hand sewing to transform your well-loved threads into beautifully mended, unique pieces of clothing. Over the course of the class, you will learn how to turn the chore of mending into a creative act as we cover beginning hand-sewing techniques and a variety of hand-sewing stitches. We will dig deeper into the art of mending by incorporating Japanese Boro patchworking techniques, as well as learning how to work with a variety of fabrics. Bring a denim jacket, jeans, a tote bag, or anything else you want to add patchwork to.
Winter Color: Natural Dyes of Portland
Come explore the hidden dye plants that dot the landscape of the Pacific NorthWest! In this one-day intensive, the ancient art of dying textiles with plants is given contemporary relevance as we explore the idea of Seasonal Local Color. Students will learn to extract dye from plants, barks, flowers, and weeds found along the roadsides, parking lots, and garden plots throughout the city. We will use non-toxic mordants and animal fibers (wool & silk) to create a journal of swatches and samples, recording the multitude of colors hidden in the world around us.