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GoldenGateFiberInstitute.org :: 2010 :: Workshops

Ancient Structures, Modern Twist 2010 Summer Intensive

August 8 - 15, 2010  •  Point Bonita, California


Illuminating Ideas In Felt Illuminated Felt Sculptures & Lamp Shades
Sharon Costello
felted lamp

We will explore the possibilities of using felt as a "skin" for illuminated, one–of–a–kind lamps and sculptural pieces. Wool is naturally fire resistant, making it an ideal candidate for this purpose. Students will learn how to make translucent felt fabric "skins" shaped to fit over wood, wire or a recycled lamp shade frame. Some projects may have the structural components embedded into the felt. The frame offers structural support and mounting for the illumination source. More complex felt forms can be built off of the frame.

Students will start with natural and dyed wool; add fabrics, exotic fibers, textural elements, resists and surface designs to make each piece unique. When illuminated from within, the felted skin will impart soft illumination and color to a room, and the design elements embedded in the felt will be silhouetted by light, creating a dramatic effect.


New Tricks for an Old Loom Making Beautiful Cloth on a Rigid Heddle
Syne Mitchell

Weaving is an ancient art: we can trace the threads of woven cloth back 30,000 years. Weaving is fundamental to life, both ancient and modern. It has protected us from the elements, its nets and snares have kept us fed, it has stored our grains, carried our produce and still snuggles babies to their mother’s side. In the modern world, textiles retain their primary importance, whether we notice them or not. Jeans or haute couture, bed sheets or industrial belting, textiles make our world functional and beautiful.

rigid heddle loom threading (weavezine)

Often when we think of handweaving, we think of massive space consuming looms. Modern life with its tight living quarters, and fast pace calls for a new look at our weaving tools. Just like tribal nomads, the modern weaver needs simple and portable. Enter the folding rigid-heddle loom! Simple to use, portable, and space saving, it connects us to our textile past and fits into our textile future.

In this class, students will learn the basics of weaving on a rigid-heddle loom, then explore the many textures and laces this simple loom can produce, and finally they will graduate to the advanced technique of weaving with two heddles to produce fine cloth, as well as exploring color-and-weave effects.

No prior weaving experience is needed.

Materials Fee: $55


Gifts from the Cauldron Creating Color on Cloth and Woven Thread
Judith MacKenzie

Weavers have been applying color to cloth both on and off the loom for many of thousands of years. In this workshop, we’ll look at some ancient techniques and some modern variations that allow us to manipulate color both on and off the loom. We’ll learn how to stencil, print and paint a warp, how to use ikat simply and effectively and how to use shibori both on the loom and off the loom. We’ll try a variety of dyes as well – everything from classic indigo and cochineal to modern photosynthetic dyes.

You need basic weaving skills and a love of color for this class.


Smooth Starts to Textural Arts Exploring the Evolution of Textured Yarn
Jacey Boggs
Jacey's Grey Yarn

In this workshop we’ll trace the development of novelty yarns, from their early beginnings as simple, classic yarns to today’s astonishingly complex art yarns. Each day we will follow the thread as it twists and changes, learning to transform neps and Turkish knots to super coils and beehives, progressing from eyelash to boucle to halos, learning to incorporate objects by plying, wrapping, trapping and integrating them. Not only will we learn the hows of spinning unusual textures, we’ll learn when to use them most effectively.

You’ll leave this class not only with an armful of beautiful yarns but an overall understanding of the evolution of art yarns and how to spin them with balance, workability and integrity.


Where It All Begins The Art and Craft of Spindle Spinning
Abby Franquemont

Portable and productive, the hand spindle has been used to create yarns for all reasons; fine gauze wedding shawls and exquisite Persian carpets, sails and bridges, baskets and blankets. And, it has been spinning yarn for millennia! A universal tool, hand spindles can be found in places as diverse as the Swiss Lake Dwellings, Pict burial sites and the LAX airport.

Come and learn how it all begins and see where it can take you. We’ll learn the basics of spinning, how to ply and we'll even make a few novelty yarns.


Knitting Around the Foot Evolution, Innovation and Imagination
Cat Bordhi
Cat Bordhi's Bartholomew Sock

The oldest human-carrying vehicle in the world is the foot. We will honor this venerable and loyal servant with the freshness and innocence of beginner's mind, exploring ways to use a continuous strand of yarn to knit a functional, beautiful, and durable covering for it.

During our days together in this beautiful natural setting, we will consider historical methods, from integrating felt and woven materials to tracing the evolution of knitted sock architecture. We'll discuss the nature of really good sock yarn, positive and negative elasticity, comfort, warmth, and durability.

Cat Bordhi's Seeded Hearts Sock

You can expect to leave with a wonderful pair of socks on your needles, a richer and deeper understanding of traditional and innovative sock-knitting, as well as a heightened sense of the magic and mystery of knitting around the foot.