Class Descriptions, Mentoring & Residencies

These are some of the classes that I teach.  Although, I teach primarily in a variety of venues near Minneapolis, I am willing to teach just about anywhere from shops to 4H barns.  I am happy to do private classes for guilds and small groups or to adapt any of these classes to fit your needs.  Find my upcoming classes here.

classes

Digital Fabric Classes

A Taste of Digital Fabric Design (2 hours)

Designing your own custom fabrics is a new innovation in the craft world.  New online services like Spoonflower.com allow you to design and digitally print small amounts of yardage with your own custom designs.  You create the digital file and they print and ship it to you.  This seminar will take you through the basics of what you need to know to get started and we will create and print a collaborative design in class.

Digital Fabric Design: Making Repeats (4 sessions, 2.5 hours each session)

Learn the basics for creating simple and seamless repeat patterns to use for designing your own fabrics. The first class will focus on setting up files for digital fabric printing through services like Spoonflower.com and learning the vocabulary of repeats and digital design. We will move on to creating a  simple seamless repeat from your artwork and get tips for working with color, rescaling your artwork and more. This class will be a combination of hands-on, demo/lecture, and computer time. You should be comfortable with basic computer skills (cut & paste, uploading a file, etc).

Digital Keepsake Tea Towel (2 sessions, 2 hrs each)

Make your own personal tea towel from your grandmother’s handwritten recipe card, or a favorite quote, or poem.  Learn how to scan, touch up and set up a file to digitally print your design on fabric. Cover all of the digital design skills in class (resolution, color, cropping/sizing) and leave with a finished fabric design ready to order through Spoonflower.  A demonstration of finishing and hemming will be shown in class; you will complete the sewing outside of class time.  Bring your laptop in good working order.  See supply list for details and tech requirements.

Photo Collage Pillow (2 sessions, 2.5 hrs each)

Design a photo collage fabric from your favorite collection of photos.  Choose vacation photos, family snapshots, art or nature landscapes or even pictures of your new puppies.  Learn how to touch up photos and make a collage, with tips using filters to make the design look cohesive.  Then choose one photo and create a coordinating kaleidoscope design for the borders of your fabric.  Cover all of the digital design skills in class (resolution, color, cropping/sizing) and leave with a finished fabric design ready to order through Spoonflower.  A demonstration of finishing (pillow or small art quilt) will be shown in class; you will complete the sewing outside of class time.  Bring your laptop in good working order.  See supply list for details and tech requirements.

Technology for Artists Classes

Etsy Behind the Scenes (2 hours)

Etsy.com is a vast online marketplace for handmade goods, and whether you have opened a shop already or are getting ready to take the leap, there is a lot to think about. Take a guided tour from seller and etsy mentor Becka Rahn, to see how an etsy shop works from behind the scenes.  Learn about built-in sellers’ tools, get tips for getting “found” and improving your searchability, demystify the etsy vocabulary and more.

Marketing Yourself in the Online Age (2 hours)

As an artist, making yourself “findable” in the vastness of the internet can be an overwhelming task.  This seminar will focus on easy and accessible ways for artists to make your own web presence and to help draw your audience to you.  Whether your goal is selling your work, having an online portfolio, or creating your own website, we will talk about the technical aspects of popular platforms, how to get started, pros and cons, the costs and expertise needed, and much more.  Get the low down on getting started with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and whatever else is the next big thing.

An Intro to Ravelry (2 hours)

Ravelry is an online community for fiber artists, especially focused on knitting and crochet. It is a powerful database of everything knitting, which allows you to keep track of projects, patterns, and sell or swap your stash. Get a tour of how Ravelry works, try some sample searches, explore the forums and more.

Photo Basics: Working with Digital Images (2-3 hours)

Don’t know your MB from your DPI? This session, designed especially for artists and crafters, will help you out with the vocabulary of digital photographs and images. Every publication, show jury and call-for-entry has a different set of requirements for your images. Learn how to re-size, crop and rename your images to fit the requirements for submitting them and most especially to translate and unravel the requirements with confidence.  We will do a number of practice exercises and have time for questions and discussion.

Photo Basics 2: A Taste of Photoshop (3 hours)

The most important Photoshop skill you can learn is to know when a photo can be “fixed” and when you should start again from scratch.  This hands-on class will help you look at and troubleshoot problem photos.  Learn a few easy and professional ways to fix the most common photo flaws: whites that look dull and grey, photos with a gold or blue “glow” and more.  We will have time for independent practice and lots of Q&A.

Fiber Art (Beginner classes)

Needle Felting: Paint with Fibers (2 hours)

This class is an introduction to the art of needle felting or “dry” felting, which uses a barbed needle to tangle and bind wool and other fibers together.  “Paint” with wool fibers, learn tips and techniques, blend colors to create highlights and shadows and more.  For this class, we will focus on felting an image or embellishment onto a base fabric.  We will create one small project in class and you will take home the tools for more.

Needle Felting: Make it 3-D (2 hour)

This class is an introduction to the art of needle felting or “dry” felting, which uses a barbed needle to tangle and bind wool and other fibers together. For this class, we will focus on felting a three dimensional object, starting with techniques for building simple shapes and learning how to combine them to create a small furry monster. We will create one small project in class and you will take home the tools for more.

Partners in Dye: An Intro to Dyes & Fibers (4 hours)

Hand-dyeing your own fibers can be intimidating.  How do you know which dye to use?  Heat or no heat?  Salt? Acid?  This class will break it down into the chemistry you need to know.  We will dye small samples of cotton, silk, wool and more using commercial dyes.  Get the specifics for which dye to use when, the process you need for each kind of fiber, how to get the colors and effects you want and most especially how to work with dyes in ways that are safe and earth-friendly.

Intro to Hand-Dyed Yarn (3 hours)

Learn to dye your own custom yarns with three techniques: semi-solid, hand painted, and self-striping.  We will dye mini skeins using each technique during class as samples, then dye an additional skein (wool, alpaca, silk) for your own project.  Learn the basics of using acid dyes on protein fibers, tips for making sure your dyes are colorfast, and how to plan and create the yarn you want.

Intro to Shibori (3-6 hours)

Shibori is the ancient Japanese art of resist dyeing.  It’s a more sophisticated form of “tie dye” – using folding, wrapping, tying, clamping or stitching to create patterns on your fabric.  In this workshop, we will work with both cotton and silk fabric and learn more than a half a dozen traditional patterns – from itajime (polkadots) to arashi (tiger stripes) –  and experiment and combine to make new ones.  Leave class with two silk scarves and many samples of cotton yardage that you can use for other projects.

Kitchen Science Surface Design (3-6 hours)

Low tech and inexpensive dye techniques that you can do with everyday materials and a little expertise.  Learn techniques for working with koolaid on protein fibers, marbling with shaving cream, stencils from freezer paper, microwave steam and sun setting with silk, glue and crayon batik, and more.  Make many small samples and learn dozens of ideas for designing your fabric without breaking the bank.

Creative Saturation: Intro to Fiber Reactive Dyes (6-12 hours)
The basics of working with fiber reactive dyes (also known as procion or MX dyes) on cotton and silk fabrics.  Learn formulas and color mixing, dye safety, why and when to use supplemental chemicals to acheive your desired results, and a little about embracing the unexpected.  We will dye samples of cotton and silk using a variety of techniques for applying the dyes (shibori, low and high immersion, painting and more) to get different effects.

Embroidery: Elements & Effects (3 hours)
A new twist on a classic hand embroidery.  Instead of an outline on blank fabric, we will start with a printed fabric, adding the embroidery stitches on top to accentuate and add texture to the design.  Learn four basic embroidery stitches – backstitch, chinese knot, chain stitch and lazy daisy – and create a stitched sampler you can use for reference later. Once you have mastered the basics, start an embroidered panel of a winter bird that you can finish into an ornament or small pillow for holiday decor.

Journey to Japan: Shibori & Kumihimo (Teens class, 2.5 hr)

Try two different Japanese fiber arts.  First learn several different “tie-dye” patterns in the traditional shibori style to make a multi-colored hand dyed cotton bandana.  While the dyes cure, learn the totally addictive braid technique called kumihimo to make an 8-stranded patterned bracelet from yarn and ribbon. (ages 9 and up)

For pricing & scheduling, click here.

Teacher/Staff Training

I have tons of experience teaching art to all ages.  I am happy to add a “teacher training” component to any class.  Learn how to do it and then learn how to teach it.  I will give you adaptations for different age levels and working with mixed groups, tips & tricks specific to the technique, materials & resources, ideas for group projects, and share pitfalls and “what not to do”.

School Residencies

I designed curriculum and coordinated all of the youth residencies, field trips and workshops at Textile Center for 11 years.  I love doing residencies with students and I would be happy to talk to you about your ideas, curriculum goals and to design a project that is just what you need.

Custom Classes

Combine several ideas from the classes above into one class or if you have an idea, just ask!  I am also happy to teach via Skype or Google Hangout if you are not local.  This option won’t necessarily work for every class, but I can be pretty creative!

Mentoring, One-on-One & Consulting

I am also available for hire by the hour for one-on-one or custom projects.

  • Digital fabric design help for a special gift or project
  • Feedback/Critique on grant applications, Etsy shop descriptions, sewing pattern proofreading or technical editing
  • Graphic design services (Etsy shop banners, business cards, craft fair banners, books, postcards, pamphlets etc)
  • Photography & photo editing
  • Computer training (Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, WordPress)
  • Digitizing patterns, diagrams & illustrations

For pricing & scheduling, click here.

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