Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Fiber Arts Classes at Shake Rag Alley

Shake Rag's Fiber Arts classes run the gamut from traditional craft forms such as spinning and weaving to the edgier stuff of fiber mixed media.

Always popular is Garden Silk Scarves taught by Wisconsin Public TV's "Wisconsin Gardener" Shelley Ryan...and it's no wonder, these scarves are really beautiful.

Shelley preps one scarf for each student with "The Shelley Dye Process" using all natural ingredients. This scarf is completed in class. Then students forage on the Shake Rag grounds for dye materials for three more scarves which they take home in Ziploc bags and open in a couple of weeks.

At the opposite end of the fiber arts spectrum from Shelley's use of natural materials are the Fiber Mixed Media classes taught by Rebekah Meier. Here the focus is on new and creative ways to alter the traditional staples of the sewing world with paint, stamping, stenciling, and fusing...resulting in wonderful and exciting pieces of art. Rebekah is the author of Fabric Art Collage: 40+ Mixed Media Techniques and we were very pleased to welcome her as a new instructor this year.

Rebekah's "Inside Out" students show off their mixed media wall hangings.

Needle Felting is a craft form that can be used to make completely functional items, but can also be used to create expressive and sophisticated works of art. 

Students this summer spent four days exploring the artistic possibilities of needle felting with another terrific new instructor, Briony Foy.

"Needle Felting as an Art Medium" was the first of our week-long in-depth classes which come with an optional student housing package. Students stayed in Shake Rag's charming guest rooms where they enjoyed a wonderful collegial week together.

Needle Felting students at work.

Coming up the weekend of September 24-25 is the Driftless Area Fibre Arts Faire sponsored by Distraction fibre, vintage, and salvage shop in Mineral Point. Shake Rag will be offering four classes in conjunction with Fibre Arts Faire:
  • Beginning Spinning
  • Tie-Dyed Scarves with Needle Felting
  • Making Stuff Out of Sweaters and Fluff
  • Experiment with Fibers and Weaving Techniques
In addition, there will be animals, demonstrations, art competitions, musical entertainment, and vendors, all taking place on the Shake Rag grounds. Sounds like a terrific weekend!

Other fiber arts classes on the fall schedule include:
  • Felted Hats - a warm wool hat just in time for winter
  • Beginning and Intermediate Inkle Loom - design and weave narrow bands for belts, ties, headbands and more.
  • Felting with Wool and Silk - felted Nuno scarves
  • Garden Silk Scarves - dyeing scarves with natural materials with Shelley Ryan

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