About the Fibers Program
Questions? Contact: Jeanne Brady
The fibers program lays the foundation for careers in surface design and studio weaving. Students develop technical proficiency, design skills, and a personal aesthetic, learning both traditional and contemporary fibers processes of fabric dyeing and patterning, and floor-loom weaving.
“With exploration and experimentation, close interaction with the instructor, resident artist, and visiting artists, students are encouraged to develop a body of work well-grounded in technical proficiency and creative ideas.” - Jeanne Brady, head of fibers department
Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree & Craft Certificate
The BFA degree concentration in surface design and weaving teaches students traditional techniques applied to contemporary design aesthetics. Students begin with an introductory class covering basic print and dye methods, floor loom weaving, and studio safety.
Intermediate classes in weaving and surface design provide more in-depth studies in weave structures and loom controlled variations, hand printing and painting, discharge, and devoré on natural fabrics.
Advanced surface design covers methods of repeat pattern screen-printing on yardage. Advanced weaving teaches designing, weaving, and constructing wearables from hand loomed fabric.
Special problems classes and independent study options, plus weekend and week-long courses offer students increased opportunities for exploration of fibers that include natural dyeing, polyester manipulation and disperse dyeing, wool spinning and felting, paper and bookmaking, and Shibori resist techniques. Students also have access to a three-week master class that can be taken for college credit during the summer.
Fibers Department Mission Statement
Our mission is to prepare students for lifelong technical and creative skills in the fiber arts through intensive training, close interaction with faculty, resident and visiting artists, and access to excellent facilities. Students are encouraged to experiment with materials and concepts emphasizing the understanding of fiber as an expressive medium. Students develop technical skills and a personal aesthetic culminating in a senior thesis exhibition.
Fibers Studio & Equipment
Students have full access to the fiber studios and adjoining design rooms to develop and work on projects. Exploration, experimentation, and innovation are fostered within an environment of high standards of craftsmanship and creativity. Students work in individual and group areas with unlimited access to large, well-equipped and ventilated studios surrounded by beautiful, wooded grounds overlooking Center Hill Lake.
The weaving studio has a large weaving area, a meeting space and fibers library.
- 20 jack-type floor looms with 4 to 12 harnesses
- loom accessories / warping frames and reels
- spool racks
- 1 umbrella swift
- Bobbin and ball winders
- Assorted shuttles
- 9 spinning wheels
- Assorted hand spindles
- 6 pair of wool carders
- 1 drum carder
- 3 Inkle looms
Surface Design Studio
The surface design studio, set up for screen print and hand application processes, is equipped with:
- 12 large print tables for yardage and large-scale work
- 1 fabric steaming unit
- 2 dye & chemical storage refrigerators
- 1 old industrial sewing machine
- 1 mangle for heat-setting fabric pigments
- 6 working sewing machines
- 2 wax pots
- variety of textile tools (silk screens, squeegees, T-bars, printing blocks, etc.)
- 2 ironing boards and irons
- vented dye-mixing system
- two 3-burner gas stoves
- 4 large single and double bowl sinks
- 1 screen and yarn cleaning sink with pressure nozzle
- dye mixing box
- 1 washing machine
- 1 dryer
- variety of dyeing pots and containers
A separate darkroom for photo screen exposure:
- 1 vacuum light table
- Storage cupboards
- 1 sink