Listed below are our 2020 Class Instructors.
Class: Wool Applique Journal Cover
Enhanced by natures color palette, a rustic landscape has been a part of Tina Baker’s life from early on. Growing up she was drawn to art, design and the use of color. She was surrounded by antiques and flea market finds, learning to repurpose the treasures found, all things old became a passion, as with the love of quilting, wool appliqué, and creative hand stitching. You will find her working daily in her creative studio, “Farm Girl Quilts”. The studio is stocked with all things color and stitching, where she spends her days creating, designing projects and patterns, and teaching all she knows to a very loyal following. Tina studied at Northern Michigan University, and Kendall Collage of Art and Design. While the use of color, fibers and lots of fabric are a true love, she and her husband design and remold homes for others. She lives on 38 acres in Beaver Grove, on the beautiful shores of Lake Superior, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, with her husband, nearby three children and three grandchildren along with her two dogs, chickens, and rabbits. When you meet her you will understand her motto, “Make It Your Own”.
Class: Flat Knit Converted to Round
Diane Braun was born and grew up in Tucson, Arizona. She got her B.A. from Reed College in Portland, Oregon, and received her M.A. and is A.B.D. for her doctorate in medieval history at the University of Arizona. She learned to spin the summer before entering graduate school and taught herself to knit that fall. The following summer she took weaving lessons, bought a used loom, and has been hip deep in fiber and yarn ever since. For many years, she had wanted to raise sheep (to the disbelief of her family) and finally fulfilled this desire in 2003 with the purchase of a house on four acres in Wilhoit, Arizona, near Prescott, and four Cotswold sheep (two white and two black). The flock has grown over the years (which will happen when you mix boys and girls) and presently numbers 10 sheep, including lambs. She is currently president of the Mountain Spinners and Weavers Guild in Prescott, Arizona, and is a former member of the Arizona Desert Spinners and Weavers Guild in Phoenix, Arizona, and the KAW Valley Fiber Guild in Lawrence, Kansas. Diane maintains a deep commitment to the preservation and perpetuation of traditional crafts. She has taught knitting to all skill levels and has added spinning and weaving classes to her repertoire. She is also interested in dye plants, historical cooking (particularly baking), organic gardening, sustainable agriculture, and the preservation of rare breeds. Check out her website!
Class: Botanical Vessels
Kim is a fiber artist with over 25 years experience in the fields of art and design. Her design business, Buchheit Creative Services, focuses on developing creative solutions for her clients including exhibit and surface design for her clients around the country. As a former fellow at the National Endowment for the Arts and juror for regional and local arts organizations, Kim has a longstanding commitment to the arts in Arizona. She is also a certified instructor in graphic design and has taught courses at the college level. As a working fiber artist, Kim teaches workshops annually for the Grand Canyon Association Field Institute and is represented by West of the Moon gallery in Flagstaff, AZ.
Class: Felt a Succulent Garden
Sue was drawn into the fiber world by her sister, Linda, an alpaca breeder. While building her longarm quilting business she worked with her sister to develop Pacafil, the first quilt batting using alpaca fibers. Back to Back Fibers was born and marketed directly to quilters until the early 2000s when Sue begin experimenting with felting using their alpaca/wool quilt batting. She was addicted! Through the years her business has grown to focus only on the fiber arts. Providing supplies and instructions for fiber artists. The last several years have found a huge growth as schools across America have found her products. Find her products at her website. Five years ago she established, with her friend Mary Papaj, the Arizona Felter’s Guild, now a thriving group of enthusiastic fiber lovers. From experienced fiber artists to those searching for guidance the group has grown a group of creative, caring, fiber loving friends. Want to learn more about this guild - contact Sue by email....sue@BackToBackAlpaca.com
Class: Shibori Workshop
Penelope is a lifelong learner of all things fiber, an experienced indigo dyer, knitter, seamstress, upholsterer, woodworker and glass artist. She is a busy professional by day as well as owner of Oak Street Studios, a small upholstery and woodworking shop in central Phoenix. Penelope found her love for indigo in a textile art class at Phoenix College and has been passionate about it ever since. Check out our Facebook Page!
Class: Cable Knit Hat
Velvet loves to knit and feel the fibers flowing through her fingers as creations are made with the simple act of looping loops together. She has been designing patterns for over 10 years. She has taught all levels of knitting at Jo-Ann Fabrics for 6 years, at the Yarn Outlet Store for 4 years and many years with Arizona Fiber Arts Retreat. Velvet's patterns are currently available on Revelry, Bluprint, YarnZone and Whimsical Yarn.
Class: Collage: Design Tool and Weave a Minime
Molly Elkind’s tapestry work was exhibitedin a solo show in 2018 in Atlanta, just before she relocated to New Mexico. She has focused on weaving for over ten years, but Molly is also fluent in papermaking, mixed media collage, and embroidery. Molly earned an M.A. in StudioArt from the Hite Art Institute at the University of Louisville in 2002, and in that year she was awarded an Artist Enrichment grant by the Kentucky Foundation for Women. Exhibition highlights include a solo show at Mercer University in Atlanta (2009)and numerous juried and invitational shows nationwide. Molly has been published in Tapestry Topics (American Tapestry Alliance publication), Tapestry Weaver (Britain), Arts Across Kentucky, Needlearts, SAQA Journal, and Shuttle, Spindle, Dyepot magazines. Her work is in several private collections. Besides making art, Molly is passionate about teaching it, with a particular focus on design principles and processes. For over 20 years she has taught private students and at guilds and conferences nationwide. Check out her website!
Shelley Fletcher/Diane Rogers
Class: Tenneriffe Weaving on a Gourd Shard
We are native Arizonans from a 4th generation farming family. Our father was a cotton farmer and cattle rancher who viewed gourds as weeds but we think he would appreciate them more if he could see what we’ve done with them now! Our mother was a seamstress and fabulous artistic quilter and our grandmother was always doing needle crafts so we think we come by our love of fibers and fabrics naturally. We came up with the name “R 2 Designs”. R2 was our fathers brand and also symbolizes our relationship as two sisters with our maiden name of Rogers. We have been working with gourds since 1992 and teaching gourd basics, weaving and design for over 20 years and our styles continue to evolve with each new technique or product we try on our gourds. Like most gourd artists, we have tried just about everything but really enjoy weaving and teneriffe weaving the most. We started experimenting after we took our first simple teneriffe lesson and then came up with different stitches and approaches. We eventually wrote a book about our specific style of teneriffe weaving. It remains one of our favorite things to do. We are always testing various weaving fibers and basketry techniques to see what we can add to our gourds.
Class: Wet Felted Mittens and Nuno Felted Vest
Julia is a textile artist, felt maker and art teacher in a Charter school. She enjoys assisting others discover and develop their own unique creative voice while continuing to express her own. Julia works in contemporary and unexpected ways to express her energy into the world by practicing many different felting techniques i.e. needle, wet, nuno, and using organic materials. By using these methods of fiber craft that historically were considered women's work in new and non-traditional ways, she makes them artworks. She works to inspire her students to express their artistic creativity and loves to share her skills with her students. Julia was born in Central Asia and has lived in Arizona for 4 years. She is a member of the Arizona Felters Guild. Julia has offered workshops for the guild and this summer presented a demo of wearable felt art and also taught workshops at the Flagstaff Fiber and Wool Festival.
Classes: Fair Isle Knitting and Nuno Felted Scarf
Louise has been interested in textiles since she was a child and learned to knit in school in Scotland when she was 5 years old. Louise studied Fine Art in England prior to coming to the US, and made her living drawing, painting and printmaking in Tubac, AZ until the mid 1990's. After a move to Northern Arizona, she revived her love for knitting and in 2010 was introduced to felt making whilst visiting her Mom in Northern England. She became totally infatuated with what can be done with wool fiber, soap and water! Louise has been teaching felt making and Fair Isle knitting in Northern Arizona for the past few years and just loves to help people push themselves creatively.
Class: Mini Felt Purse
Karen grew up on a farm in the East, working and always being around animals and crops. At a very early age this developed her respect and appreciation for nature’s beauty and its life cycle. Farm chores taught her responsibility and the great satisfaction that comes from working with her hands to be productive, creative and able to improvise (farmers make do with what is handy). While in grade school, she began her journey to sew and knit just by self-teaching. Karen’s interests in being creative with fibers and fabrics ultimately led her to studies in Textiles & Clothing at Colorado State University, earning a Master of Science Degree. After college she worked with companies such as Hanes, Victoria’s Secret, Danskin and Hunter Douglas Window Fashion developing products for these businesses and even securing a patent for Hunter Douglas. Traveling and living abroad during her career expanded her appreciation for the art, colors and designs of various cultures and influenced her imagination. Leaving the corporate world offered Karen time for contemporary quilting which led her to felt small items to incorporate into wall hangings. Felting is a very ancient form of textile art allowing the artist unlimited creative expression with very few tools. A whole new world of possibilities with fiber arts was opened as she took numerous felting classes with several internationally known instructors. Felting provides Karen with the satisfied feeling that she can create colors and paint with fibers, as well as the thrill of seeing the final creation emerge in her hands. Colors, textures and especially nature have always been key motivators and inspirations for Karen’s works. Incorporating items from nature with her felting is an enjoyable and creative challenge. What fun to bring all these attributes into working with fibers in the felting process! Karen teaches private felting and botanical printing lessons in her home and exhibits at local galleries. She is a member of the Tucson Handweavers & Spinning Guild.
Class: Spinning Cotton on a Wheel
Jill loves lace knitting, cotton spinning and designing knits and yarns. Passionate about spinning, knitting and other fiber arts, Jill enthusiastically shares her skills and knowledge with her students. Cotton spinning is one of her favorites –on a spinning wheel or spindle. Jill has taught spinning and knitting classes across the USA and Canada. She completed the six year Master Spinner Program through Olds College at Olds, Alberta, Canada in June, 2017 and is still learning. Here is a delightful interview with her on YouTube.
Class: Coiled Basket
Lucy Jennings studied weaving at Northern Arizona University where she received an MA in Art Education. Her work has appeared in Handwoven Magazine, and she has sold her hand-woven clothing and beaded jewelry at local and national craft shows. Lucy is an elementary school teacher and has been teaching kids to weave for over thirty years. She’s also taught at Mohave Community College and in workshops at her local yarn shop. You can find her weaving tutorials on her website. She lives in Kingman, Arizona,where she has two dogs and too much yarn.
Classes: Wet Felting Fundamentals and Shibori in Felt
Debbie Kahn is the founder and owner of Fiber Geek Studio, a place for fiber arts with a science and engineering perspective. She has a Ph.D. from MIT in Polymer Science and Engineering, specializing in high performance fibers. She is a member of the Arizona Felters' Guild and Telerana. Check out her Facebook page!
Classes: Dye and Knit a Silk Hankie
Sandi is a fiber artist based in Tucson Arizona. She has been working with fiber since the age of 9, when she learned how to sew. Her art training was formalized at Maryland Institute of Art, graduating in 2000. From there she worked as lead designer at The Department of Graphic Design for the state of Maryland, Business Development. In 2013 Sandi moved to Tucson and began exploring the opportunities in fiber art here in the Southwest. Her large needle felted pieces have been shown in Austin, TX as well as Tucson, AZ, at Grandma's Spinning Wheel, where she is the Artist in Residence. Besides teaching wet felting, needle felting, circular weaving and an occasional knitting class, Sandi is an indie dyer, creating yarn for local yarn shops. Her yarn was recently featured in Nomadic Knits, issue three, New Mexico and Arizona. Currently Sandi is working on expanding her on-line fiber shop, SR Pepper Fiber Studio. She enjoys pushing the boundaries when working with color and is exploring dyeing with plants.
Sherri McCulloch/Kristy Moore
Classes: Crochet is Cooler Than Afghans
We’re Kristy and Sherri, two friends who participate in a variety of crafts, most of which involve playing with string in one form or another, whether it be sewing, knitting, crochet, spinning, or tatting. If there’s string involved, we’re game! Here’s how we got started ...Kristy was hooked on crochet at age eight, being taught the basics by her very creative German grandmother. She built on those skills and taught herself to read patterns and do different varieties of crochet. Sherri learned some basic stitches from a family friend when she was about eight as well. Nobody in her family was a lefty, and everyone was afraid to teach her. She didn’t really practice and forgot most of what she learned. After Kristy and Sherri became friends about 20 years ago, Kristy helped Sherri regain her basic crochet skills, and even taught her some new things like reading a pattern and crochet for things that were waaay cooler than granny squares and Afghans. Both have continued to expand their repertoire of skills in crochet, and other crafts as well, adding both knitting and spinning to their further stringy adventures.
Tasha Miller Griffith
Class: 3D Felt
Tasha believes that making things by hand, and sharing the skills to do so, empowers people and helps them live more joyfully and thoughtfully. Her mama gave her a needle and thread when she was very small, and she dove into fiber arts right away. Tasha has been teaching workshops in all kinds of textile skills since 2008. In 2019 Tasha will be teaching at the John C. Campbell Folk School, the Intermountain Weaver's Conference, and events around her native Arizona. She has also written about textiles for Taproot and Seamwork magazines. Tasha shares a lot of free tutorials and her current teaching schedule can be seen at her website.
Classes: Couple Weave Basics, Play with Inlay Weaving and Exploring Clasped Warp and Weft on Rigid Heddle Loom
Amanda has been weaving for 8 years and loves all types of weaving. She spends her days teaching and managing Tempe Yarn and Fiber. She is a lucky gal - she gets to be around yarn everyday and get paid for it! Working at a yarn store enables one to do so much with weaving and realize what fun it is to create colorful, useful handmade fabrics! She loves teaching weaving classes and getting her students to experience the joy of weaving. She finds great joy in helping weavers learn to love the process of weaving and help them in creating their own personal fabrics that are as unique as they are.
Classes: Knitting Methodology, Surface Design, Freeform Knit/Crochet and Designing with Brioche
Since childhood, fiber has been a part of Terry's identity. She has always been curious about fiber and the rolls it plays in our everyday lives. Whether in clothing, household items or art, exploring fiber has been her life long journey. From fiber to thread or yarn, to fabric or art pieces, there are many techniques to learn. Terry has dabbled in some and mastered others. Her experiences include spinning, knitting, crocheting, dyeing, weaving, needle felting and sewing. Some of Terry's accomplishments include being published in Shuttle Spindle & Dyepot Magazine, having her patterns published in other magazines, and selling her art work in galleries. Past teaching opportunities of fiber-related activities have included yarn and fiber festivals, and local craft stores. All of these various steps in her journey led her to the creation of Tempe Yarn & Fiber, where she has been able to teach, design and share all of her fiber passions for the past 12 years. Most of Terry's days are now spent dyeing, designing knitting patterns (sold on Ravelry), and teaching. Her current fascination is deciphering why the stitches work together in knitting and how all that math really helps in creating designs. As her mind explodes with ideas and 'what ifs", Terry's main goal still remains: to inspire and support others in their fiber journeys.
Classes: Knit the Landscape
All my life the joy and mystery of color has been my motivating principle, first in painting and now in knitwear design. I have a BA from Brandeis University and an MFA from Pratt Institute but after being a starving artist and unable to get a full time college teaching job, I gave up that dream. Twenty years later I discovered Fair Isle knitting. In 2003 a knitting tour of Shetland, Scotland rekindled my creative juices and I began making my own knitted designs. That sparked an intensive learning period when I experienced that color in knitting doesn’t work the same way as color on canvas. Since I love travel I started analyzing traditional textile motifs from different cultures and the trade routes by which they are shared across cultures. Several trips to Turkey inspired me to translate traditional tribal Anatolian and classical Ottoman motifs into knitted designs. My greatest joy is sharing my passion with students: helping them translate their personal inspirations into knitted designs. That includes an experiential, hands-on approach to learning more about color so they can get their desired results. I teach beginning and intermediate classes in stranded knitting and a playful approach to color theory. My heart’s desire is to bring out the inner artist that exists in everyone through stranded knitting and color study. I teach at yarn stores including The Yarn Store at Nob Hill and Village Wools in Albuquerque, and Looking Glass Yarns in Santa Fe; Purl in the Pines in Flagstaff, AZ; Vortex Yarns, Taos NM; private studios and festivals including the Taos Wool Festival, Estes Park Wool Festival, Sneffles Fiber Festival in CO, On Higher Ground lll Retreat in Taos and Fiber Art Fiesta in Albuquerque. I am the Fun Events Coordinator for The Yarn Store. Check out my website!
Classes: Dye Materials of the Southwest
Lara Plecas was born and raised in the midwest, near Chicago. She has been living and working as a visual artist in the valley since 1996. Lara attended Arizona State University for her undergraduate studies in Exercise Science and Dance. Lara was a member of the artist collective Eye Lounge for three years, where she developed her voice as an artist and honed her ability to tell a story with her work. While her work is experimental by nature, she has incorporated elements of collage, photography, sculpture and fiber into her encaustic paintings. She enjoys exploring with weaving, plant based dyeing and quilting. She has taught several classes on natural dyeing in Phoenix, Scottsdale Museum of Art and in Bisbee, Arizona at the Bisbee Craft School.
Class: 3D Needle Felted Monkey
Art has always been my passion with 3D art being my favorite form. It's exciting to set out art materials and create something from scratch. Moving from clay to wool as a medium has allowed me to create more realistic animals. Using posable armature and adding a bit of whimsy brings their personalities to life and I can't help but smile and wonder what mischief they might get into.
Class: Wet Felted Hat
Janet’s love of color, fiber and texture really took off when she moved to New Hampshire in the late ‘70s. There she was introduced to spinning, weaving and dyeing. Later she traveled cross country to learn about felting, eco/botanical printing and more! Being taught by both many “big name” and local fiber artists, she gleaned valuable information that has been incorporated into her classes. Janet enjoys teaching her love of fiber arts to other fiber enthusiasts. For any information/questions regarding this class she can be reached at email@example.com.