Teaching

I teach workshops at various summer art programs and for organizations around the country and am willing
to consider teaching in new venues if my calendar permits. Please contact me for more specific information
about number of students, dates available, and pricing.

e-mail: brandeis@ncsu.edu

Stitching as Drawing

Drawing and stitching; making lines and marks. This workshop will explore ways to capture the quickness, spontaneity, and gestures of drawing through hand and machine stitching in the creation of expressive drawings on cloth. We will experiment with: optical mixing, color effects, cross-hatching, stippling, contouring, detailing, shading, gradations, gestural marks, scribbling, working at large and small scales, layering marks, and building texture on a variety of grounds. Emphasis will be on individual experimentation and developing a personal stitched mark vocabulary.

This workshop is based on and connected to my 2019 book The Intentional Thread: A Guide to Drawing, Gesture, and Color in Stitch.

• Three day, five day, or two-week versions on offer.
• Minimum set up. Students bring own supplies.

Creating and Manipulating Fabric Surfaces

The workshop explores the possibilities in combining printed, dyed, pattern dyed, or patterned fabrics with each other and with solid color fabrics to create personally meaningful compositions. The compositions may be representational, abstract, or non-representational, may tell a story or evoke a feeling, may be based on personal experience or on fantasy. Fabrics may be hand produced or commercially produced. Focus is on the process of composition itself—the series of decisions and actions with which we organize parts into a harmonious whole as a means to most effectively communicate individual ideas. Piecing, appliqué, and fabric manipulation are used to construct compositions and explore the visual elements of successful compositional arrangements—shape, color and texture relationships, placement, balance, scale and dimension. Machine stitching, embroidery, and beading will be used to enhance the compositions with line, gesture, marks, shading, surface texture, and color modulation.

• Two day, three day, five day and two week versions.
• Minimum set up.
• Students bring their own supplies and sewing machines.

Demystifying Design

This is a low-pressure, low-risk, high-play experience with familiar materials to help students generate some exciting ideas for current and future fiber projects, and to improve the ability to get desired results. This is a class for people who already weave, knit, quilt, crochet, bead, piece, print or do needlework. Whatever your particular technical interest and skill, the class will help you to explore and improve your own design process.

• Three day, five day, or two week.
• Minimum set up required.
• Students bring all their own supplies.

Fabric Collage and Construction

Fabric collage, creating images from a combination of sources and materials, lets you contrast a variety of different fabrics for a visual effect (startling, provocative, exciting, serious or fun), to make a political or social commentary, or simply to tell a story or delight the eye. Work with materials you love, and even include text, photographic images, memorabilia, and non-textile materials.

Learn about joining techniques (stitching, adhesives, stabilizers); the nature of materials and their combinations (compositional considerations, archival processes); adding color, marks, and images to the surfaces (stitching, stamping, painting, drawing with markers and pencils); integrating found images; and presenting the finished work (mounting, matting, hanging).

• Two day, three day, five day.
• Minimum set up.
• Students bring all supplies along.

Reverse Appliqué

The technique of reverse appliqué is portable, low-tech, and can be done almost anywhere. It requires only some pieces of cloth in contrasting colors, a needle, and some thread. It is a quiet, reflective, meditative act, but can create images of great power or subtlety.

This workshop concentrates on traditional techniques of layering fabrics, cutting through to reveal the fabrics underneath, and turning the edges with hand stitching. After mastering those, we will sample some more non-traditional ways of layering, cutting, and stitching. We will use a variety of dyed, printed and pattern-dyed fabrics (hand or commercially produced) and will explore uses of non-traditional bases.

• One day, two day, three day.
• Simple set up and materials.

 Brainstorming Ideas in Fiber

This class focuses on brainstorming—uncensored imagining and fantasizing—encouraging your mind to drift, bubble and flow. Through creative “play” we will explore how to use sources of inspiration, generate and develop ideas, and discover seemingly disconnected or unrelated elements that unite in unique comparisons. Using hands on exercises with simple materials—papers, magazine photographs, pens, markers, pencils—we will collage and sketch to capture your imaginings. Through short written exercises an discussion, we will explore ways to come up with a wealth of ideas to keep you energized after you leave.

• Three day, five day.
• Minimal set up: tables and chairs.
• Students bring their own supplies.

Surface Embellishment

Focus on combining printed/patterned/solid color fabrics to build a fabric surface through selective use of piecing, appliqué, reverse appliqué, fabric manipulation, inlay, hand and machine stitching and beading. Emphasis will be on personal expression through materials choices, composition, and color.

• Three day, five day.
• Students must each have access to a sewing machine.

Textiles and Meaning: A Master Class for Advanced Fiber Practitioners

This is a workshop for intermediate and advanced textile artists who want to explore ways to infuse greater meaning into their objects or break through to new levels of conceptual content. We will focus on the processes of creation and composition – the series of imaginings, decisions, and actions with which we organize materials into a harmonious, evocative, and communicative whole.

Through creative “play” we will explore how to use sources of inspiration, generate and develop ideas, and connect your ideas to deeper values and passions through design processes. Using hands-on exercises in creative process, class discussions, and written information, we will explore way to use inspiring sources to generate good ideas, to better visualize the end product before the hand work begins, and to better coordinate the details along the way (color, texture, composition, choice of materials and techniques appropriate to the idea)—so that what you imagine is stronger and better focused, and what you make is closer to what you imagined. Initial work will be with paper, pens, and pencils, followed by translation into familiar textile materials and techniques.\

• Three day, four day, five day versions on offer.
• Simple materials and set up.