Vicki Bennett: Felt Maker, Fiber Artist, Teacher
Fairview, NC and St Petersburg, FL
Here's some news! I'm excited to say that I've been chosen to be one of four Resident Artists for Asheville's Local Cloth. Over the coming year I will be teaching at the LC studio every week, in small group and one-to-one format, 3-dimensional felt, felting for art to wear and interior design and natural dyeing along with eco printing. Below is the announcement from Local Cloth. I have a full schedule lined up in the studio including once a week ongoing study and special weekend workshops. (Check in the workshop 2018 listing below) I hope you'll be in touch and come by if you're in the area!
Beginning next week, each Tuesday in May I'll be teaching nuno felting in an open studio format. Come for one, come for all four- I'd love to have you join me as we work to create beautiful, durable and functional scarves and yardage. Check it out and register here: https://localcloth.wildapricot.org/event-2891387
Vicki Bennett: Fiber Artist, Teacher, Naturalist
"Starting with raw animal fiber and moving it through centuries-old techniques of felting and dyeing to create a piece of wearable art or a sculptured vessel with colors that mimic nature is a real joy for me. Teaching these techniques is my passion."
After 30 years as a practicing psychotherapist, Vicki turned to the Lillstreet Art Center and Chicago Institute of Art to revisit her love of fiber arts. She resumed hand weaving, worked on Margaret Wortheim’s first major coral reef installation with the Windy City Knitters and then began exploring felt making and natural dyeing. Vicki found her focus working with raw wool to create wearable art and three- dimensional hollow form sculpture and dyeing fabric with plants from nature. Since leaving Chicago and moving to the Asheville area Vicki has taken time to study with felt artists Karoliinna Arvilommi, Judit Pocs and Charlotte Sehmisch. Vicki teaches at various craft schools including JC Campbell Folk School, Arrowmont, Western North Carolina Arboretum and at Southeast Animal Fiber Fair. She serves on the board of LocalCloth.org in Asheville and has chaired Local Cloth’s Project Handmade, a large scale fashion show that highlights Western North Carolina’s best fiber artists creating design locally, “from farm to fiber to fashion.” Vicki has won numerous awards for her own work in art to wear and felt sculpture; in 2016 she was awarded a first place in The Blue Ridge Fiber Show and the Judges Choice Award at Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair.
In the Local Cloth studio on Tuesdays, Vicki will be teaching felting, dyeing and eco print. Each month will have a theme and a small class format that allows for ample individual attention for all skill levels and flexible scheduling. If you are interested in exploring any aspect of wool felt making or natural dyeing, the LC studio on Tuesdays is a wonderful place to find your own direction as you learn new (and old!) techniques.
Classes and workshops-
John C Campbell Folk School
PRINTING NATURE ON FELT
Date: Sunday, Apr 15 - Saturday, Apr 21, 2018
Subject: Felt Making, Dyeing
Instructor: Vicki Bennett
Learn to make consistent wool felt fabric with wet-felt techniques using wool top, prefelt, and silk. Next, with gathered plants and other natural dyes, “eco” print intricate designs and patterns on the felt yardage. You'll then use this fabric to construct projects of choice - bag, hat, pillow, or vest - with perfect images from nature. All levels welcome; no experience required. Only a bit of physical stamina for wet felting is needed. FULL
North Carolina Arboretum
Eco Printing on Silk A Friday June 1 10:00 AM–4:00 PM
Eco Printing on Silk B Saturday June 2 10:00AM- 4:00PM
Eco-Printing on Silk
Instructor: Vicki Bennett
Friday, June 1; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
$110 Member / $115 Non-member
Limit: 10 students
Learn to print on silk fabric using leaves, flowers and other botanical materials in this one-day workshop. This course will cover how to bundle and wrap silk fabrics with plant materials to create beautiful, clear botanical prints. Learn how mordants and additives assist the dye process and how different fabrics and techniques affect resulting colors. Students will complete three projects, including two full-length silk scarves. Students should bring their own aprons, optional non-latex gloves, sharp scissors and any botanicals they would like to incorporate. Register here
At Local Cloth in Asheville:
Nuno Felt: Form and Function
Learn the techniques of nuno felt that result in a beautiful, durable and functional product, whether it’s a scarf, shawl or yardage for garments. All too often nuno felt ends up flimsy and wispy with a short lifespan. In this workshop students will learn how to fully integrate their fibers, felt them consistently, allow for shrinkage and create a quality fabric. We will focus on layout, design and color blending.
4 sessions. Register here for all four sessions. If you would like to schedule fewer than four sessions, please register here.
08 May 2018, 9:30 AM 1:30 PM
15 May 2018, 9:30 AM 1:30 PM
.22 May 2018, 9:30 AM 1:30 PM
.29 May 2018, 9:30 AM 1:30 PM
207 Coxe Ave, Asheville, NC
I’m backing off on my schedule a bit this year after doing the Local Cloth fashion show last year ( and also wanting to spend more time with those beautiful grands!) but here are some dates and classes and I’’ll be adding more in the weeks to come…if you have a special request or would like me to come and teach near you, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
May 27 Local Cloth, Asheville (localcloth.org)
Description: Learn to use leaves, flowers and other botanicals to create unique prints on cloth. This class was sold out in the fall, so we are very excited that Vikki is coming back to share her expertise and unique methods that result in beautiful, clear prints. (Sorry, but this event is now sold out. You can join the waitlist and we will send you an email when additional spaces become available.)
June 7 and 8, Local Cloth, Asheville (localcloth.org)
The New Landscape of 3-Dimensional Felt
Description: What lies beneath? In this class learn to create felt vessels and sculptures with portals, pathways and pop-ups. Students will master techniques that lead to durable 3-dimensional felt vessels with uniform seamless walls and then, through the use of resists, create further multi-dimensional surface design. The sculptural aspects of felt making will evoke the many landscapes of nature as we add hills, cracks, crevices and multiple layers of color.
July 15, The North Carolina Arboretum
Description: Learn to print on silk fabric using leaves, flowers, and other botanical materials in this one-day workshop. Course will cover how to bundle and wrap your fabric and plant materials so that your prints come out clearly and with maximum color, how color shifting occurs in the dye bath, using mordants to assist the dye process and how different fabrics and techniques affect results. ((Sorry, but this event is now sold out.)
Sunday, Oct 8 - Saturday, Oct 14 John C Campbell Folk School (https://classes.folkschool.org/)
PRINTING NATURE ON FELT
Description: Learn to make consistent wool felt fabric with wet-felt techniques using wool top, prefelt, and silk. Next, with gathered plants and other natural dyes, “eco” print intricate designs and patterns on the felt yardage. You'll then use this fabric to construct projects of choice - bag, hat, pillow, or vest - with perfect images from nature. All levels welcome; no experience required. Only a bit of physical stamina for wet felting is needed.
October 25, 26, 27, 28 Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair, Asheville, NC (http://www.saffsite.org)
Fiber, Nature and Texture: An Introduction to Eco-print dyeing
Description: Explore and experiment with the possibilities of printing botanicals on a variety of fabrics. Using plant materials we will learn how to best mordant fabrics to accept natural dyes, bundling methods for clear and colorful prints and how to combine techniques to create color shifting in the dye bath. Students will complete three pieces of yardage on silk and cotton. This class is for all levels
Felt Framed: Small Wall Pieces
Description: This new class is a fun opportunity to up your game with wet felt surface design skills. Combining wool fibers, pref-felts, silks and 3-dimensional techniques, students will create a small frameable work of art. Emphasis will be on blending and layering color, realizing design outlines and making durable felt that can be further embellished. Shadow box frames and framing instruction is included. Instructor will contact students in advance with suggestions for sketches and further information. This class is suitable for all levels although some experience with wet felting is useful. Materials fee includes shadow box frame.
October 28 (two sessions)
Make It- Take It Silk Scarf Dyeing
Description: Back by popular demand! Hop in for this fun and fanciful one hour class where students create a beautiful silk scarf. Brilliant colors, simple shibori techniques, permanent silk dyes. Leave wearing a completed scarf that will have your friends saying, "Really? You did that!?"