Venessa Bentley grew up knitting and stitching and now works as an instructor, designer, and consultant in the needle, fibre, and textile arts, and as an elementary teacher. Venessa knit her way through a Textile Arts Diploma Program from Capilano University, a Bachelor’s Degree, a Post Baccalaureate Diploma in Fine Arts Education, and a Professional Teaching Certificate from Simon Fraser University. Venessa provides instruction and public education programs for adults, youth, and children in knitting, crocheting, spinning, weaving, stitching, and surface design. She teaches from her studio in White Rock, and at exhibitions and fibre festivals. Venessa teaches Grade One in the Intensive Fine Arts Track in the Surrey School District. www.venessabentley.ca
Barb is a designer and lifelong knitter, living in Alberta. She has taught at various community colleges, and gives classes to knitting guilds and children’s groups. Her designs have appeared in Vogue Knitting, Yarn Forward, The Knitter (USA), A Needle Pulling Thread and several on-line newsletters. Barb’s “Rib Fantastic Socks” were included in Knitting Socks with Handpainted Yarn, by Carol Sulcoski. She is the great-grandaughter of Jeremina Colvin, the Shetlander who, with her frineds Mary Edwards and Sophia Percy of the Cowichan band, strove to make the Cowichan Sweaters a quality product that would provide an income for the women of that community. Barb’s book, Knitting Knee-Highs: Sock Styles from Classic to Contemporary, was released in February 2011 by Krause Publications. www.wildgeesefibres.com
Catherine is a fibre artist living and working in Port Coquitlam, BC. She teaches in Art Centres and institutions around the lower mainland that include Place des Arts, Leigh Square Community Arts Village, The Reach Gallery in Abbotsford and local community schools. Catherine’s work has been exhibited in shows locally including Place des Arts, Port Moody Festival of the Arts and Leigh Square Community Arts Village. Her skills include loom weaving, wet felting, tapestry, basketry, spinning, dyeing and hand-made paper.
Fiona has worked as a fibre artist for 23 years, covering a range of experiences from fashion and interior design, to natural dyeing and feltmaking. As long as she has wool to play with, she is happy! Fiona has exhibited and taught in Canada, the US, Scotland, and New Zealand, inviting others to explore their own creative directions through her workshops. Fiona and her family have a Fibre Arts Studio on Saltspring Island, where they live and create. www.fionaduthie.com
Ellana started to weave in 2000. She is an avid spinner, weaver and natural dyer. She is particularly interested in the historical aspects of cloth creation and has concentrated research in the reconstruction of pre-16th century fabric. Ellana is an active member of the Coquitlam Weavers and Spinners Guild and is a past member of the Guild Executive.
Kim’s sound knowledge in the areas of fibre and dyeing is a result of her education, a B.Sc. in Integrated Science from Carleton University and her 32 years of spinning, dyeing and weaving experience. Kim teaches both adult and children’s workshops. She has taught and lectured on the arts of dyeing and spinning to weaving and spinning guilds, museums, Olds College (Fibre Week), Gibson’s Fibre Arts Festival, Fibre Fest Int’l (Abbotsford), Fibres West (Abbotsford), Whistler’s Children’s Arts Festival, the Vancouver Aquarium, Penelope Fibre Arts and Twist of Fate. in 2011, Kim developed Claddagh Fibre Arts a web-based learning tool. In the Fall of 2012 her article “Dyeing Silk Hankies” was one of ten articles chosen to be featured in Interweave Press’ ebook, “All About Silk”. Occasionally, Kim takes on dyeing, spinning and textile commissions from other artists or groups who require specific colour or yarn for their projects. To this end Kim has worked with Treenway Silks (Saltspring Island Series Project), Ruth Jones (Tapestry Projects), Dale Ramsey (Japanese Screen Project) and the Mission Weavers Guild (Tartan Project). www.claddaghfibrearts.com
Caroline learned to knit and embroider when she was four, and has been fascinated by fibres and yarn ever since! Spurred on by the acquisition of the family spinning wheel (passed down through 5 generations), she has now been spinning for 15 years and has tried every spinning tool and fibre she can acquire, including, in moments of desperation, sticks donated by trees and fire weed fluff. Her MA degree in Archaeology and Sociology provides the knowledge and skills needed to further her fibre studies, which are currently centered on cultural patterns of specialized fibre use and historical spinning tool design. Caroline is an avid fibre artist and loves nothing more than to share her passion for fibres through teaching! www.ancientartsfibre.com
Jane started weaving in 1978 in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Her studies took her to Banff, Alberta, where she studied, was a teaching assistant and taught at the Banff School of Fine Arts. in 1988 Jane moved to Salt Spring Island and began her business Jane Stafford Textiles. She was a production weaver for many years creating beautiful mohair blankets, silk scarves and stoles. Jane is a consummate teacher and has spent the last ten years developing workshops and teaching all over North America. She is now happy to offer retreats at her studio on Salt Spring Island. www.janestaffordtextiles.com
Diana is a spinner and knitter who works full time in the world of adult literacy. She has been a member of the Langley Weavers and Spinners Guild since 2000, spinning from the time she joined. Diana is an Art and Literacy teacher by trade and has delivered several fibre arts workshops over the years – Introduction to Drop Spindling at Fibres West 2011; Drop Spindling in Haida Gwaii 2010; Tricks of the Trade in Spinning, Making Funky Yarns at Fibre Fest Int’l in 2007; various fibre workshops for the Langley Weavers and Spinners Guild – Introduction to Spinning, Introduction to Drum Carding, and has worked with individual students. In addtion to spinning, Diana is working her way to being a Master Knitter, having completed Level 1 of the Master of Hand Knitting Program offered through the Knitting Guild Association, www.tkga.com in Apri 2010. In late September/early October she took a three-day spinning workshop with Abby Franquemont at the Taos Wool Festival in Taos, New Mexico. You can see how she combines all her interests and skills by following her pursuits to make clothing from locally sourced wool, llama, alpaca and mohair on her blog – www.100milewear.com. You can find Diana’s patterns on www.ravelry.com