FIBRES WEST 2023
Sheila Andrews. Sheila's current focus is working with natural dyes, local and traditional, to create unique colour and patterns on cloth or paper. She has been inspired by many others over the years using mostly local leaves, flowers and bark. The process is quite simple but the results are always varied and fascinating. Eco printing involves contact between textile and plant matter with the aid of heat. Sheila prints silk scarves and a variety of natural cloth, often using upcycled cotton plus wool, silk, hemp and linen. These one of a kind pieces can be made into clothing, home decoration such as pillows, throws and wall art. She loves being able to share this amazing process using natural materials and nature.
I am thrilled to have Johanna Mramor join our botanical printing class this year. Her many years of experience as a quilter, clothes and jewelry maker will enhance our class experience. Johanna will help us all with the " how to's" of completing our finished eco print cloth.
Venessa Bentley, from the Working Hands Fibre Arts Studio, is a practicing artisan and instructor, as well as a full time primary teacher in a fully integrated Intensive Arts Education Program. She extended her Degree in Education with diplomas in Fine Arts Education from SFU, and Textile Arts from Cap U. Programs that Venessa teaches are focused on the creative process, and building confidence and joy in hand work. A variety of fibre arts programs are taught, year round, at Venessa’s home studio, and at Penelope Fibre Arts She has dedicated her life to this learning, and continues to explore and dissect each step of her fibre arts work, with a view to staying fresh and current in her teaching. venessabentley
Vanessa Bjerreskov has been working with fibre since she was a child. Starting with crochet and cross stitch and progressing to knitting and finally to spinning, she is a 2017 graduate of the Master Spinner Program at Olds College, Alberta. She has taught countless people how to spin and knit, been published in PLY Magazine and SpinOff, and is the host of the (currently on hiatus) fibre arts podcast By the Fibreside. She moved from Alberta to Powell River, BC, in 2019, and is thrilled to be part of the coastal fibre arts community. Visit her website at bythefibreside or follow her on Instagram at @sparqness.
Pearl Chow teaches fibre crafts throughout the lower mainland. Simplifying knitting, weaving, felting and braiding is her passion. Teaching others to craft with the least amount of effort and maximum amount of fun is her goal. Pearl ran Birkeland Bros Wool in Vancouver before it moved to Abbotsford.
Mary Ellenton. Mary’s education and passion for all things fibre began at a very early age, being taught by a father who was a hand weaver working for the Island Weavers in Victoria, B.C., and a mother who was an avid sewer and knitter. She began teaching full time music in 1973, but for the last 19 years has been honing her textile and fibre arts skills as a home-ec teacher. Now retired, Mary still works part time as a teacher-on-call for the Delta School District, specializing in the textile and music areas.
Mary’s love of creating by hand, thirst for knowledge and variety, is what led her to take a class in Bow Loom weaving. This was presented by Marilyn Romatka at the ANWG Conference 2015. Learning a traditional skill on a modern version of a primitive, portable loom was exciting and she was hooked. This was yet another vehicle for her passion of ‘playing with colour’, weaving beautiful beaded bands with colourful yarns and beads.
Ponnie Matin Pelchat. Knitting Designer, Knitting Teacher, Knitter for Film and TV
I started knitting at about 5. Following my mom, I never used patterns, heck I didn’t even know how to read them… Teaching knitting made it so that I had to learn and be able to explain patterns. This started my journey into writing out my patterns, initially for class use only.
I am a Combined Continental Knitter which means I twist stitches as I knit ‘em and untwist as I purl ‘em. With this in mind I like to teach knitting in your style. Though I am the happy go lucky type, it bugs me when I hear “Oh, you are knitting it wrong” I believe there is no such thing as “knitting it wrong” My Mom will be the testament to that. She makes everything in every gauge conceivable with the same set of 5mm needles.
I adapt the way I knit from one project to the next just like we need to adapt from one situation to the next in life. (I even knit stitches the english way from time to time) I love all yarn! From beautiful hand painted Alpaca and silks to acrylic. I don’t discriminate! I’m an addict…
Jessica Silvey grew up with her paternal Grandmother. Jessica spent many hours in the forest, it is still her favourite place to be, surrounded by Cedar trees and silence. Her love of Coast Salish Basketry comes from the cedar root baskets in her Grandmother’s home, baskets of various shapes, sizes and patina’s that were woven by her Aunt’s and Grandmother’s. The memory of those baskets still speaks to Jessica in a silent language that only Weaver’s understand. Jessica has learned traditional techniques from research as well as trial and error. She harvests and prepares her own materials as well as traditional plants for dyes and medicines.
Her love for weaving and fibre arts, coupled with a background in museum curating inspired her concept for an unique Weaving Studio. In 2016 she opened Red Cedar Woman Weaving Studio (an art, craft and lifestyle studio) where she facilitates immersive weaving workshops in Coast Salish basketry, Salish weaving on the floor loom and harvesting traditional use plants for dyes and medicines. Through Red Cedar Woman Weaving Studio, Jessica also offers workshops in macrame, tapestry weaving, natural dyes and medicines as well as hosts guest artists to facilitate their own unique craft workshops. jessicasilvey
Rachel Smith lives in Langley, British Columbia, with her husband and two kids. She’s been spinning since 2007 and knitting even longer. What started out as a creative outlet, became a passion and she is now the host of Wool n’ Spinning, a videocast on YouTube. She has taught in-studio at SweetGeorgia Yarns, and has created two online workshops for the School of SweetGeorgia. When not making, Rachel is a Critical Care Nurse and spends a lot of time in the kitchen making meals! woolnspinning
Laurie Steffler. Laurie is a fibre artist and O.C.A.D. graduate who fell in love with wool as a medium and began felt-making and dyeing in 1986. Every year she designs a new felt fashion line of hats, scarves and clothing for the annual Circle Craft Vancouver, Art Market Calgary and One of a Kind Toronto show tour. She invents and combines many felting techniques with merino wool, silk, and other fabrics and yarns. You can visit her at the Salt Spring Island Saturday market or her Seaside studio. She is an experienced teacher who started sharing her wealth of knowledge in 1995 and enjoys supporting her students unique creativity. Her felting kits for the designs she makes will be available for purchase at the show. saltspringfiberadventures
Diana Twiss. Diana is passionate about fibre, fabric, colour and texture. An experienced teacher with a background in adult education, she has successfully introduced many beginners to the wonders of making yarn and has helped more experienced spinners experiment with technique, colour, and fibre to take their spinning to a new level. Her favourite tools for yarn making are spindles because of their simplicity, beauty and portability. You can see how she combines all her fibre intersets and skills by following her pursuits to make yarn from locally sourced wool, llama, alpaca and mohair on her blog 100milewear. You can find Diana’s patterns on ravelry