INSTRUCTOR  BIOS

Sheila Andrews. Sheila is an artist who is inspired by plants leaves and flowers. Even as a young girl in England where she grew up on a farm, flora and fauna provided endless ideas for playing, painting, sewing and now fabric designs. She also enjoys felting wool, dyeing with natural dyes and knitting.

Eco printing or sometimes referred to as botanical printing is Sheila’s passion. Leaves gathered from surrounding nature and friend’s gardens are used to create wonderful plant portraits on wool, silk, linen and cotton for both wearable and free form art.  The latter includes printing on pillow covers, rugs, table runners, napkins and wall hangings.  She has recently included paper and knitting yarn in this printing process. Over the years she has taken instruction in printing and dyeing from Nicola Brown and Irit Dulman.  This ever evolving process requires countless hours spent perfecting techniques for printing with natural materials and dyes found in local plants and flowers. No synthetic inks, dyes or paints have been used. Up to six or more steps are involved in completing this final work of art. No two are ever the same. My love of nature makes me conscious of keeping the process as gentle on the environment as I can.

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

Pearl Chow teaches fibre crafts throughout the lower mainland. Simplifying knitting, wearing, 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. 

Catherine Dumaine is a fibre artist living and working in Port Coquitlam, BC. She has been teaching in Art Centres and local schools around the lower mainland since 2007. Her work has been exhibited in shows locally including Place des Arts, Port Moody Festival of the Arts and Leigh Square Community Arts Village. She served as the curator for the Craft Year 2007 exhibit “Au Naturel“. Catherine has worked on a multitude of community engagement workshops including workshops at both Place des Arts and external community events. Her recent artist in residency at Place des Arts engaged over 1,000 school students to create a lantern installation that was unveiled during the annual Christmas “A Lantern Affair” event.

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.

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

Fibres West is produced by

Penelope Fibre Arts

1665 128th St

Surrey, BC, V4A 3V2

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