Fiber Arts & Wool Workshop - Felted vessels

Overview

Grand Canyon continues to attract artists from near and far. In a landscape so vast and varied, it is no surprise that creative individuals have used any number of media—from paint to poetry—in attempts to convey their impression of place. 

Participants in this workshop will be given time to form their own personal connection with the canyon while learning a method of fabric-making called felting. Felt, the oldest cloth known to humankind, is made using water, soap, wool fibers, and friction to create a durable, water-resistent, non-woven material. Participants will create two felted vessels during this weekend workshop and also have the opportunity to dye protein fibers for use in their project on Day 2.


Trip Highlights

  • Learn the basics of wet felting and how to use resists to create two wool vessels.

  • Explore color while dyeing protein fibers using acid dyes.

  • Experiment with incorporating non-felting embellishments and using Churro wool. (The story of the Navajo's Churro sheep, and their rebound from near eradication, is a true success story in the preservation of the indigenous way of life, and will be part of the conversation.)

  • Enjoy a glorious canyon sunrise and interpretive stroll along the rim, with a final stop to view Navajo weavings at Hopi House. (This will aid in informing creative choices such as color, shapes, design, and texture—as well as heighten participants' understanding of how to draw inspiration from place.)

Photo description: The results
Photo description: Part way through
Photo description: One-on-one instruction
Photo description: Collaboration is the key

Itinerary

Welcome and introductions at the Community Building followed by an overview of the Felting Process: Announcements, slideshow, and demonstrations.

Work on Project 1 (small felted vessel/bowl or luminaria).

Option to dye wool in preparation for Project 2.

Sunrise talk on the rim of Grand Canyon followed by a continued overview of Felting Process: Announcements and demonstrations.

Work on Project 2 (large felted vessel/bowl or luminaria).

If time permits, you may wish to experiment with needle-felting, nuno-felting, or creating embellishments for your work.

Recap, show-and-tell, and closing discussion. Clean-up time and class group photo.

Meet your Grand Canyon expert

Kim Buchheit, BA

Kim Buchheit is a fiber artist with over 25 years of experience in the design field. Her design business, Buchheit Creative Services, focuses on developing creative solutions for her clients including exhibit and surface design. As a former fellow at the National Endowment for the Arts and juror for regional and local arts organizations, she has a longstanding commitment to the arts in Arizona. As a working fiber artist, Kim teaches workshops for the Grand Canyon Association Field Institute, Flag Wool and Fiber festival, and Arizona Fiber Arts Retreat, and is represented by West of the Moon gallery in Flagstaff, AZ. She is also a certified instructor in graphic design and has taught courses at the college level.


What's Included

Price for the class includes:

  • Our expert instructor.
  • One-on-one instruction.
  • $35 for all class materials.
  • Camping at Mather Campground.
  • Park Entrance Fee Waiver.

What's not included

You are responsible for:

  • Transportation to and from the canyon.
  • Lodging or camping in the park before or after your trip.
  • Gratuity for your guide.

Additional notes

Includes necessary supplies and materials. While basic instruction will be taught, all skill levels are welcome.

Download Class Syllabus