Now is the time of productivity, upskilling and growth. It’s a new year and a new beginning. We have had plenty of people coming to Learn for Life workshops excited to engage in something new, something creative. Our Fiber Art class in February was a wonderful merging of ages, ability, and creativity, led by Art instructor and Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant, Stephanie (meet our instructors here). We learnt about what is Fiber Art and how we can make art using recycled materials. Ultimately, everyone walked away at the end of the online art class with an easy wall-hanging fiber artwork.
Firstly, what is “Fiber” and what is “Fiber Art”? We are not referring to your bran cereal or whole wheat bread. In terms of fine art, “Fiber” can be natural or synthetic (man-made). Traditionally it is natural, taken from plant or animals and turned into a usable material such as linen, cotton, yarn and silk. In contemporary art, synthetic materials art also used, such as polyesters, acrylics, and plastics. Fiber art can be functional (serve a purpose), such as the quilt that has been in the family for generations or those booties grandma knitted for you as a baby. Fiber art techniques can also be used to create fine art that makes a statement, evicts an emotion, or is meant for purely aesthetic purposes and is typically intended to be displayed in your home or a gallery.
Our Fiber Art workshop taught the fine art style. At the beginning of the workshop, Stephanie went through the history (as I have done with you now), and discussed potential materials that can be used in their project. Everyone needed either a branch or a dowel at least 12” to 16”.
The following was a list of other suggested materials:
· Fabric scraps (old T-Shirts, Jeans, scarves)
· Netting from fruit bags
· Woven rice bags
The first step in the fiber art process is to prepare your materials. Stephanie demonstrated how to tear or cut materials into the desired lengths and width. It different for each person. Mine was short, about 6” each, but some people had longer strips over 12”.
Once strips were prepared, we learned how to neatly knot them onto our branch or dowel. Stephanie encouraged us to look at our materials and decide what order we wanted the different materials on our branch and if we wanted specific color schemes. Throughout the process as we all worked on our projects, Stephanie demonstrated different knotting and braiding techniques that we could incorporate. We were all encouraged to ask questions and engage with one another. People even came up with ideas of other materials they could use, like food wrappers and grocery bags.
Towards the end of the workshop people were predominately finished. Stephanie demonstrated how to convert this fiber artwork into hanging wall art.
After the class was finished participants chose to continue working on their projects at home and sent us images of their finished hanging fiber wall art.
Overall it was a wonderful and inclusive experience. Everyone had a great time and walked away with a new skill, knowledge, and art for their home.
Come and join us for an art class and learn skills of your own. Sign up online now. You can also read about one of our Music Therapy Workshops here. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date on Classes, Posts, and events!
Sydney Davis-Campos is the Virtual Learning Coordinator at Able ARTS Work, Learn for Life. She has a B.A. in Studio Art and Art History. Sydney has worked at Able ARTS Work for almost 5 years where she has also held the positions of Art Instructor and an Assistant Program Manager.