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Fiber workshops with Keren Lowell – October 2018

Anchorage artist, Keren Lowell, exhibits and visits as the Homer Fiber Arts Collective’s Artist-in-Residence at Bunnell, exploring fiber arts construction techniques in a series of workshops for local artists.

Lowell uses discarded items and reinvents them using a range of techniques into three dimensional textile art. Her work explores themes including erosion and translucence. Her work is neither solely painting, sculpture nor installation and yet takes elements of all three to create powerful and emotional art that has a raw beauty, depth and intelligence. Her workshops will explore how to use flexible materials in a sculptural way.

“I think and visualize things in three dimensions, but traditional sculpture mediums (wood, metal, stone, clay) are too rigid and absolute for me. Textiles operate the way that most organic and fluid things operate. I also appreciate the way that textiles evoke our own skin. I think of textiles as visual metaphors for the human (especially the feminist/queer/curious) condition,” says Lowell.

Keren Lowell earned her her Masters in Fine arts in 1992 from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In 1994, She moved to Alaska, and began teaching courses in sculpture, humanities and art history at the University of Alaska. In 2008 she became the coordinator of the Fiber Department at UAA. She taught there through the fall of 2013, and helped build a vibrant young community of fiber artists. Lowell exhibit in Alaska, most recently the solo exhibit ‘Groundwork’ at the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center, and is regularly included in juried, curated and group exhibits.

Lowell’s exhibit opens First Friday, October 5th, with artist talk at 6pm.

Artists and Makers are invited to build wearable art expertise with Homer Fiber Arts Collective Artist-in-Residence, Keren Lowell. From basic sewing skills to design and construction techniques, 5 weekends of workshops will begin the last weekend of September on Friday evening, and continue throughout all weekends of October to help local artists create successful works for the Wearable Art Show on November 17.

Workshop fees are $25 per class / $40 per weekend, or $150 for all five weekends including membership to HFAC.

Call Bunnell (235-2662) or click here to register for any of the following:

October 6 & 7 Workshop: Basic Sewing Techniques

  • October 6Saturday, 12:00 – 4:00 pm
    Sewing Machine Clinic
    Bring your sewing machine, especially if it is giving you trouble or isn’t working properly. We will troubleshoot threading, bobbins, tension, needles, stitch types & sewing feet.  We’ll go over basic hand and sewing machine techniques as well.
  • October 7Sunday 12:00 – 4:00 pm
    Anatomy of a Pattern
    Review how to make, alter and use patterns for basic garment types: pants, shirt, tunic, skirt, linings/interfacing, cuffs, hoods. We’ll also cover order of assembly and modifications to each type of garment.

October 13 & 14 Workshop: Developing Ideas & Sourcing Materials for Wearable Art

  • October 13Saturday, 12:00 – 4:00 pm
    Wearable Art Brainstorming Session: Developing ideas.
    Technical: Sketching the body. Rough-drafting your idea for your wearable art project. Planning the architecture, armatures and understructures. Wireframe. Taking measurements. Content: Avoiding clichés and appropriation.  Mythos, poetry, metaphor and resonant imagery in the visual/wearable arts landscape. Altering/expanding perceptions about the body. Using more than one body.
  • October 14Sunday 12:00 – 4:00 pm
    Sourcing Materials, finding/collecting materials. Budgets (what you can afford in terms of materials, time, resources). How to build a body double/dress form. How to listen to what materials want to do, what they say, and how to get them to do what you want, in keeping with your vision. Review basic design principles: proportions, texture, color, light, contrast, unity, etc. Garment components to think about: headpieces, bodice + arms/hands, lower body, footwear, accessories.

October 20-21 Workshop: Construction Methods, Techniques and Assembly

  • October 20 – Saturday, 12:00 – 4:00pm
    Bring all materials, sketches and prototypes to the Saturday session. We will focus on construction techniques, pattern pieces and assembly, building planar, flexible surfaces and three-dimensional objects with both flexible and rigid materials.
  • October 21 – Sunday, 12:00 – 4:00pm
    We will start building the rough drafts/prototypes/structures/armatures for the big component pieces of your wearable art piece(s) in this session. During this session, you may move your wearable art piece into intermediate stages of construction.

October 27-28 Workshop: Fittings and Movement Details

  • October 27-28 – Saturday & Sunday 12:00 – 4:00pm
Intermediate stages of garment construction, intermediate fittings and details. The focus will be on transferring patterns to the real materials, if you haven’t already done so. More problem-solving, articulation of garment parts, construction and assembly.


November 3-4 Workshop: Facilitating Individual Projects

  • November 3-4: Saturday & Sunday 12:00 – 4:00pm
Fine-tuning construction details, surfaces, accessories, movement, music. Bring your model if you can. We will work towards making your wearable art piece as strong and lovely as possible.

Open Sew Sessions

  • October 12, 19, 26: Fridays, 7:00-9:00pm 

Friday evenings October 12, 19, 26,  7:00 – 9:00 pm are free & open to all, social and open-ended Bring the thing you are working on, plus any questions, requests for information, feedback, technical and aesthetic issues. Friday Open Sew sessions will help with mending, repairing, hackerwear/mods and conversions.

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