Some of our teachers were with us in past years. When we received comments about them on our student exit survey, we included them at the end of the bio (only two comments each, in some cases there were many more).
Artist, Lynne Bergschultz, has been working with polymer clay for over 10 years and continues to be amazed at its versatility and creative possibilities. Just as this medium has gained recognition in the area of fine art and craft, Lynne’s work has also grown. Her polymer accessories have been published in Belle Armoire and Quiltmaker magazine and are sold at shops, galleries, and fiber festivals around the country.
Lynne taught art for 10 years, followed by a career as an illustrator and designer and now focuses primarily on polymer clay buttons and fiber arts. Teaching workshops gives her the opportunity to share her expertise and enthusiasm for polymer clay with others; bringing her artistic career full circle.
"Lynne was very patient, and spent time with every student in the class."
"Excellent teacher, loved the creativity"
Classes: Caning with Polymer Clay: Spoons, Forks, Spreaders, Hooks, and Needles, Mica Shift Pendants, Mokume Gane Shawl Pins, Paper is Fiber, Too!
Beth Brown-Reinsel has been teaching knitting workshops nationally, as well as internationally, for over 20 years. Her book Knitting Ganseys has been deemed a classic. She completed her first DVD Knitting Ganseys with Beth Brown-Reinsel in 2010. Her articles and designs have appeared in Threads, Cast On, Interweave Knits, Shuttle, Spindle, and Dye Pot, Vogue Knitting, and Knitters magazines. She continues to design for her own pattern line Knitting Traditions. Beth's website, blog, and eNewsletter can be found at www.knittingtraditions.com.
Classes: Arans From the Top Down, Latvian Fingerless Mitts, Norwegian Techniques
Marianne Biagi is an Illinois artist. Her beadwork has been shown nationally and featured in Beadwork magazine’s exhibit and book, Best of Contemporary Beadwork 2000. She has taught beadwork and bead embroidery in Chicago and at Bead & Button and Beadfest shows. Her beaded artworks are intense assemblages of beads, combining large and small beads, crystals, pearls and semi-precious stones into landscapes of colors and textures.
Four years ago, Marianne and her husband Bill moved from downtown Chicago to a small town in northwestern Illinois. They enjoy gazing at the openess of the land around them, the pine trees in their backyard, and watching the wildlife pass by.
Classes: Introduction to Bead Embroidery, Fancy Beaded Buttons
Grain Valley, MO
Jacey Boggs is known for her entertaining and instructive DVD Sit & Spin, for her beautiful and thorough book, Spin Art: Mastering the Craft of Spinning Textured Yarns (Interweave, 2011), for her monthly workshops around the world, and for spinning textured yarns with a technical hand. She is a contributing editor for Spin Off magazine, is regularly featured as an author, is on the board of Handwoven magazine, and writes a regular column (Ask Jacey) for the New Zealand fiber magazine, entangled. She blogs at www.insubordiknit.com, homeschools her three children, knits like a maniac, and eats way too many avocados. Her next DVD and book number two are in the works!
"Jacey is a very enthusastic teacher. She show's you step by step, and gets around to everyone a number of times. Can't say enough, she is FANTASTIC!"
"Jaycee has such a warm personality and she really knows her subject well. She has a very personalized teaching method and gave all students equal time."
Classes: Big Spinning, Hard Corespinning, The Plys Have It,
Windy City Designs
Judy Chan has been teaching knitting and other fiber arts in the Chicago area for the past 19 years. She learned to knit from her mother and advanced her knitting techniques from the best knitters and designers at workshops offered by TNNA, TKGA, Stitches, and WCKG. Her one day weekend knitting workshops sponsored by local knitting guilds are scheduled throughout the year and are posted on the Windy City Knitting Guild website: www.windycityknittingguild.com. Judy is currently teaching and helping knitters on an informal basis. Her finished garments can be seen and purchased at local fashion shows throughout the year.
Classes: Paired Increases and Decreases, Buttonholes
TLD Design Center & Gallery
Tammy L Deck operates her own creative art studio, "TLD Design Center & Gallery" in Westmont, IL a Suburb of Chicago where she has been teaching Felting Classes (together with other fiber art classes such as weaving, knitting, and sewing) since 1995. Tammy's formal education includes 2 year study in Fashion Design at Harper College (Palatine, IL) and a BS degree and post graduate studies in Clothing & Textile Science (major) with Fiber Art (minor) from Northern Illinois University (DeKalb, IL). Tammy is on the Board of Advisers and adjunct faculty, teaching Textile Design I & II for the Fashion Design Department of College of DuPage. Tammy is also a past president of the Illinois Prairie Weavers Guild.
The majority of Tammy's wet felt work is derived from personal exploration focused primarily in the creation of artistic & fashion forward hats, scarves, clothing, purses, collars and cuffs which she exhibits and sells through Chicago Area Fine Art Festivals, the Illinois Artisan Shop of Chicago, the One of A Kind Show at Chicago's Merchandise Mart and her own studio/gallery in Westmont, IL. She has captured numerous awards for her body of work including a "Best of Show" ribbon at the LaGrange West End Fine Art Festival (2009) and was invited to exhibit her work in a show titled "Felt Inspired" held at the Saugatuck Center for the Arts of Saugatuck, MI (11/11~01/12). Her laminated (nuno) felt work has been featured in national publications and she authored "Free Hand Felting Unleashed" for "Belle Armoire- Art to Wear" magazine Nov 2006 and "Recycled Sweater Hats" for Altered Couture Magazine Nov 2006. She demonstrated fabric painting and laminated (Nuno) felting techniques on the HGTV show "Crafters Coast to Coast" and DIY network's "That's Clever" and has two felt works included in the book, "500 Felt Objects" by Lark Books (2011).
Classes: Felt Purse, Flat Felt ~ Tapestry Scarf, Free Hand Felt Lace Scarf
Illini Alpacas/Felt and Soul
Prairie du Rocher, IL
I am a fiber enthusiast. I have been spinning for 15 years. I learned to knit and crochet as a small child from my Grandma Rose and my Aunt Ethel. I weave and dye but my passion is felting. Traditional felting starts off with no internal structure. Its simply a series of fibers that, with the addition of heat, water, agitation and soap shrinks to form a fabric structure. I have studied under the following international feltmakers: May Jacobsen Hvistendahl (Norway), Ewa Kuniczak (Scotland), Jeanette Appleton (UK), Sinco (Japan), Annemie Koenen (The Netherlands), Vilte Kazauskaite (Lithuania), Lizzie Houghton (UK), Charlotte Sehmisch (Germany), Judit Poc (Hungary) Martien van Zuilen (Australia), Pam de Groot (Australia) and Sachiko Kotaka (Australia). In the states I have studied under Bonnie Ahrens, Chad Alice Hagan, Carol Cypher, Pam MacGregor and Margo Duke. My studies are also ongoing. I am a founding sister in 3 Sisters’ Workshop where I teach fiber classes throughout the year. Check out our website.
Classes: Fantabulous Feltball Bracelet
Sponsored by: The Fold
Stephenie Gaustad has been spinning, weaving, dyeing and teaching for better than 35 years. Her many articles on the crafts have appeared in "Handwoven", "Spin Off" and "Shuttle Spindle and Dyepot" magazines. Stephenie illustrated "Alden Amos’ Big Book of Handspinning". She and her husband partner, Alden Amos, live in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada where they build textile equipment.
Classes: Color Blending for Effect, Fibers of the Silk Route Past and Present: Introduction to Cotton, Silk, Hemp, Ramie, and Bamboo, Fine Fibers, Small Spindles
Jane Grogan is a spinner who took up weaving to use up her stash of handspun yarn. Jane started off working solely on a floor loom but a desire to take weaving "on the road" to schools, festivals and fiber shows, required new tools. Jane now works with a variety of continuous strand looms ranging in size from a 7-foot triangle and 5-foot square to a 3 1/2-inch diamond.
"Great teacher, took her time answering questions and helping everyone."
Classes: Quilting With Weaving, Weave
Weave a Hexagon Trivet Mat
Sponsored by: The Fold
Writer, illustrator, and photographer Franklin Habit is the author
of It Itches: A Stash of Knitting Cartoons (Interweave
Press, 2008) and proprietor of The Panopticon, one of
the most popular knitting blogs on Internet. On an average day,
upwards of 2,500 readers worldwide drop in for a mix of essays,
cartoons, and the continuing adventures of Dolores the Sheep.
Franklin’s other publishing experience in the fiber world
includes contributions to Yarn Market News, Interweave
Knits, Interweave Crochet, PieceWork, Cast
On: A Podcast for Knitters, Twist Collective, and
a regular column on historic knitting patterns for Knitty.com.
These days, Franklin knits and spins in Chicago, Illinois, sharing
a small city apartment with an Ashford spinning wheel and colony
of sock yarn that multiplies alarmingly whenever his back is turned.
"He's delightful and infectious."
"Franklin's depth of knowledge is extraordinary."
Classes: Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Tomten Jacket plus Garter Stitch Jacquard, Knitted Tessellations: Playful and Powerful Patterns in Practice, Snip and Zip: Steeks and Zippers, The Beautiful, Humble Art of Plain Sewing: A Workshop for Knitters
Mary Jo Harris
Mary Jo lives with her husband in Madison, WI. She has been caning chairs for over 7 years and is a member of the Seatweavers’ Guild. In addition to caning, Mary Jo is a knitwear designer, a blogger, and a member of the Madison Knitters’ Guild.
Classes: Beginning Hand Caning
Windflower Studio Arts
Green Bay, WI
Barbara’s background is in fiber art, but wire-worked jewelry has a special appeal to her. Although Viking Knitting is not actually knitting (no needles required), it is a process of looping wire, whereas knitting is looping yarn.
Recently Barbara was awarded an Honorable Mention for her Viking Knit Jewelry in the Artists of the New North exhibition at the Bergstrom-Mahler Museum, Neenah, WI.
Barbara is also an experienced horticultural educator and past Director of Children’s Gardening Programs at the Green Bay Botanical Garden. She has taught beading and weaving classes at Sievers, through out Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, and in her home studio, Windflower Studio Arts, in Green Bay, WI.
Classes: Double Viking Knit Bracelet, Viking Knit Bracelet
Handspun by Stefania
St Charles, IL
Stefania has been a life-long knitter, and started spinning and dying to supply herself with "the best yarns in the world!" She got her Certificate of Excellence in Handspinning from the Handweaver's Guild of America in 1997. Since then she has opened her own business called Handspun by Stefania and taught numerous workshops dealing in natural dyes, spinning and basket making. She has spoken about the fiber arts to numerous groups, and has appeared on Home & Garden TV as a guest on the Carol Duvall Show. She sells handspun, natural hand dyed yarns, original knitting kits using her own yarns and patterns, hand dyed roving dyed with natural dyes, and handmade baskets. She was previously a high school English teacher, and now enjoys teaching spinning, dyeing, and knitting to fiber enthusiasts.
"great hands on work as well as info from this lovely teacher"
"I loved the variety of the dyes used in the class and a pleasure to learn from Stefania."
Classes: Dyeing with Natural Indigo, Exploring the Long Draw, So You Want to Make a Color Way...
Kay Kjeldgaard's Crafts
In 1985, Kay had her own shop and started weaving and teaching basketry. She specializes in traditional and functional reed baskets with unusual accents and bright colors; she has designed over 50 basket patterns. Her teaching background includes school groups, local guilds, 4-H, classes for Heartland Community College, state basket conventions and private instruction. Kay enters the Illinois State Fair and has won many ribbons over the years. She graduated the University of Iowa with a major in teaching and a minor in art and has done graduate work in fiber art as well as studies in Nantucket and Stowe.
Most recently her interests have lead her to create original Nantucket and tote baskets that rug hookers, quilters and x-stitchers enjoy. The wood parts are made from oak, walnut and cherry. The tote baskets have divided areas for tools and include a magnet to hold scissors. These baskets were written up in the 2009 June/July ATHA Newsletter.
Classes: Divided Wool Basket
Big Rock, IL
For Natasha, being a shepherd started her journey into fiber arts. Working with fibers for nearly ten years, she uses her own wool as well as other locally grown fibers to create unique fiber art pieces that speak from her heart. Making the connection between farmer and consumer, and bring the circle of sustainability into the fiber community is a passion of hers as well. An award winning artist, she has exhibited, presented and taught at guilds and groups as well as at the Illinois Art Educator’s Association Conference, and is on staff at Waubonsee Community College. As well as being an artist, she owns and operates Esther’s Place in Big Rock, IL…a fiber arts studio that offers classes, parties, retreats and a community. Teaching is her greatest passion; it is her belief that everyone should have the opportunity to be involved in art, and she enjoys introducing people to fiber arts. In these times, and in the world around us, her philosophy of inspiring creativity in the midst of every day life is a breath of fresh air. Her work and her shop can be explored on the web at www.esthersplacefibers.com.
Classes: Mixed Media Exploration, Felted Flower Fairy
Ann owns Alpacas d’Auxvasse and has been raising alpacas since 2003. Starting with three Suris, the herd has now grown to forty alpacas, both Huacaya and Suri. Her main business focus has always been on fiber production and her goal is to use every bit the beautiful fleece the animals produce. Her yarn and roving is carried in local yarn stores, and sold at fiber festivals throughout the year. Ann is dedicated to producing the best yarn and roving possible in a rainbow of colors for the pleasure of fiber artists worldwide. She enjoys sharing her knowledge with other fiber folks and has taught at many fiber retreats and events.
Class(es): Crochet and Felt a Roving Rug
St. Louis, MO
John Mullarkey has been tablet weaving and spinning for more than 7 years. He has developed software freely available on his website which enables one to easily design tablet weaving patterns. His ongoing mission is to find the perfect tablet weaving loom for this loom-less art. For more information go to http://www.malarkycrafts.com.
Classes: Band Texting, Ram's Horn and Its Relatives
Mary Libby Neiman
On The Surface
Mary Libby has been working with and teaching beads and fibers
for over 15 years. She has authored two books on beads and fibers,
Bead Crochet Basics, and Bead Knitting, as well as several articles
for Beadwork and Bead & Button magazines. Her tassel and cord
projects as well as bead knit and bead crochet projects have appeared
in numerous books.
Recently she has researched and written about Green issues and
will continue to promote more earth friendly ways of managing a
business and a home.
Classes: Kumihimo For Beginners, Multi Wrap Bracelet with Leather and Beads,
Crystal Lake, IL
As a child, Nan Palmer was fascinated by all things ‘homemaking,’ and was taught to knit by her Swedish Grandma. The basic skills stuck in her brain and muscle memory, and re-emerged when she moved to the cold Midwest in 2001 and needed to outfit her family with warm wooly things. In the meantime, she had become fascinated by yoga in 1990 and began to study with the leading teachers in the Seattle area. She completed her first 500 Yoga Teacher certification in 2002 with the American Viniyoga Institute, and has just completed an additional 500 hours in Yoga Therapy through the prestigious Essential Yoga Therapy program. She teaches group and private classes in the McHenry County area through her business, Abiding Yoga, LLC (www.AbidingYoga.com). Nan loves combining her passions for yoga and knitting into helping others get out of pain when they over-indulge in their hobby.
Classes: Yoga For Fiber Folk (Friday), Yoga for Fiber Folk (Sunday)
Sponsored by: The Fold
Marilou Schultz, Navajo (Diné), learned the traditional Navajo weaving at a young age from her grandmother. The knowledge and expertise of weaving has taken Marilou across various parts of the United States and Canada. She incorporates both traditional and contemporary elements into her weavings which she shares with her students. Marilou participates in art shows, primarily the Heard Indian Market held in Phoenix, AZ and the SWAIA Indian Market in Santa Fe, NM. The majority of her work is commissioned and acquired by private collectors. Marilou resides with her family in Mesa, AZ.
Classes: Navajo (Diné) Rug Weaving Workshop, Navajo Spinning Using a Navajo Lap Spindle
Nancy Alison Custom Beaded Purses
From the time I learned to knit when I was ten, knitting has been one of the greatest passions of my life. I have knit all the typical knitting projects, and some pretty far-out items, but when I worked at an Historical Museum as a volunteer, I discovered something new - Bead Knitting. It's actually a very old technique and was used to create all the beautiful vintage beaded purses of Victorian times, but I am on a mission to make it new again.
After a lot of trial and error, I have learned the old techniques of bead knitting and bead crochet. I have written two books about it with patterns and instructions and have been featured in magazine articles. I teach classes, do demonstration and show my work at art and fiber shows all around the U.S. Many of my purses are re-creations of patterns from old books but I also design new patterns.
Soon after I started Bead Knitting, I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. Thinking the prognosis would be bad, I put away all my projects. But when I started recovering, I found that knitting and bead knitting was a great healer, helping me to focus on creating something beautiful. And I find that my faith and my work with bead knitting has allowed me to reach out to others who are facing illness or hardship.
I encourage all knitters or crocheters to try the art of Bead Knitting or Bead Crochet. The needles are small and the work is fine, but anyone who loves to create with fiber will be delighted with the results.
Classes: The "Sierra", a Bead Crochet Mini Purse, The "Lucille", a Beaded Knit Mini-Purse
Buffalo Grove, IL
Inna Voltchkova was born and raised in Kiev, the oldest city in Eastern Europe, until a trip in 1991 to Chicago introduced her to the love of her life. She moved to the Chicago area and for the past 15 years Inna's passion has been lace knitting, especially Russian Lace. A designer herself, Inna also specializes in converting patterns from text to graph, using her graphic design skills. Inna is a student of Russian Lace designer Galina Khemleva and currently works with Skaska Designs. Winner of the 2010 TKGA Design Contest in 2010, Inna's beautiful lace designs have been featured frequently in the pages of Piecework magazine since 2009 and she will have four new designs published by Interweave Press in 2012.
Classes: How to Knit Gossamer Triangular Shawl the Orenburg Way, The Orenburg Tradition: Basic Elements Sample Lace Scarf
Farm & Woolen Mill
Carol has been a spinner since 1988 and uses the yarns she produces
in knitting, weaving and felting projects. She is passionate
about fiber and promotes quality production of the fiber to be
spun. As a carder by trade, Carol enjoys creating with a
drumcarder as that allows for the creation of truly unique yarns. There
is great satisfaction working with fibers you have processed yourself.
Carol and her husband Paul raise registered Coopworth sheep and
have a flock of approximately 200. They are often asked to
speak to sheep breeder groups to promote wool and to help producers
add value to their wool clip. The also own Hidden Valley
Woolen Mill near Valders, Wisconsin where the goal is to assist
the customer with the creative process.
Classes: Hand Combing and Worsted Spinning, Hardcarding and Woolen Spinning
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