Textiles and Meaning: Design and Creative Processes. A Master Class with Susan Brandeis. This program currently has a waitlist. Learn more on the link below.
2020 Fiber Forum Retreat
Textiles and Meaning: Design and Creative Processes
A Master Class with Susan Brandeis
April 26 – May 2, 2020
This five-day retreat/workshop for advanced textile artists will explore ways to infuse greater individual expression into objects, to create more resolved visual compositions, and help break through to new levels of conceptual content. During the week, we will focus on the intertwined processes of creative invention and composition—the sequence of inspirations, imaginings, decisions, and actions with which we organize ideas and materials into harmonious and communicative artworks.
The class will start with your work, your thinking, and your search for artistic direction. As in a Master Class for vocalists, each participant will present some past works—some considered successful, some specifically considered not successful—which demonstrate her current ideas, aspirations, and accomplishments. We will discuss and evaluate those works to identify specific areas for improvement and the “next steps” in creative growth.
This class is designed specifically for those who have mastered textile techniques, have completed a considerable number of fiber artworks and want to invent better images, compositions, or forms. Instead of instant immersion in materials, we will slow down, consider, practice, discuss, and learn to control ideas and the tools of visual expression. Using brainstorming, imagining, and sketching, we will aim to create work that comes from the deeper reservoir of personal thoughts, feelings, and attachments. Our exercises will focus on the generative part of the creative process—the steps that happen before you pick up a needle and thread—and on the in-process decisions that can refine and strengthen the work as you make it.
Each day, through hands-on creative “play” we will explore how to use sources of inspiration, generate and develop ideas, refine and connect them to deeper values. Through class discussions and written information, we’ll explore ways to use inspiring sources to generate good ideas, to better visualize the end product before the hand work begins, and to better coordinate the details along the way (color, texture, composition, choice of materials and techniques appropriate to the idea)—so that what you imagine is stronger and better focused, and what you make is closer to what you imagined. Much of the initial hands-on work will involve papers, pens, pencils, colored pencils, paints, or markers—and your brain! Then you will use more familiar textile materials and techniques to translate some of the ideas you’ve developed into small stitched samples or collages.
Participants will bring all their own supplies and will take away sketches, lists, samples, studies, and new ideas. The class will not focus on making finished artwork but, rather, on pointing ways forward on your longer creative journey.
This program currently has a waitlist.
Explore ways to infuse greater individual expression into objects, to create more resolved visual compositions, and to help break through to new levels of conceptual content.
About Susan Brandeis
Susan Brandeis recently retired from full–time teaching at North Carolina State University’s College of Design, where she was Distinguished Professor of Art & Design and a member of the University’s Academy of Outstanding Teachers. She served as the Director of Graduate Programs for the Department of Art & Design; coordinated undergraduate and graduate studies in Fibers and Surface Design; was a founding member of the Anni Albers Scholars Program faculty. She holds a Master of Science degree in Art Education from Indiana University and a Master of Fine Arts in Textile Design from the University of Kansas. She works with a wide range of students whose interests span the spectrum from designing textiles for mass production to creating one-of-a-kind art works. She has taught a wide range of courses in the textile arts and design including surface design, screenprinting, dyeing, digital printing, fibers materials and processes, off-loom structures, embroidery and surface embellishment, surface design, pattern, and color; as well as seminar courses in textile history, research methods, and contemporary issues.
Her creative work has focused on continuing investigations in dyeing and printing both industrially produced and hand-woven fabrics, the juxtaposition of pattern and color, the contrast of materials and textures, and digital printing and embellishment. Her explorations are directed toward developing a visual “language” of materials and techniques which communicates the essential qualities found in nature, inspired by hiking and visiting places of great natural beauty, and, more recently investigations of ancient scripts, palimpsests, faux text, and symbols.
Susan has written a book on expressive stitching, The Intentional Thread: A Guide to Drawing, Gesture, and Color in Stitch, (Schiffer Publishing, 2019). Her art works for the wall have been published in several books and in leading craft, design, and textile art magazines, and have been exhibited throughout the United States and internationally. She is represented in numerous private and public collections, including the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian. She has taught summer workshops at Penland School of Crafts (North Carolina), Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts (Tennessee), Haystack Mountain School of Crafts (Maine), Oregon College of Arts and Crafts (Oregon), and the Split Rock Arts Program (Minnesota). She is recipient of three visual arts fellowships from the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources. Learn more about her here.
Date: April 26 – May 2, 2020
Location: DoubleTree by Hilton Raleigh Brownstone-University, 1707 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, NC 27605
For more information about the retreat including registration and accommodations, please check out the Fiber Forum Retreat brochure below.
Learn more about Fiber Forum here.
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