I learned to knit as a child and was lucky to attend a school that had rigid heddle box looms and really enjoyed weaving. I later learned to crochet, tatt and macramé but it was when my lounge suite needed recovering and I found NZSWWS in 1972 that my crafts flourished. I availed myself of many workshops to hone my skills in spinning, weaving and dyeing and made many lasting friendships. In the 1990’s I learned locker hooking, pine needle weaving, needle woven beadwork and embroidery, felting and latterly kumihimo Japanese braiding. It is now very gratifying to share the different facets of these skills in various workshops tailored to requests.
- Bead weaving
- Beginner Kumihimo
- Crochet including Tunisian
- Diagonal weaving
- Dorset buttons
- Felting including nuno and lace felt
- Inkle Weaving
- Locker Hooking
- Navajo and bead crochet
- Needlewoven beadwork
- Pine Needlework
- Patchwork knitting. Interlocking squares to build up a shape (3 hours)
- Embellishments. Use up those pretty scraps in interesting ways. (3 hours)
- Edgings with a Difference (3 hours)
- Covering wheel care, Fleece selection, Fleece preparation, worsted and woollen spinning, washing and a brief outline of how to use handspun yarns. 10/12 hours
- Using a hackle: Preparing fibres for semi worsted spinning, blending fibres and colours. 3 hours.
Laurel is a knit designer and fibre artist. She is a featured artist in Anne Packers book STITCH. Also featured in House and Garden Jan 2004 as well as many other magazine and newspaper articles. Laurel runs a home-based business and is on the HB arts Trail. Laurel’s main passion is machine knitting but is continually learning new craft techniques and applying them to her knitting. She has a passion for colour and loves to create one off designs.
Laurel takes knitting and craft beyond the norm creating pieces for interior design including wall hangings and whimsical chairs and beaded jewelry as well as fashion pieces. Laurel is a national judge for machine knitters and an international and national tutor. She has taught at retreats in Texas, San Diego, and Los Angeles as well as throughout Australia and New Zealand. Laurel loves to enter competitions to provide that impetus to create something extra special and has had considerable success over the years.
- Design – from inspiration to completion.
- Working without patterns.
- Machine Knit – all levels
- Fabric Beads – creative ideas and jewellery making
- Beading Techniques – crochet, knit and more.
- Make your own jewellery and embellishing ideas
- Originally Yours – adding a creative touch and thinking outside the square
- Creative Fabrics – some different ways of making your own fabric
German-born New Zealand-based artist Christine Keller positions her work between textile design, contemporary art, new media research and innovation. She is interested in the clash of tradition and new technologies, and its social and political implications. As a result of her involvement with the international textiles community she has been living away from her home country for over eleven years. Her work has been exhibited internationally and was featured in the publications, Techno Textiles 1 and 2 (1998, 2005). She is an award winning designer, especially for her woven and felted design work for the Handweberei im Rosenwinkel (1998-2001) in Germany. Since 1994 she has been involved with the Centre for Contemporary Textiles in Montreal Canada.
Christine Keller holds a MFA from Concordia University (2004) and a Dipl. Des from Gesamthochschule Kassel (1993), and has taught Textile Design, Weaving and Fine Arts in Germany, Mongolia, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. July 2005 to December 2010 she was Academic Leader of the Textile Section at the Dunedin School of Art at Otago Polytechnic in Dunedin, on the South Island of New Zealand. Presently she works freelance in her studio in New Zealand.Tutor will travel for group or multiday classes.
Education: Hand weaving apprenticeship in Hamburg, Germany; Degree in Textile Design with lots of hand on experience, Kassel, Germany; Master of Fine Arts in Textiles from Concordia University in Montreal. Textile professional since 1985, teaching experience since 1994.
- Multishaft weaving 4 – 16 shafts & dobby weaving
- Computer assisted weaving
- Production weaving
- Beginner weaving
- Surface design
- Screen printing with free and stencil techniques including mono printing
- Burnout (devore), bleach and discharge
- Photo stencil including making your own screens at home
- Photo stencil with four colour separation (advanced)
- Warp painting and printing techniques including basic ikat (different procedures for different fibres)
- Beginner felting
- Experimental fulling of bought and constructed fabrics
- Nuno felt
- Hand knitting German style
- Transfer printing onto polyester and nylon
- Heat setting of synthetic fabrics
- Basic shibori
- Basic dyeing
- Natural dyeing
- Percentage dyeing (advanced) for wool, silk, plant fibres, nylon, understanding the chemistry of those fibres to be able to choose the right ones for your projects
I can take on private students for those who want to develop their design or art making skills. (Packages of 8 one hour consultations, for distance to be arranged by Skype or phone). I am interested in forming a group of students in the Dunedin area. Please contact me and let me know your needs.
Kate (formerly Kate Buckthought) is a feltmaker, craft dyer and spinner who lives in North Canterbury. She has taught feltmaking to fibre groups throughout New Zealand.
After a (partial) break from woolcraft during which she studied and then taught photography at Otago Polytechnic, Kate has returned fulltime to dyeing, spinning and feltmaking with enthusiasm.
Kate has a particular interest in Wearable Art and garment design, and has had garments exhibited at Creative Fibre events and in shows such as the Hokonui Awards, WoW and Fibre and Fleece.
As well as the listed workshops, I’m happy to discuss any combinations or variations. I generally supply all fibre for felting workshops (at a discount); this is to make sure that there are no disasters caused by unsuitable fibre – I learned this from experience! I will advise fibre costs when you book a workshop.
Beginner’s Delight – Never done any felting? Learn about the properties of wool felt and nuno-felt; the best fibre to use; techniques, ways and means. Make a simple felt scarf. This is a starter workshop that should prepare new felters for any of the beyond beginners workshops I offer. ½ day.
Ir-resist-able – A little, fun workshop exploring the use of resists to create small bags, pockets and 3D surface design. This workshop is to build skills; expect to produce samples or small pieces. All skill levels: ½ day taster or 1 day.
Template of Doom – Making hats, bags and other warm lovelies using a template. Sampling your fibre to make accurate templates. Expect to produce at least one template-based item. Beyond beginners, 1 day.
Bag me up, Scottie! – A handsome tote bag over a template, using a woven technique. This is a full day’s work, requiring some finishing at home later. Illustrated instruction booklet included. Advanced, 1 day.
Scarves and Wraps
Stash to Treasure Using wools, yarns and fibres from your stash, make a light, airy, one-of-a-kind felted scarf. Fun for would-be felters, experienced felters and non-felters. All skill levels. ½ day
Wrap Up Warm Nuno scarf or wrap. Combine fabric and fine wool to create a sensuous, warm textile scarf or wrap. Explore how design can influence shape and texture. Best suited to beyond beginning felters, although keen beginners will enjoy the challenge! 1 day (depending on time, wrap may need to be completed at home).
Wool all around! Make a versatile circular scarf wrap for yourself from 100% wool, embellished any way you like! It’s easy to make and can be worn in a number of ways. (Just) beyond beginners, 1 day.
Boots and bootees
‘Potato’ baby bootees Simple (but cute!) baby slipper made over a potato. Intro to wet felting, then make a pair of bootees over a potato; these can be finished in a variety of ways. Beginners. ½ day.
‘Sandwich’ slippers Incorporates an introduction to wet felting over a template. Learn how to make an ankle-height or clog-style slipper on a template. Beginners, 1 day.
Boot Camp Short slipper boots made on a template. (Just) beyond beginners, 1 day.
Boot It To Me, Baby! Make a pair of shaped, soled felt slipper boots to your own requirements, with suggestions for finishing techniques. Advanced felting skills; hand sewing skills required to complete project. Beyond beginners, 1 day.
Anything from the simplest beanie to a sculptured wonder!
Ball Beanie. Simple beanie on a ball: the easiest hat to make, and can be decorated, shaped and generally tizzied-up. Beginners, ½ day.
Warm Toppers. Hat on a template: find out how to make a more elaborate hat in a brimmed or earflap style. Beyond beginners, 1 day.
Brim-tastic! Double-cap Hungarian style brimmed hat. Not for the fainthearted; this style of hat is quite physically taxing to make, but, following simple steps, it’s achievable for advanced felters. 1 day.
Hataganza! Using the template process, make a shaped hat that incorporates imaginative pzazz! Folds, pleats, protuberances – let’s get together and make some zany, fun hats – or elegant, chic hats with flair. For experienced felters who are afraid of nothing! 1 day, or could be extended into a fun weekend! From March 2013.
Waisted.1-2 days nuno-felt waistcoat or jacket with built-in fabric shaping. Make a one-off felt garment on cloth backing, fitted to your body. Design discussion, pattern making and production. If sewing machines are available, a more elaborate design method can be used, taking the workshop to 2 days. Beginners plus; previous experience with nuno-felting flat pieces is advised.
Seamless Jacket Construction 1 day: Make a completely seamless garment from 100% wool felt (not nuno). This workshop is for a mini garment – baby to toddler size, to demonstrate the techniques. Instruction includes method to upsize this to adult. Adult jacket workshop can be given – this will take 2 full days.
Although I am primarily a felter, I can and do teach spinning. I offer spinning workshops for those groups who might want to offer their members both technical areas from one tutor.
Get Twisted! How to use your wheel to get the optimum from your fibre. Explore ideas of twist per inch, z-twist, s-twist, end use of yarn and other mysteries such as Navajo plying. Fibre supplied. Beginners, 1 day.
Get Twisted II! Matching technique to fibre. Spinning several fibre types using differing preparation and draw styles to get the best out of each fibre. Expect to produce samples from wool of different types, carded and uncarded, as well as exotic fibres. Fibre supplied. Best for spinners who have a little control – beyond beginners. 1 day.
Art Yarn 101 + Get Batty! What makes an art yarn? What is art yarn good for anyway?
Incorporates: using your drum carder wisely; how to best combine fibres in a batt; spinning from batts. Bring your own fibres to combine into one-of-a-kind lovelies. Spin coiled yarns, supercoils, slubs, noils and neps, boucle, thick & thin. Uses of Art yarns.
1-2 days, depending on requirements of the group. The two parts can be taken independently as one-day workshops, or two shorter workshops can be given in the one day.
Photography for Craft
As a photographer, the question I most get asked is ‘How can I take better photos of my work?”’ Well, it’s not rocket science – although it is science, mostly.
- Photographing your craft work. Improve your understanding of photography: explore correct presentation, lighting, framing, exposure, uploading and resizing. Using a small point-and shoot camera, explore different ways of presenting your work. 1 day.
- Knitting in all Directions — Knitting doesn’t have to start at the bottom and proceed straight up to the top.
- Dimensional Knitting — Adding 3D features to the knitting eg bobbles, flaps and snakes
- Beginning Entrelac Knitting
- Exploring Entrelac Knitting — Follow on from the beginners class
- Patchwork Knitting (aka Domino Knitting) Introducing the basics of patchwork or modular knitting. Mitred squares, joining as you go.
- Tips and Tricks for Knitters – various techniques and tips. Can incorporate student requests for ‘how do I..?’
- Mosaic Knitting – fair isle effect using one colour at a time.
- Getting Edgy – easy edges/borders/trims
- Finishing your knits – seams etc
- Short rows – uses and techniques
- Introduction to Lace Knitting – includes reading charts
- Introduction to Double Knitting – single colour hollow tubes and two colour reversible knits
- Introduction to Tunisian Crochet