Upcoming Events

Slow Fiber Studios events offer a platform for international artists and artisans to exchange knowledge and showcase their creativity and technical ingenuity.


Slow Fiber Studios’ 2017 event series Algorithmic Aesthetic will explore relationships between art, music, mathematics, and language by following threads of Islamic cultural heritage, weaving between the ancient and the contemporary, tradition and innovation.




Hira-Ori: Shadowfolds for Shibori Techniques
Chris K. Palmer | April 22-23, 2017 | 9am – 4pm
Slow Fiber Studios Annex | 1825 Eighth St, Berkeley, CA 94710


Berkeley-based artist Chris K. Palmer will introduce his Shadowfolds technique and patterns in this folding and natural indigo dyeing workshop.



Visiting Scholar: Rta Kapur Chishti

SFS EV1705 CHISHTI PortraitSquareJoining us from Delhi, India, Rta Kapur Chishti is a recognized textile scholar, co-author and editor of the Saris of India volumes and Handcrafted Indian Textiles – Tradition and Beyond. She has been consistently involved with research and development of handspun-handloom textiles and founded the Sari School, which produces saris and fabrics and organizes workshops for those who wish to learn the wonders of this unstitched garment and make it more relevant to their lives today.


KHADI: The Enduring Indian Handspun – Handwoven Tradition
Rta Kapur Chishti | May 7, 2017 | 11am – 4pm
Slow Fiber Studios Office | 696 Hilldale Ave, Berkeley, CA 94708

Saris of India: Traditions and Beyond by Rta Kapur ChishtiRta will share an overview of khadi, a traditional Indian handspun handwoven fabric, as well as its history and significance in India.



SARI, DHOTI, & MORE: Magic of the Unstitched Garment
Rta Kapur Chishti | May 9, 2017 | 1pm – 6pm
Slow Fiber Studios Annex | 1825 Eighth St, Berkeley, CA 94710

rta_Banners2Learn the unlimited possibilities of draping sari, dhoti, and more in accordance with personal convenience, comfort, body form, and formality or informality of occasion.



An Algorithmic Aesthetic of Pattern: Examining Traditional Islamic Textiles
Carol Bier | May 27, 2017 | 11am – 2pm
Slow Fiber Studios Office | 696 Hilldale Ave, Berkeley, CA 94708

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Local Islamic art and textile scholar Carol Bier’s illustrated lecture will explore the origins of an algorithmic aesthetic that permeated arts throughout the Islamic world in the 9th-12th centuries.



Visiting Artist: Mamoun Sakkal


Mamoun Sakkal is an internationally recognized type designer, typographer, and graphic designer based in Bothell, WA. He holds a Ph.D in history of Islamic calligraphy from the University of Washington. His Master of Architecture, also at the University of Washington, addressed the vaulting system of maqarnas – an 11th century Islamic architectural form. Among running his own design studio, Sakkal is the Arabic typography specialist at Microsoft.

Source: Exhibition Catalog, Reverberating Echoes: Contemporary Art Inspired By Traditional Islamic Art


Subject: Arabic typography
Mamoun Sakkal | June 30 – July 1, 2017
Event details TBA

Visiting Scholar: Jay Kappraff

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Jay Kappraff is a professor of mathematics at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He is recognized for interfacing the practices of mathematics, science, art, and design. He is the author of numerous books including A Participatory Approach to Modern Geometry (2014), Beyond Measure (2002), and Connections (1990).


Subject: W. K. Chorbachi
Jay Kappraff | July 2, 2017

Visiting Artist: Jorie Johnson

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Jorie Johnson was introduced to traditional textile technique in Finland in 1977 and was immediately enchanted by the magic and power of felting. Since 1987, she has lived in Kyoto, Japan, where she established her textile studio, Joi Rae. Jorie exhibits her contemporary feltworks in galleries, shops, and museums, and teaches workshops around the world.


Felted, Small Wearables Marked by Shibori
Jorie Johnson | July 24-25, 2017
Registration TBA

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Felting expert Jorie Johnson will teach the application of shibori acid dyeing to enhance and strengthen felted wearables including wool felt pendants, buttons, bracelets, brooches, and cords.


Black, White & Infinity: Sumi Ink, Silk and Felt
Jorie Johnson | July 28-30, 2017
Registration TBA


In this three-day workshop, create three-dimensional embellishments through traditional feltmaking. Learn how to employ clamp compression on silk with sericin erasure and apply carbon sumi ink to fabric. Each day focuses on building layers of design elements (color, texture, line) to create a small felted scarf or sample work for framing.


Visiting Scholar: Loan Oei


Loan Oei is a textile researcher, curator, and author who uses words and images as her warp and weft to share her knowledge by way of exhibitions, books and lectures. Starting with collecting and studying ethnographic textiles in 1979, she got fascinated by all aspects of textiles, from fibre to final product. After chairing the Dutch Textile Society she is currently absorbed with rewriting the conventional history of mankind from the perspective of textiles.


From Spiderweb to World Wide Web: Textile Matters in History
Loan Oei | August 26, 2017
Registration TBA

Join researcher Loan Oei as she traces the interwoven threads of textile and human history from prehistory to the future. Investigate the ways textiles have impacted and interacted with people across time and space through varied thematic lenses: relationships between textile metaphors, etymology, mythology, and the emergence of language across the globe; the evolution of artificial light from oil lamp to fibre optics; the growth of architecture from tent to monument; economic networking from barter to globalization; digital innovation from Chinese drawloom to computer; development of aero- and astronautics from silk wings to NASA’s solar sails; artistry from musical instruments to contemporary fiber art; and much more.

Visiting Dyer, Botanist, Chemist: Michel Garcia

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Michel Garcia is a botanist, chemist, dyer, and naturalist. He is the founder of Couleur Garance (1998) in Lauris, France, and established Le Jardin Conservatoire de Plantes Tinctoriales (Botanical Garden of Dye Plants) in 2000 as a horticultural resource for chemists, natural dye researchers, and botanists. He has been instrumental in revitalizing the natural dye practice in France and abroad.

See the Natural Dye Workshop DVD series developed by Michel and Yoshiko Iwamoto Wada. For more information visit NaturalDyeWorkshop.com.

WORKSHOP, Lecture, Demonstration

Co-hosted by University of California Botanical Garden

Michel Garcia | August, 2017


Visiting Artist: Phil Webster


Phil Webster is a Santa Cruz-based artist trained in mathematics and cognitive science at MIT. His work, often employing contemporary technologies such as 3D-printing, laser-cutting, and dye sublimation, addresses the intersection of mathematical form and pattern with ancient design tradition.

Source: Exhibition Catalog, Reverberating Echoes: Contemporary Art Inspired By Traditional Islamic Art


Subject: Fractal Islamic patterns, and printing & laser cutting as artistic tools
Phil Webster |September 3, 2017
Event details TBA



2D to 3D Fulling Wool with Resist Paste & Shibori
Yoshiko Iwamoto Wada + Jean Cacicedo | TBD

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Yoshiko I. Wada, founder of Slow Fiber Studios, has been associated with Japanese designers including Issey Miyake, Yoshiki Hishinuma, Junichi Arai, and Reiko Sudo, all of whom have revolutionized fashion and textile designs using natural and synthetic materials combined with low and high tech processes. Yoshiko’s interest in tradition and innovation led her to research shibori in a contemporary context, focusing on its essential aspect of dimensional transformation and memory on cloth. In result of this process, she helped to popularize the term shibori and its function as a conceptual apparatus for a new creative language.

Jean Cacicedo is an internationally recognized artist and teacher based in Berkeley, California. Her works reside in the permanent collections of institutions such as the de Young Museum, San Francisco; the Museum of Art and Design, New York; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Tassemmuseum Hendrikje, Amsterdam. Majoring in sculpture at the Pratt Institute, in Brooklyn, New York during the 1970s,  she became interested in the textile traditions of “women’s work” and crocheted most of her class assignments using unexpected and non-traditional materials. To date, her work focuses on fabricating with mixed media and finding new ways to alter surfaces and structures while telling a good tale.