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.




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: Dr. Mamoun Sakkal


An internationally acclaimed calligrapher and type designer, Dr. Mamoun Sakkal is founder and principal of Sakkal Design in Bothell, WA, which has received multiple awards for calligraphy, graphics, and type design. He was commissioned to design the Arabic typefaces for Burj Khalifa in Dubai, and his Arabic fonts are now widely used as Windows system fonts. He lectures on Islamic art and Arabic calligraphy, and his artwork is in several museum and public art collections.


Engineering Ornament: Square Kufic Calligraphy in Textile Design
Dr. Mamoun Sakkal | Saturday July 1, 2017 | 10:30am – 12:30pm
Slow Fiber Studios Annex | 1825 8th St, Berkeley, CA 94710

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Calligrapher and typographer Mamoun Sakkal will present the intriguing use of Square Kufic calligraphy in textile design over many centuries, including prayer rugs, talismanic shirts, modern dress, and national flags.



Engineering Ornament + Introduction to the Art of Arabic Calligraphy
Dr. Mamoun Sakkal | Saturday July 1 –  Sunday July 2, 2017 | 10:30am – 5pm
Slow Fiber Studios Annex | 1825 Eighth St, Berkeley, CA 94710

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Following his opening lecture, Mamoun will give a hands-on workshop with an overview of the origin and development of Arabic script, a review of traditional styles of Arabic calligraphy, and examples of contemporary calligraphic art.


Visiting Scholar: Dr. Jay Kappraff

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A professor of mathematics at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Dr. Jay Kappraff is an awarded scholar recognized for interfacing mathematics, science, art, and music, promoting the idea of a common language of design and geometry. A prolific lecturer, he is also the author of numerous articles and books including A Participatory Approach to Modern Geometry (2014), Beyond Measure (2002), and Connections (1990).


Mathematical Foundations to Islamic Design:
Classical Tilings and the Work of Dr. W.K. Chorbachi
Dr. Jay Kappraff | July 3, 2017 |  Venue TBA | Berkeley, CA

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Interdisciplinary mathematics scholar Dr. Jay Kappraff will expound upon the work of Iraqi artist and scholar Dr. Wasma’a Khalid Chorbachi, who sought to prove there was a solid mathematical basis to Islamic design despite common sentiment to the contrary.


Visiting Artist: Jorie Johnson

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Jorie Johnson first learned traditional felt boot-making technique in Finland after studying industrial textile design at RISD. She has since developed her own innovative expression of the 8,000 year old Central Asian technique. Since 1987, she has lived in Kyoto, Japan, where she keeps her studio, Joi Rae Textiles. Jorie exhibits her contemporary work in galleries, is represented in museum collections, lectures at universities in Japan, and leads workshops around the world.


Treasured Felts: Research into Rare Collections of Japan
Jorie Johnson | July 23, 2017 | 11am – 2pm
Slow Fiber Studios Annex | 1825 8th St, Berkeley, CA 94710

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Jorie will share her technical observations on three fascinating collections of felts in Japan including related felting and dyeing techniques still practiced in Central Asia today.



Felted Accessories Marked by Shibori
Jorie Johnson | July 24-25, 2017 | 10am – 5pm
Slow Fiber Studios Annex | 1825 Eighth St, Berkeley, CA 94710

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Enhance and strengthen felted wool pendants, buttons, bracelets, brooches, cords, and more using shibori techniques.



Black, White, & Infinity: Sumi Ink, Silk, and Felt
Jorie Johnson | July 28-30, 2017 | 10am – 5pm
Slow Fiber Studios Annex | 1825 Eighth St, Berkeley, CA 94710

Banners Employ clamp-resist on silk with sericin erasure to produce pattern repeats, learn how to apply carbon sumi ink to fabric, and create three-dimensional colorful embellishments through traditional feltmaking.



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 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 | 11am – 2:30pm
Slow Fiber Studios Office | 696 Hilldale Ave, Berkeley, CA 94708

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Join researcher Loan Oei as she traces the interwoven threads of textile and human history from prehistory to the future.



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.