Upcoming Events

Slow Fiber Studios events offer a platform for international scholars, 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.



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

Presentation 11am – 12:30pm
Potluck Social (open to the public) 12:30pm – 2pm

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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
$15 Materials Fee | Materials List

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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
$20 Materials Fee | Materials List

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 Scholar: Loan Oei


Joining us from Amsterdam, the Netherlands, Loan Oei is a textile researcher who uses words and images as her warp and weft. Beginning her collection of ethnographic textiles in 1979 led her to studies across the humanities, natural and social sciences. She has curated exhibitions on topics including ikat, indigo, and beaded textiles at the Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam, (co-)authored and photographed books such as The Elements of Design published from Thames & Hudaon, U.K., and chaired the Dutch Textile Society. She is currently writing a book on the history of mankind through the lens of textiles.


From Spiderweb to World Wide Web: Textile Matters in History
Co-presented by the Berkeley Hillside Club
Loan Oei | August 24, 2017 | 6pm – 8:30pm
The Hillside Club | 2286 Cedar Street, Berkeley, CA 94709

Potluck Social 6pm – 7pm
Film Clips + Commentary 7pm – 8:30pm

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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 Specialist: Michel Garcia

Michel Garcia is a world-renowned botanist, chemist, naturalist, and natural dye expert. 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 by Michel, produced by Yoshiko Iwamoto Wada and Slow Fiber Studios. For more information visit www.naturaldyeworkshop.com.


Fundamentals of Sustainable Natural Dyes
Michel Garcia | August 28-31, 2017 | 9:00am – 12:30pm
UC Botanical Garden | 200 Centennial Dr, Berkeley, CA 94720

SFS EV17 GARCIA Banner FundamentalsLearn the fundamentals of sustainable natural dyeing including fiber preparation, plant mordants, plant selection, using less dye for greater effect, surface design techniques, and various applications of natural dyes.



UCBG Tannin Walk
Michel Garcia | August 31, 2017 | 2:00pm – 4:00pm
UC Botanical Garden | 200 Centennial Dr, Berkeley, CA 94720

SFS EV17 GARCIA Banner Garden WalkJoin Michel Garcia for a walk through the University of California Botanical Garden to learn about tannins and their many applications in situ.



Tannins Intensive
Michel Garcia | September 1-2, 2017 | 9:30am – 4:30pm
Slow Fiber Studios Annex | 1825 Eighth St, Berkeley, CA 94710

Tannins_banners.jpgTake advantage of tannins commonly found in leaves, barks, roots, and fruits to widen your dye palette, improve colorfastness, bond colors to fibers, and apply photosensitive effects and polymerizing qualities.



Subject: Indigo
Michel Garcia | September 3, 2017 | 4:30pm – 8:00pm
Details TBA | Location TBA | Berkeley, CA

Potluck Social 4:30pm – 6pm
Presentation 6pm – 8pm

SFS EV1708 GARCIA sfs talk bannerREGISTER →


Indigo Intensive
Michel Garcia | September 5-7, 2017 | 9:30am – 4:30pm
Slow Fiber Studios Annex | 1825 Eighth St, Berkeley, CA 94710

SFS EV17 GARCIA Banner Indigo_small.jpgUnlock the mysteries of indigo blue through several different reduction vats, applications using fresh leaf indigo grown in Berkeley, and ethnic indigo traditions such as the “pre-Columbian nanotechnology” Maya Blue pigment.



The Botany and Chemistry of Natural Dyes
Michel Garcia + Dr. Vanessa Handley + Dr. Margareta Sequin
September 8, 2017 | 9:30am – 12:30pm
UC Botanical Garden | 
200 Centennial Dr, Berkeley, CA 94720

Coffee 9:30am – 10:00am; Presentations 10:00am – 12;30pm; Bring own picnic lunch 12:30pm ~

UCBG_BannerJoin natural dye specialist from France Michel Garcia, UCBG Director of Collections and Research Dr. Vanessa Handley, and SFSU Chemistry and Biochemistry professor emeritus Dr. Margareta Séquin for a deep dive into the subject of natural dyes focusing on botanical taxonomy and phytochemistry.



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 |Date 2, 2017 Saturday
Event details TBA