On Saturday Janet Wiseman and I had the opportunity to take a class at Cloth Fiber Workshop at the Cotton Mill Studios in the River Arts District of Asheville. Cloth, which is owned and operated by Guild member Barbara Zaretsky, hosts a variety of textile art workshops. We took Fabric Brooches taught by Margaret Couch Cogswell.

The class was appropriate for all skill levels. The participants included jewelers, quilters, nurses, teachers, and interior designers. The class appealed to me because I knew it would be a fun escape from my routine and a way to get the creative juices flowing. I can also see how it would be beneficial for artists who may want to try out a new technique or work with a community of peers. Everyone was supportive of one another. It was inspiring to see what everyone made - the limitless possibilities of collage.

We learned about the construction of the pin and different ways to layer fabric and incorporate stitches and embroidery to create wearable art. I loved that by the end of the day you had at least a couple of pieces you could wear right away without having to invest in a lot of materials and time. It's also something that you can have fun with on your own after just one day of instruction. Margaret was awesome - she gave each student individual attention, making sure they were making the most of their time there. She sent everyone a follow up email about the materials and directions covered. Barbara was also there - making sure everyone had what they needed and offering encouragement along the way. Since we were in the River District during our lunch break we had a picnic at River Park just down the road. A pleasant day indeed.

Margaret Couch Cogswell leading the class.

Everyone hard at work!

The next workshop coming up at Cloth is Hands On Shibori taught by Guild member Jen Swearington. Check out Cloth's website for all the details.

Of course, along with Cloth there are many other wonderful places throughout the area and the Appalachian mountains to study crafts. We'd love to hear about your favorite places to take classes - please share with us in the comments section.