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Fiber Course List

View titles & descriptions for the Fiber department's courses.

Click a Course's Title to read its description .

Course # Course Title Credits
FB 200 Introduction to Fiber 3 credits
This course presents students with technical, historical and conceptual grounding in the medium of fiber. Students learn the basics of fiber processes, including spinning, weaving, felting, loop-construction, screenprinting, sewing, surface manipulation and embellishment. Technical explorations, supported by the study of historic precendent and contemporary practice supports individuals in exploring fiber as an expressive medium.

Prerequisite: FF 101

FB 207 Garment Design and Production 3 credits
Required for experimental fashion concentration.

Prerequisite: FB 200, or permission of Instructor

FB 210 Digital Garment Patterning 1.5 credits
Introduces students to advanced computerized pattern making and production. The coursework exposes students to a variety of garment industry technical procedures from concept through production. This course is an introduction to Polynest software, pattern digitizing, grading systems, technical sketching, and spec sheets. Students create a spec package: a visual reference for garment pattern development.

Prerequisite: FB 206 or FB 207

FB 215 Millinery Workshop 1.5 credits
This workshop covers the principles and processes of hat-making. It will focus on the form and function of specific hats along with the design, pattern, and creation of mockups necessary for successful execution. Students will become familiar with the available equipment and supplies of the craft, constructing structural foundations from materials such as buckram, wire, and felt while utilizing blocking techniques and flat patterns. Application of fabric coverings and linings, as well as trimmings and embellishments will be explored.

Prerequisite: FF 101

FB 220 Soft Sculpture & Inflatables 3 credits
In this course students will focus on the design, fabrication, and creative applications of sculptural forms created from soft materials. Soft sculpture and inflatables have a rich history: from early inventions such as hot air balloons and zeppelins, to the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade, to radical 1970s Antfarm structures, to sculptural works by contemporary artists. Students will learn multiple techniques for turning flexible, flat materials into three-dimensional forms by methods such as inflating with air, stuffing with materials, and holding with a rigid structure. Patterning will be explored extensively, including working from found patterns as well as designing and creating your own. Students will work at a range of scales - that which the body can hold and that which can hold the body. Studio work will be informed through experimentation, readings, slides, and in-depth exploration of context.

Prerequisite: FF 101 and FB 200

FB 315 The Explored Stitch 3 credits
With its many forms and functions, the stitch represents one of the most elemental and versatile verbs in the textile language. Students in this class will explore the stitch by learning the technical skills of machine and hand embroidery, needlepoint, and counted thread work to build image and pattern. Structural stitches - such as those used in mending, tucking, smocking, and pleating, will be examined as a means to synthesize elements and create texture and form. Central to our study will be a visit to an historical textile collection, where each student will choose an historical stitched textile to investigate fully. Through a multi-faceted approach of written research and multiple "re-makings" of the historical object of their choosing, concepts of labor vs. leisure, function vs. decoration, and tradition vs. originality will be addressed.

Prerequisite: FB 200, or permission of Instructor

FB 322 Costume: Materials & Technique 3 credits
An exploration of the world of costume and personal adornment through demonstrations, technical and conceptual information, and the use of historical and contemporary examples. Coursework and critiques emphasize development of the idea, personal expression, and technical proficiency. Students are exposed to a broad visual vocabulary and an array of the following materials and techniques: pattern-making and alteration, draping and fitting on a dress form, armatures and coverings, surface embellishment on pliable/flexible planes, and found objects.

Prerequisite: FB 200, or permission of Instructor

FB 327 Material Construction 3 credits
Material constructions, flexible structures, lightweight structures, and the architectonic nature of cloth are explored in this course. Students develop constructions line by line and explore methods of netting, tatting, and other building structures. These are flexible structures that can be purposeful in form building. The armature and lightweight structures are addressed as support systems for pliable flexible materials. Also, cloth is considered as environment and its capacity in larger-scale constructions.

Prerequisite: FB 200, or permission of Instructor

FB 329 Uniformity 3 credits
Uniformity, serialization, modes of production, fashion, repetition, difference, originality - this is the beginning of a glossary of terms for this course. These terms come from the vernacular of both the marketplace and the production of culture. Recognizing that it can be scorned or embraced to effect different ends, artists ranging from Sid Vicious to Andy Warhol to Leni Riefenstahl have instrumentalized uniformity and repetition in their work. Modernist architects built urban landscapes in the thrall of industrialization's mandate for efficiency and progress while tract housing homogenized the look of suburbia. This course uses the tools of studio practice and seminar to investigate fashion, uniforms, architecture, media, and DIY trends. Readings, including Craig Owens, Theodor Adorno, Michel Foucault, and Susan Sontag, support multifaceted semester-long projects. Recommended for juniors and seniors.

Prerequisite: 3 Credits of 200 Level 3D Coursework

FB 330 The Expanded Body/Performance 3 credits
An exploration of the dynamics of performance and physical action as they relate to adornment and extension the body. Looking to the history of non-theatrical performance and examples of international culture, fashion, and architecture, we will experiment with function provided by the garment within performance, how the adorned body relates to the space surrounding the performer, and with group movement and action as they influence the audience/performer/participant's perception of environment. Utilizing a variety of materials; traditional, non-traditional, found, borrowed, or bought; students will construct identities, disguises, body extensions, wearable sculptural elements, as well as physical and conceptual connections to their surroundings and to one another. Demonstrations include methods of accumulation, fabric manipulation and stiffening, and work with structural materials such as boning/reed and millinery wire/buckram.

Prerequisite: FF 101

FB 331 Silkscreening on Fabric 3 credits
An introduction to methods of silkscreen printing on textiles with emphasis on the single compositional work and development of repeat pattern designs. Processes include paper and cut stencils, hand-drawing, drawing fluid and screen filler, and photo silkscreen. Dyes and pigments are used. Students examine effects and usage of single and multiple image and pattern through using a number of silkscreens and manipulating image and cloth. Direct painting, material considerations, and printing are explored.

Prerequisite: FB 200, or permission of Instructor

FB 334 Surface Resist Dyeing 3 credits
The application of image, pattern, and surface manipulation to cloth using contemporary and traditional resist methods is explored. Processes from Japan, Central America, West Africa, and Europe are shibori (knotted resist), arashi (wrapped resist), and starch and paste resists. New directions in altering surface color, structure, and texture are cloque (shrinking), devore (eroding), chemical resists, and discharge printing and painting (removing color from cloth). Collage, piecing, and 2D and 3D ideas are encouraged.

Prerequisite: FB 200, or permission of Instructor

FB 338 Woven Imagery 3 credits
Offers students a sound understanding of weave structures and how they can be used to generate engaged woven surfaces that can stand as independent works of art. The three projects in this class will serve as both introductions to different methods of creating imagery through effects of color and structure and to address weaving as a drawing process. Students source ideas from the here and now of their own experiences and interests by keeping a blog during the class and will develop engaged pieces of cloth that stand as metaphor for place, atmosphere and identity.

Prerequisite: FB 200, or permission of Instructor

FB 340 Sourcing Textiles 3 credits
Fiber and cloth making are a rich and complex territory. Understanding both historical and contemporary textiles and perspectives invigorates the perceptions on our work. Connecting with museums, public, and private collections in the region, we will explore fiber and textile objects and their history. Using several themes to guide us, we will look at textiles and fiber as a means of research and response. Experiencing the physical presence of cloth is fundamental, as is comprehending the history, function and context of objects. This class is project based, enabling students to form and develop work relating to their interests. Readings, discussions, and research coupled with material studies and studio work form the basis of this class. Knowledge of basic fiber processes is helpful. Working across media is encouraged.

Prerequisite: FB 200, or permission of Instructor

FB 342 Accumulation and Metaphor 3 credits
Combines the mining of material resources with the exploration of additive processes to discover form and meaning in textiles. Traditional surface embellishment, basketry, and feltmaking techniques will be demonstrated as means of discussing metaphors of entanglement, sedimentation, and rhizomatous (network). Various methods of material procurement are presented. Both individual and collaborative work will be encouraged.

Prerequisite: 3 Credits of 200 Level 3D Coursework

FB 354 Weaving:Color and Pattern 3 credits
Emphasizes principles of color and pattern as applied to the making of hand-woven cloth. A variety of dye processes, weaving techniques, and finishing procedures are introduced, enabling students to create woven fabric that reflects their personal aesthetic and artistic and conceptual interests. Demonstrations, slide presentations, readings, and discussions inform students and encourage a thoughtful and committed working practice.

Prerequisite: FB 200, or permission of Instructor

FB 361 Soft Circuits 3 credits
Technology and textiles are two historically interwoven fields with innovations centering on the capabilities, limitations, needs, and expressions of the human body. This course pulls from the two fields to explore the many relationships between electronic circuitry, textiles, and bodies. Students will be introduced to soft circuitry skills such as: working with conductive soft materials, basic electronics, introduction to the Arduino, and using sensors and interactivity with the human body. To support the exploration, we will read articles, watch films and share independent research about history of technology and the body, gender and technology, interactive circuit-based artwork, power and its multiple meanings, and public/private dynamics. The topics and techniques covered in class will provide a jumping off point for students’ artworks and projects.

Prerequisite: FF 101

FB 363 Pattern& Digital Print/Textile 3 credits
Textile print and pattern design has a long history that engages textile technologies. In this course, students create work that use one of the newer pursuits in pattern making, that of digital printing. Students will examine pattern history, review different repeat pattern methods and symmetries, and look at some of the masters of its usage. Software such as Point Carre and Adode Photoshop will be used to move through colorway options and design principles. Projects will address pattern, site-specificity, limited production, and one-of-a-kind printing. Students should budget for purchasing their own fabric and for the dyes used in digital printing.

Prerequisite: FB 200, or permission of Instructor

FB 368 Collage and Sculptural Surface 3 credits
Focuses on the consideration of the constructed, pieced, and sculpted surface. Students explore the interpretation and invention of cloth construction, layering, sculptural surfaces, pieced and collaged surfaces, and the multiple as possibilities. Collecting, salvaging, and mixing materials will be involved. Students respond to and attend numerous exhibitions and lectures taking place during the spring semester involving historical and contemporary textiles. These lead to discussion on the issues and ideas that have made pieced, sculpted cloth construction a relevant and vital history.

Prerequisite: FB 200, or permission of Instructor

FB 370 Fabric of Conscience 3 credits
Fabric of Conscience is predicated on the idea that artists are always working in response to external events: a deluge of visual stimuli, philosophical inquiry, history, and liveliness. The class probes the possibility that this method of working, interlocutory and discursive, makes demands on conscience. Students work collaboratively, make live events, costume props and visual scores and consider the implications of art as performing conscience. Questions that will guide the class are: What is an act? What is conscience? What is the role of pleasure in art? What is the relationship between action, everyday politics and bodies in a mixed-reality paradigm? Class time is split between work in a performance space and reading, discussion and screenings in the classroom.

Prerequisite: FF 101, Juniors and Seniors only

FB 375 Piecework & the Quilt 3 credits
This course investigates piecework and quiltmaking as means of expression and conceptual platform within a plethora of cross-cultural, historical and contemporary contexts. Students will learn the basic structure of a quilt, including piecing, layering, quilting and stitching techniques, as well as learn how to use the Fiber Department quilting machines. We will also explore the Korean piecework techniques for pojagi, with its hidden seams. These various piecework techniques will be used toward 2D works, sculptural and installation-based approaches. Sourcing cloth, investigation of non-traditional fibers, and research-driven material use will be major components of the course. Through critical readings and course projects, students will investigate themes such as reading quilts as texts, intimacy vs. publicity in quilts, embedded secret histories and the sociality of quiltmaking. A quilting bee can be developed as a performance-based student initiative, and could be utilized for at least one group project.

Prerequisite: FB 200, or permission of Instructor

FB 380 Retooling the Cottage 3 credits
Whether you are making printed t-shirts, woven scarves, one-of-a-kind garments, videos or performances, if you want to make a living off your studio work, you will need a business blueprint. This course is intended for students interested in starting their own small business after school. Students will study the history of various business models which interfaced with textiles: piecework, cottage industry, and factory-scale manufacturing. Students will research new business models such as studio cooperatives, vertically-integrated manufacturing and DIY entrepreneurship, as well as pressing industry concerns such as fair labor practices, environmental impact and sustainable resources. After receiving group feedback on prototypes in the beginning of the semester, students will focus on a limited scale production of items of their choosing. Students will also develop a business plan, project budget, a branding identity and a web presence by the end of the course. Visiting critics include textile entrepreneurs, Etsy staff, studio co-op managers, and independent business owners. The finished "production line" will premier at MICA’s Holiday Market and/or student-generated pop-up shop in Baltimore.

Prerequisite: FB 200, or permission of Instructor

FB 387 Smart Textiles 3 credits
This project-based lab/seminar is a pioneering multi-disciplinary course to foster a critical and analytical viewpoint of the nature and context of smart textiles design. In this class a team of students investigate innovative smart textile design and create artwork integrating new textiles through process led research. Case studies in the textile industry and in contemporary art will be investigated. Models of Research and Development (R&D) in textile and product design are examined. The body-interface and responsive textiles concept will be contextualized by in-depth critical readings and discussions. The instructors work in collaboration with a group of students from different majors in an experimental manner researching the possibilities of the integration of the intelligent textiles in artwork. Weekly meetings, visiting artists, historical lectures, and critical readings augment the independent study to enhance the student’s ability to analyze their work and its relevance to contemporary culture and art.

Prerequisite: FF 101

FB 390 Back to Work 3 credits
BACK TO WORK is a studio class with an emphasis on 3D work. The class is overwhelmingly devoted to work time and reading artists' writings. Commencing in the 3rd week of class, there will be critiques every week on a rotating basis. A field trip to NYC includes studio visits with artists. BACK TO WORK is a new course designed directly in response to the challenges of working habitually with materials. The course encourages students to notice the quality of their particular relationship with discipline and practice and looks closely, through writing and studio visits, at the myriad ways that other artists manage these crucial demands.

Prerequisite: Introductory 3D course (CE 200/201 or FB 200 or IS 200 or IS 202)

FB 398 Fiber Independent Study 1.5-3 credits
For students wishing to work with a particular instructor on subject matter not covered by regularly scheduled classes, a special independent study class may be taken. A contract is required, including signatures of the instructor and the student's department chair. A 398 class may not be used to substitute for a department's core requirement or senior thesis / senior independent. Learning contract required before registration. Minimum of junior class standing and 3.0 GPA required.

Prerequisite: students at the Junior/Senior level with a Cumulative Grade Point Average of at least 3.000

FB 400 Sr. Fiber Thesis & Seminar I 6 credits
Students develop a coherent body of work completed during the senior year for final presentation to a jury selected from sculptural studies faculty. Periodic critiques to discuss progress, content, and process are conducted by faculty and invited critics.

Senior level Fiber Majors only.

FB 401 Sr. Fiber Thesis & Seminar II 6 credits
This course is a continuation of FB 400.

Prerequisite: FB 400

FB 416 Fashioning Cult/ Readr Clothng 3 credits
Fashion and clothing can be called material zeitgeists of culture. This course addresses the influences, affinities, and relationships of fashion, the visual arts and culture. Issues covered in this studio/seminar are contemporary fashion's relationship with the high and low divide in art and popular culture, the power of connection and communication through clothing, ethical questions surrounding fashion and production, and ubiquitous venue of clothing as an artistic endeavor. In addition, this course explores questions of the historical significance of cloth, clothing and culture for the discourse of fashion. This class is structured around student's experimentation with and development of a multifaceted research and creative practice that supports their artistic concerns. Readings, discussions and research enhance the student's skills in interpreting and articulating their understanding of art, fashion, clothing and culture.anding of art, fashion, clothing and culture. Priority is given to students concentrating in experimental fashion.

Prerequisite: FF 101, Juniors and Seniors only

FB 425 International Collaboration 3 credits
This honors course develops a collaborative theme to share cross-culturally with international partners involving new textile technologies and their implementation. Technology is likely to play a more influential role in shaping human values in the future. Technological developments in textiles have catalyzed social upheavals, improved the quality of life, and ignited controversy over labor and environmental practices. Adding intelligence to preexisting materials and production through research, students will apply technology to the design and production of “fabrics” that would serve to enhance specific realms of human society. Through research and project based work, students will explore unique material properties and applications addressing specific needs and challenges for wearable or smart fabric techniques in design applications. Technical workshops, contextualizing content, readings, discussions and independent research are aspects of this course.

Prerequisite: FB 287, FB 361, or FB 387 or permission of instructor

FB 438 Multi Media Event I: Exp. Fash 3 credits
Multi Media Event: Experimental Fashion is a two-semester course, and a capstone experience for students in the experimental fashion concentration. Students develop an individual or collaborative body of work inspired by garment, costume, fashion and performance. All students in the course then collaborate to design and produce a multi media event to present their work. Multi Media Event I revolves around students’ individual work. Students develop a body of work while learning about the history and development of the fashion show, fashion history, the relationship of art and design over the last century in the West, contemporary trends and issues, fashion ethics, and the emergence of concept designers.

Prerequisite: FF 102 and FF 199

FB 439 Multi Media Event II: Exp Fash 3 credits
Multi Media Event II focuses on the practical aspects of designing and producing an event and professional practices. Topics addressed include p.r. and promotions, logo and identity design, site design, budget management, lighting design and installation, styling, model and performer auditions, collaboration and directing, and establishing and fostering community partnerships. The course concludes with basic workshops in graphic design and portfolio preparation to create a professional package.

Prerequisite: FB 387 (Mulit-Media Event I) or permission of Instructor

SS 300 Junior Seminar 3 credits
This seminar for juniors working in IS, FIB, CE will create an environment of dialogue, interaction and collaboration where they develop distinct aesthetic positions while investigating their individual themes and the media, forms, structures, processes and procedures used. Students will critically interact with their artworks, documenting thematic aspects through still photos, video clips, etc. along with corresponding interactive writings. Next they’ll collate correlated information, such as other artists’ artworks plus anything else that contextualizes and elaborates on individual themes. Then they’ll arrange it all within a distinct “construct” typifying their personal “Visual Verbal Journey”. The idea is to create a “place” where you, your artworks, correlative situations, and interactive writings can imaginatively coexist in constant renewal, continuously generating new thoughts and new possibilities for new ways of working with your themes. Weekly in-class teacher and student presentations will be “housed” at a student website using PmWiki with its collaborative authoring function providing us with an extensive collection of readings, writings and critiquing representative of the aesthetic diversity of the class.

Juniors and Seniors only.

SS 415 Digital Fab: Studio Research 3 credits
Digital Fabrication Studio Research is an advanced course in digital fabrication that explores specific topics through project-based research. Workshops, lectures, online learning modules, and other programming establish the background and supporting skills required for the theme of that semester’s class. With this foundation, students pursue research regarding the development of new digital fabrication processes (hardware/software/materials) or creative applications of existing technologies. Projects will often be advanced through interdisciplinary collaborative teams, and students will work across departments at MICA and often with others outside of the school. Learning and implementing effective methodologies, protocols, and tools for collaborative research will be a significant aspect of the course. Student will develop and maintain a process portfolio that will serve as an effective support for “publishing” this research, which may take a variety of forms. Themes for the class will vary each semester and will include topics such as 3D printer development, experimental robotic fabrication, parametric weaving, material exploration and development, biomimetics, biofabrication, algorithmic fabrication, experimental 3D input methods, or open research.

Prerequisite: IS 320 or AD320(before Fall 2014)/AD 351 (Fall 2014 and after), or permission of instructor.