Course Lists

Fiber Course List

Take a look at titles and descriptions for the Fiber department's courses offered.

FB 200 Introduction to Fiber

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, screen-printing, sewing, surface manipulation and embellishment. Technical explorations, supported by the study of historic precedent and contemporary practice supports individuals in exploring fiber as an expressive medium.

Prerequisite: Earned credit or concurrent enrollment in FF 130

FB 205 Sewing Tech Workshop

Develops students’ technical knowledge and expertise in sewing and supports the artist sewer in problem solving creative projects. Sewing machine mechanics, accessories, and maintenance are explained and explored, including computerized functions. Students will be introduced to the different types of machines, the variety of feet, needles, their functions and other accessories and tips that may help a sewer use the best tools or notions for the task. This course draws upon the experience of a sewing technician and artist and the information from technical manuals including maintenance and technical “how-to’s.” This course is a supplement for the artist sewer who may use non-traditional materials or non-traditional sewing craft.

Prerequisite: FB 200

FB 210 Digital Garment Patterning

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

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 mock-ups 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: Earned credit or concurrent enrollment in FF 130

FB 220 Soft Sculpture & Inflatables

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: FB 200

FB 227 Material Construction

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. Cloth is considered as environment and its capacity in larger-scale constructions.

Prerequisite: FB 200

FB 238 Woven Imagery

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 course 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 course and will develop engaged pieces of cloth that stand as metaphor for place, atmosphere and identity.

Prerequisite: FB 200

FB 254 Weaving:Color and Pattern

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

FB 287 Systems Thinking:Smart Textile

Computer science and textiles are two historically interwoven fields built on binary code, algorithms, patterns, and mathematical abstraction. From their common language of interconnection (Network, the Web), this course offers a critical engagement with technology through themes of systems, networks, entanglements, communication, sensing and touch. Students will be introduced to soft circuitry skills such as: working with conductive flexible and soft materials, basic electronics, introduction to Arduinos and programming, and using sensors and interactivity with the human body. Course explorations will be informed by texts, films and student’s independent research related to the history of technology and the body, interactive circuit-based artwork, the intricacies of power, public/private dynamics, and the overt and covert networks, systems and entanglements that underlie and connect us to our communities, environments, and economies locally and globally. The topics and techniques covered in class will provide a jumping off point for students’ artworks and projects.

Prerequisite: FF 101 or credit or concurrent enrollment in FF 130A or FF 130B.

FB 315 The Explored Stitch

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

FB 316 Fashioning Cult/Readr Clothing

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 course 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.

Prerequisite: FF 130, Juniors and Seniors only

FB 322 Costume: Materials & Technique

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

FB 330 The Expanded Body/Performance

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

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

FB 334 Surface Resist Dye: Color

This surface resist dye course will focus on natural dyes. The course investigates a variety of plant, insect, and mineral materials to explore the variety of color which can be extracted from these elements. Immersion dyeing with resist methods and direct application of printing painting, and stenciling will be studied. Guest artists and designers will visit to share their expertise on natural dyes. Both MICA and non-MICA students will comprise this course, and together, work on developing yardage and unique fabrics for an exhibition and fashion event. This course can be taken with Natural Dye as Intercultural Connector II.

Prerequisite: FB 200

FB 335 Surface Resist Dyeing: Design

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 such as devore (eroding), and discharge printing and painting (removing color from cloth). Dyes explored will be MX, Acid, direct, and disperse. Collage, piecing, and 2D and 3D ideas are encouraged. This course is a compliment to Surface Resist Dyeing: Color Through Nature.

Prerequisite: FB 200

FB 342 Accumulation and Metaphor

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 earned credits of 200-level 3D coursework

FB 351 Woven Pixels: Image + Form

Focus on design and weaving practices for the TC2 Jacquard Loom. By hacking Adobe Photoshop to design woven structures pixel by pixel, students communicate with individual warp threads to create unique digitally designed hand-woven textiles. Students learn how to design graphics, repeating patterns, photo-realistic imagery, and multi-color designs with woven structures. Advanced projects include creating variations in fabric density, weaving multi-layer cloth, design for dimension, unfolding sculptural forms, and garments constructed directly on the loom. Sampling and prototyping are at the heart of this course, and students demonstrate their interests and skills with a self-designed final project that intentionally combines digital and hand manufacture. A laptop with Adobe Photoshop is required.

Prerequisite: FB 200

FB 361 Digital Fab:The Pliable Plane

In her essay, “The Pliable Plane,” Anni Albers compares the utility, strength, flexibility, and bodily relationship of textile and architecture, suggesting similarities and a structural scale shift from micro to macro. Looking to garments, architecture, nature, and industry for inspiration, students will develop projects that incorporate methodologies and software for digital fabrication while considering deliberate integration of work done by hand and the appropriate technology for each operation. Demonstrations will be given in hand drafting and digital design of flat patterns, strategies for manipulation and expansion of form, systems for the creation of multiples, cutting, folding, joining, and attachment techniques across media. Through a rigorous employment of both analog and digital design, prototyping and fabrication, students will work on a range of scales to examine the qualities of flexible materials. The class community will build a critical language for discussing technologies old and new and their relation to the human body, for the creation of unique art-objects and strategies for mass-production.

Prerequisite: Earned credit or concurrent enrollment in FF 130

FB 363 Pattern& Digital Print/Textile

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

FB 366 Puppetry & Performing Objects

This course explores the vital field of material objects in performance, including masks, puppets, sculptures and banners used in ritual, theater and storytelling. A focus on puppetry is at the core of the class, including studies in traditional, hybrid and experimental forms. The relationship of the puppet to the human body, to ideas of the living and inanimate, and the capacity of objects to hold and transmit cultural information will explored among other themes identified by the class. Technical demonstrations; movement and manipulation exercises; studio-based and scholarly research; readings, lectures and workshops with visiting artists support students in learning about traditional and contemporary practices of object performance. Individual investigations in making and performance will be supported by weekly exercises that encourage play, discovery, and collaboration. The class culminates with an exhibition and performance of works in progress.

Prerequisite: Earned credit or concurrent enrollment in FF 130

FB 368 Collage and Sculptural Surface

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

FB 370 Fabric of Conscience

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

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

FB 390 Back to Work

Is an 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. This course is designed directly in response to the challenges of working habitually with materials and 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, CE 201, FB 200, IS 200, or IS 202)

FB 400 Sr. Fiber Thesis & Seminar I

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 Fiber majors only

FB 401 Sr. Fiber Thesis & Seminar II

This course is a continuation of FB 400.

Prerequisite: FB 400

FB 425 Unravel the Code

Draws upon traditional crafts to explore emerging technologies of making; pairing weaving with digital algorithms, origami with parametric laser cutting, and handwork with cybernetic systems of control. The first half of the semester features hands-on workshops led by visiting experts which inform the student's research-based projects as the focus of the second half of the semester. Students document and propel their research through an individual Creative Process Journal kept online. The course concludes with a public presentation of these projects. Students in Unravel the Code are encouraged to enroll in FB5425.01 TR International Collaboration, an optional travel course centered on a week-long trip to the Netherlands to work with collaborators in digital crafts, engage in Dutch Design Week, and experience a culture where art technology and design readily merge.

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

FB 425TR Travel: Unravel the Code

Travel component of the course FB 425/5425 - Unravel the Code. Registration for FB 425/5425 required.

Co-requisite: Enrollment in FB425/5425 or IS 424 required

FB 438 Multi Media Event I: Exp. Fash

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: Earned credit or concurrent enrollment in FF 130

FB 439 Multi Media Event II: Exp Fash

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 438