Experimentation, exploration and innovation are key aspects of the program in fibers at ETSU. Rooted in a system that values the art-making potential of fibers, courses are structured to provide training in as many techniques as equipment and facilities allow. Research and the development of skills in problem-solving and critical self-analysis are emphasized.
Students during a quilting class.
Combining traditional hand techniques with emerging digital technologies, the curriculum in Fibers at ETSU focuses on the incredibly diverse possibilities available for making fiber art, including many varied techniques in surface design, weaving, quilting, and 3-D forms. Students are encouraged to be innovative and independent as they pursue creative approaches to specialties in surface or structure. As part of the individualized program of study, students also take courses in other disciplines to strengthen their individual curricula.
Beyond technical proficiency, students are supported in the investigation of ideas relating to contemporary culture, issues in contemporary art, and the multiple histories of fiber, art, and textiles. The exploration of technique and investigation of ideas lead to the development of a conceptual focus and cohesive body of work, culminating in a final thesis exhibition.
Facilities and Equipment
The Fibers area has 3 studios:
The large Weaving and Sewing studio contains many four and eight harness LeClerc floor looms, 14 Bernina sewing machines in cabinets, professional dressmakers' dummies, a mangle and several sergers.
The Dye kitchen/Print studio contains long padded tables for screen printing and other surface techniques, a small heat press, a 4 burner gas stovetop and industrial burner with ventilation hoods, steaming set-up, washer and dryer.
The remaining studio serves as classroom, dry work area and critique space. It also houses a dedicated set-up for desktop digital fabric printing, a long-arm quilting machine, 2 knitting machines and 2 felting machines.
Fibers Area of Emphasis Checklist:
Whitney Lowery B.F.A. 2012