Speakers and Special Events

Susie Taylor — Keynote Speaker

Building on Tradition

Friday, May 31 – 6:00 pm

This address will take the audience on Susie’s journey of discovering weaving and exploring the infinite possibilities. She shines light on the impact that art history and industry has had on her work and thinking as a contemporary artist who uses a loom and weaving as her primary medium.

Susie has been weaving for over 30 years, primarily on shaft looms and has 12 years experience designing high-end, jacquard upholstery fabrics. She spent many years exploring hand manipulation techniques to produce multi-layered structures and in 2012 she received the HGA Certificate of Excellence in Handweaving, Level 1. That experience really broadened her skills and understanding of loom controlled structures. Now she finds great potential in combining loom controlled structures with hand manipulation. Today, she is an award-winning artist creating dimensional textiles that incorporates origami and weaving together. She also works as a freelance designer for the commercial upholstery market.

Read more about Susie at her website: Weaving Origami

Pre-Conference Workshop:

Conference Classes:

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Gabrielle Duggan — Closing Speaker

Sunday, June 2 – 11:30 am

Closing Speaker : “Fiber Work: A Call to Responsibility and Agency”

This talk presents the potential of contemporary fiber work to simultaneously ground and free all who engage in its lineage. There is ever a need to strengthen the connection and accountability between past, present, and future, through supportive conversation and open collaboration. In a time where much feels unprecedented, the deep past of fiber histories can root and support those going forward, carving paths for new and continuous questioning.

Gabrielle Duggan currently is a Visiting Assistant Professor in Fibers at the University of North Texas. She has a Masters of Art and Design from North Carolina State University (NCSU), a Bachelor of Science from Buffalo State College, SUNY, and an Associate Degree in Applied Science from the Fashion Institute of Technology, SUNY.  Gabrielle has worked extensively in the academia world as an Assistant Professor of the Practice at the College of Design at NCSU and a Visiting Lecturer at Georgia State University. She has also conducted workshops in Fibers at NCSU, East Carolina University, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Detroit, and the Contemporary Art Museum of Raleigh, North Carolina.  Gabrielle is represented by AH Arts in New York City and her studio research has been supported by Fellowship and residencies, and grant and exhibition opportunities.

As a Rob R. Dunn Artist in Residence, she collaborated with Biologist Adrian Smith at Smith’s lab in the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences throughout the year of 2017. They located and cast a Pogonomyrmex ant nest in dental plaster as part of an installation in the lab; art and science research developed side by side and in conversation. This collaboration culminated in a presentation at NCMNS’s Science Cafe and an article in SciArt magazine.

Gabrielle’s other works shown were created working on the TC1 where she will combine traditional overshot patterns with overlays of words, topical mapping lines and looser sections of warp. She does use many techniques including mixed media to create the imaging she desires.

Pre-Conference Workshop:

Conference Classes:

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Polly Adams Sutton — Saturday Night Speaker

Saturday, June 1 – 5:30 pm

“Baskets of Sardinia”

Sardinia is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. It is located west of the Italian Peninsula and to the immediate south of the French island of Corsica. In the modern era, many travelers and writers have exalted its beauty, untouched until the contemporary age and immersed in a landscape that houses the vestiges of the Nuragic civilization. In 2012, Polly Adams Sutton received an Artist Trust GAP grant that was used in conjunction with a Seattle Weavers Guild Grant for investigating the basketry of Sardinia. Polly will be sharing her information on these baskets, but most importantly, her slides.

Polly Adams Sutton is a full time studio artist, working with cedar bark to create sculptural baskets. Her educational background was art with an emphasis on painting and printmaking. Upon settling in the Pacific Northwest more than 30 years ago, she was introduced to basketry through the Seattle Weaver’s Guild. She harvests cedar bark each spring in logging areas near Seattle, WA.  Her sculptural work is primarily twined with wire over cedar bark. Sutton received an Artist Trust GAP grant in 2012.  This was used in conjunction with the Seattle Weavers Guild Grant for investigating the basketry of Sardinia.  Her work was chosen for the cover illustration of “500 Baskets” and most recently her sculptural basket traveled with the National Basketry show, Rooted, Revived, Reinvented: Basketry in America.


Pre-Conference Workshop:

Conference Classes:

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Tour of Perennials Fabrics and Reception
Thursday evening, May 30

Six AVL looms, one Mountain loom and one TC-2 jacquard – add a team of 10 designers, a unique high- performance yarn stash made from an exclusive acrylic fiber, and one fashion-forward, interior design-trained owner and see what happens.
What results in this case is Perennials Fabrics, a high-end upholstery fabric company designing and producing beautiful high-performance fabrics for the luxury home furnishings market. Come tour the Dallas-based facility, visit with the design team, and learn how the fabrics are created from design inception and inspiration, through development and into production for sale to the end user – and maybe try your hand at weaving on a jacquard loom! You’ll want to put down your drink and hors d’oeuvres for this chance.
On Thursday evening, May 30th, following the Pre-conference workshops, buses will take conference attendees to Perennials Fabrics for a tour of the facilities and a demonstration of their TC 2 loom, followed by a reception.

It is essential that we know how many people plan to arrive on Thursday evening and attend this event so we can hire the appropriate number of buses. On the registration form, there is a place to reserve your seat on the bus. Those with reservations will be given boarding priority. Those without reservations will be allowed to board a bus if there are available seats. (Please do not reserve a seat if you don’t plan to arrive on Thursday and attend this event.)