West County Fiber Arts
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Article on the Blog Nesting in the Fibershed: West County Fiber Arts School
Heidi Harris is a native Californian with a Bachelors’ Degree in Business Management. She works as a Law Office manager while also donating time on behalf of non-profits that are closely aligned with her passions. Shortly after attending her first Fibershed Symposium she discovered her passion for felting. Heidi spearheaded the Fibershed Yurt project which culminated in displaying locally grown and made fiber art, clothing and products in a signature yurt entirely hand felted with local wool by Fibershed volunteers.
The first yurt workshop was a very intensive felting project creating the 14 by 7 foot walls “The old Mongolian style.” The second workshop was structural with a guest instructor from the state of Washington entitled “How to Build a Camping Yurt.” The final pieces of the signature yurt involved felting the roof panels and needle-felted artwork by volunteers to decorate the interior walls and commemorate the collaborative effort so many who contributed their resources to this project.
The yurt project has lead Heidi deep into the felting culture. She has devoured dozens of books on the subject and transformed her garage into a veritable felting factory. Heidi has taught needle and wet felting classes and is learning how to dye wool and other methods of using local fibers in useful and creative ways. She also built a peg loom and learned how to weave.
Her latest project is a fiber arts school in Sebastopol, California, that launched in February of 2016, in collaboration with Dustin Kahn. Her vision is to create a learning environment that supports the finest teachers in their respective craft and provides a conducive space for each student to open herself/himself to learning and the creative process.
Hand Weavers Guild of America
Redwood Guild of Fiber Arts
International Felt Makers Association
California Wool Growers Association
Certified Wool Classer
Photo Credits: Paige Green (portraits), Kalie Cassel-Feiss (yurt)