Upcoming Fiber Arts Classes

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Fiber Arts Department

Merridee Smith

Merridee Smith

Merridee Smith

Merridee Smith


Instructor: Merridee Smith
May 6–8, 2016 (Friday–Sunday, 9:30am–4:30pm)
All levels


Register Online Now
You may register online until two weeks prior to class start date. After that date, please call the registrar:
707 937-5818, ext. 10 or toll-free 800 653-3328, ext. 10


Lovely botanical prints can be produced on natural fibers: wool, silk, cotton, linen and other cellulose fibers using plant materials found growing in our forests and back yards. This is a fascinating process, with much current exciting innovation.

Day 1 of this workshop we will focus on wool and silk fibers using ferrous sulfate (rust) and/or alum as mordants and on Days 2 and 3 we will shift our focus to Cellulose fibers which are not as receptive to dyeing with natural materials as are protein fibers, therefore, additional preparation steps must be taken to obtain good results.

For all fibers, participants will learn ways to place, roll and tie the samples into bundles. They will steam or simmer the bundles to make the prints, then have the pleasure of opening them and seeing the magic! Participants will have the opportunity to practice the techniques and experiment with different plant materials, then they will print a scarf, shawl, or other items of their choice, perhaps a simple cotton shirt or an item from a thrift shop. Stunning botanical prints with beautiful color subtleties and patterns are our goal. We will discuss scouring to prepare the fabric, and different ways to mordant the fabrics to get the dyes to adhere to the fabric!


MERRIDEE SMITH is a chemist who is also enthralled with fiber and plants. These combined interests have resulted in her second careers in fiber arts: silk painting, botanical printing and felt making. Merridee’s recent focus on printing and dyeing using natural materials is rooted in her passion for gardening and visiting botanical gardens. “It is so satisfying to use the natural materials around us (and a little chemistry) to create beautiful cloth!” Merridee says. “I have had the pleasure to teach this subject in Mendocino, California, and at the Volcano Art Center in Hawaii.”

As a silk painter, Merridee’s particular passion is painting flowers. She finds silk painting is an excellent medium for capturing the colors, patterns and iridescence of flowers. She has been designated a Distinguished Silk Artist by her peers in Silk Painters International. “As a felt maker, I am thrilled with the tactile quality of the wool and other fibers, and love that felt making is an ancient and very usable medium,” Merridee says. “I enjoy combining natural printing and dyeing with silk painting, batik, shibori and felting.”

Merridee works at the Old Library Art Studios (OLAS) in Auburn, California. Her work can be seen in the Auburn Old Town Gallery and in the Big Island Glass Gallery in Honokaa, Hawaii. Examples of her work can be seen in Susan Louise Moyer’s book, Silk Painting for Fashion and Fine Art.

Visit Merridee Smith's website

Current MAC Members: $310
Non-members: $345 plus a $25 non-member registration fee

There is a registration fee of $25 for each class for non-members. Current Mendocino Art Center members do not pay a registration fee and may take 10% off each class registration. The discount is reflected in the prices above. Not a member yet? You may sign up below.
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Instructor materials fee: $35
Materials List


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$370: Non-member tuition price (includes a $25 registration fee)
$310: Current Mendocino Art Center member


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