Upcoming Fiber Arts Classes

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Fiber Arts Department

Merridee Joan Smith

Merridee Joan Smith

Merridee Joan Smith

Merridee Joan Smith

Merridee Joan Smith

Merridee Joan Smith


Instructor: Merridee Joan Smith
May 5–8, 2017 (Friday–Monday, 9:30am–4:30pm)
All levels


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


Botanical printing on protein and cellulose fibers is an art form that can be happily explored at length, and this class is a great introduction to this subject. We will discuss the production of botanical prints on silk, wool, cotton and linen including the use of ferrous sulfate (rust) and/or alum as mordants and ways to place, roll and tie the samples into bundles. We will steam or simmer the bundles to make the prints, then have the pleasure of opening them and seeing the magic! Special attention will be given to the unique preparation required for cellulose fibers.

Lovely botanical prints can be produced on protein fibers, such as silk and wool, and on cellulose fibers, such as cotton and linen, using plant materials found growing in our forests and back yards. This is a fascinating process, with much current exciting innovation. We will discuss fabric preparation and the use of mordants to get the prints to strongly adhere to the fabric. Cellulose fibers are not as receptive to dyeing and printing with natural materials as are protein fibers, therefore additional preparation steps must be taken to obtain good results. Participants will learn how to place the botanical materials on the fabric, roll and tie them into bundles, and steam or simmer the bundles. We will all then have the pleasure of opening them and seeing the magic! Participants will have the opportunity to practice the techniques, experiment with different plant materials and document results, thus creating the start of a notebook for future reference. They will print scarves, shawls, or other items of their choice, perhaps a cotton shirt or an item from a thrift shop. As this is a four-day workshop, we will have time to delve into different ways to apply the mordants, how to fold garments for printing and the use of natural dyes to complement the results. Stunning botanical prints with beautiful color subtleties and patterns are our goal!


MERRIDEE JOAN SMITH is a chemist who is also enthralled with fiber and plants. These combined interests have resulted in her second career 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. She says it is so satisfying to use the natural materials around us (and a little chemistry) to create beautiful cloth! She has had the pleasure of teaching this subject in Mendocino and Sacramento, California, and Volcano, Hawaii.


Visit Merridee Joan Smith's website

Current MAC Members: $414
Non-members: $460 plus a $45 non-member registration fee

There is a registration fee of $45 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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Cancellations must be made in writing, either by mail or email. If you notify us at least 21 days prior to the first class meeting, you will receive a refund of tuition less a $45 cancellation fee. No refunds will be made after that date for any reason due to our contractual obligations and material acquisitions. If the Art Center is compelled to cancel a class you will receive a full tuition refund. Memberships are non-refundable as they are considered a donation to the Art Center.

Instructor materials fee: $45
Materials List


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$505: Non-member tuition price (includes a $45 registration fee)
$414: Current Mendocino Art Center member


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