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LOCAL CLOTH INSTRUCTORS

All of our instructors are members of Local Cloth who have been approved by the Workshop Committee to teach workshops. Included below are the names and bios of our current instructors. 

Click here to learn more about how to become a Local Cloth instructor. 

DENISE ARCURI

Retired from a medical career, Denise resides in Flat Rock, North Carolina. She has been an avid garment sewer since childhood, and has taken classes and studied through out her adulthood. Since retiring, Denise has extended this passion into pattern-making and dying and printing the fabric with which she  loves to work.

UPCOMING WORKSHOPS

JULIE BAGAMARY

Julie began hand sewing around age 9 and received her first sewing machine at age 12 as a Christmas gift. Her textile art is inspired by living in the mountains of Western North Carolina. Julie's one-of-a-kind art creations consist primarily of batik and hand-dyed fabrics, along with surface design and unexpected embellishments. Her teaching experience includes adults and children for many years in NC along with other states.

UPCOMING WORKSHOPS

DANIEL BARON

As a young maker recently graduated from Warren Wilson College, Daniel is excited to expand their work in traditional handcrafts! Daniel received instruction in several fiber art traditions, predominantly weaving, needle-felting and natural dyeing, while working as a member of the Fiber Arts Crew under the esteemed Melanie Wilder. While in their final year on the crew, as the student crew leader, Daniel organized all workshops conducted by the crew and taught several as well. Daniel has been a passionate, lifelong bird-watcher and their love of birds is reflected in their work. Daniel's experience as a bird-watcher allows them to create incredibly detailed pieces. Daniel looks forward to passing on their expertise to their students and spreading their love of birds.

UPCOMING WORKSHOPS

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JOAN BERNER

Joan has pursued many fiber techniques since she was a young girl. Her underlying passion is anything that can be turned into clothing! Her current work has involved woven shibori and felted cloth with saris. She has taught at HGA's Convergence, placed first and third in their fashion show, and loves a challenge with the Asheville Community Theater.  She currently teaches Sewing for Handwovens at Haywood Community College.

UPCOMING WORKSHOPS

  • No upcoming events

GAIL CLEMENT

Gail Clement is a retired library administrator with over 30 years experience leading copyright management and training programs for researchers, instructors, students, museum staff, and artists. She holds Certificates in Copyright Management from the Special Libraries Association and University of Maryland’s Center For Intellectual Property. She currently teaches Copyright for Creators at the Osher LifeLong Learning Institute - UNCA.

UPCOMING WORKSHOPS

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GIOVANNI DAINA-PALERMO

Giovanni is a designer and patternmaker, who is originally from Chicago, and graduated from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a Bachelor of Fine Arts focused on Fashion/Apparel. He has over 25 years of experience in the fashion industry and worked in NYC for 16 years with brands including Gary Graham, Monse, Oscar de la Renta, Carolina Herrera, Jeffrey Dodd, Lein Studio, Norisol Ferrari, Bonnie Young, Electric Feathers, Outlier and Protagonist. Giovanni is currently freelancing and lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Giovanni has taught courses in patternmaking and design at colleges in the Chicago area and at Penland School of Craft.

UPCOMING WORKSHOPS

CAMILLE DUANNO

Camille Duanno has taught Art to High School, Graduate, and private students for over 45 years. She worked in New York City in Textile Design and has worked for several designers and fabric companies to include, Schumacher, Waverly, Donna Karan, Carole Little, Randolph Duke and more. She studied Art in Italy and New York and worked in design studio for 10 years in New York City. She studied privately in workshops and design centers throughout her career learning fiber arts, silk painting, Shibori and others. She started her career as a Fashion Illustrator back in the 1970s but when that industry was using photography she went into Textiles. Now retired, Camille teaches private classes in her home studio in Weaverville and classes at Local Cloth and Purple Crayon in Asheville.

UPCOMING WORKSHOPS

SUE HELMKEN

Sue Helmken is a textile artist with 40 years experience in weaving, dyeing and teaching. Her journey in weaving began at East Carolina University and she has continued learning new techniques by experimenting and by studying with fiber artists such as Madelyn Van der Hoogt, Alice Schlein, Barbara Cooper, Donna Sullivan, Jozef Bajus, Laura Sims, and Holly Brackmann. She also studied at the Penland School of Crafts and the Corcoran College of Art and Design. Sue was a juried member of Gallery 209 in Savannah, GA, Fiberworks Gallery and The Potomac Fiberarts Gallery in the Torpedo Factory of Alexandria, VA, and Studio Fiberarts at the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton, VA. She has recently rejoined Local Cloth. Her work has been accepted in juried shows throughout the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions, most recently at The Blackrock Arts Center, the Creative Crafts Council, Sweetwater Center for the Arts, The Art League of Alexandria, VA, and The Workhouse Center for the Arts. She worked with the staff at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History on the Hyperbolic Crocheted Coral Reef project. She taught weaving and dyeing at Armstrong Atlantic State University and taught workshops for The Blue Ridge Fiber Guild, The Weavers Guild of Greater Baltimore, The Piedmont Fiber Guild, Interweave Press YarnFest and more. She offers a variety of workshops as well as private & small group lessons.

UPCOMING WORKSHOPS

LEIGH HILBERT

Maker and educator, Leigh A. Hilbert has owned a handbag company, created and managed a maker space, and is currently the Education Coordinator for The Carolina Textile District, as well as Product Development Director at Sew Co. in Asheville. One of the three founders of Open Studio Patterns, you can find her on their YouTube channel hosting sew alongs as well!

UPCOMING WORKSHOPS

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BETTY HILTON-NASH

Betty Hilton-Nash has been weaving tapestries for 30 years. She has won awards for her work from the American Tapestry Alliance, Handweavers Guild of America, the Blue Ridge Fiber show and the Australian Tapestry Workshop. She has been a member of the Southern Highlands Craft Guild since 2018. Betty Hilton-Nash started her tapestry career as a contract weaver at Pam Patrie Studios in Portland, Oregon in 1990. Over the years she has studied with leading tapestry artists Archie Brennan, Jean Pierre Larochette and Philip Playe of the Gobelin in Paris.

UPCOMING WORKSHOPS

JUDI JETSON

Judi is a fiberactivist with a community economic developer’s heart. She’s made things with fiber since her grandmother taught her to knit at age 5, learned tie-dye and batik in the 1960s, weaving in the 1980s and surface design in the 1990s. Judi has worked with state & local governments and the U.S. Small Business Administration on job creation, the farm crisis and rural economic development. In 2010, Judi joined HandMade in America and now leads a nonprofit she helped found - Local Cloth - to help grow the fiber economy in Western North Carolina. Judi likes to knit, spin, dye, make paper and yarnbomb. She enjoys teaching spinning and paper-making classes at Local Cloth.

UPCOMING WORKSHOPS

COURTNEY LACARIA

Courtney LaCaria is a farmer and fiber artist. She lives with her family on an alpaca farm that focuses on regenerative practices and provides the fleece that she spins into yarn and weaves into fiber art. Finding inspiration in nature and stories, Courtney's work reflects her love for art as both product and practice, creating fiber art that embodies the elements of joy, connection and gratitude. Courtney’s work is featured at Local Cloth and includes framed weavings, rugged totes, and functional accessories like mug rugs and bookmarks. Although weaving is her primary passion, she also spins, sews and embroiders. When she is not out on the farm or making art, Courtney can be found in the kitchen baking or outside getting lost in the woods. Courtney is grateful and humbled to have been featured in Asheville Made magazine and enjoys teaching beginning and intermediate weaving workshops at Local Cloth.

UPCOMING WORKSHOPS

CLAUDIA LEMACKS

Claudia has enjoyed a lifelong love of fiber and fabric, She has made clothing, costumes, toys and made alterations since her teens. She also put her hand to embroidery, beading, appliqué, needlepoint and macramé. Her current love is working with wool. She makes an assortment of felted critters and paints with wool, (pictures to frame). Claudia has been sharing her love of wool with other fiber lovers for the past 6 years. She especially loves to teach beginner needle felting. In her class you will leave with a finished creation and a new addiction!

UPCOMING WORKSHOPS

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EMOLYN LIDEN

Emolyn is an artist, musician, and dancer. She grew up in Brasstown, North Carolina and discovered her love of craft at a young age observing the artists in her community. She learned from her mother about raising sheep, natural fiber, and to knit without patterns which led her to spinning and natural dyeing. A graduate of the professional craft program in jewelry at Haywood Community College, Emolyn is interested in the cross-section of fiber and metalsmithing, how to create a softness in something structured like metal, and how to create sculptural art with knitting techniques. She is a community-minded teaching artist who blends her passion of music, dance, and craft to empower others to discover confidence, creativity, connection and understanding. Emolyn serves as the Summer Camp Coordinator, working with kids and youth at Local Cloth.

SUMMER CAMPS FOR KIDS + TEENS

ANN OAKES

Ann loves making coil baskets! Ann made my first coil basket in the 1960's with directions she found in a pamphlet. It was not, though, until many years later, when retirement was on the horizon that she decided to pick up the craft again. Fast forward five years later: Ann is a full-time fiber artist and became a member of the Southern Highland Craft Guild in January of 2022. From baskets to bowls to wall décor and now replica bird nests, Ann has found something unique and fun to do, and enjoys sharing the art of coil basket making with others.

UPCOMING WORKSHOPS

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LYNNE NOBLE

Lynne is a life-long fiber enthusiast and a retired Education professor. Her retirement move to Asheville was fueled in part by the fiber community and the opportunity to expand her skills and techniques. She found Local Cloth early on and has been involved in many ways with this wonderful collective of fiber folks. Lynne loves January when there are specific beginner classes offered for the New Year. She primarily teaches knitting, crocheting and embroidery/crewel classes. She also continues to take classes, both to expand her skills and to remember what it is like to be new at something!

UPCOMING WORKSHOPS

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AMY READER

Amy Reader is an Asheville-based fiber artist and educator. She works primarily with wool, yarn, felt, and thread. Her work explores tiny moments of joy found in the natural world, translated through her vivid sensory experience as an autistic artist. Amy has been a professional artist since 2018. She was named one of The Rising Tide’s 20 On The Rise in 2019. In 2023, her solo show Beneath the Surface was featured on the Hello, Rose City! Artist Corner on KGW in Portland, Oregon. Amy studied both art and education in college. She has taught students from kindergarten to retirees in classrooms, museums, galleries, and local community centers. Amy has been a fiber artist since she was 6 years old and loves sharing her knowledge and experience with others.

UPCOMING WORKSHOPS

DEBORAH ROBERTSON

Deborah Robertson comes from a long line of knitters, weavers, seamstresses and embroiderers. It’s no wonder she took to shoemaking once she found a teacher upon her arrival in Asheville. In her Asheville studio Deborah makes bespoke, custom, handmade shoes and boots using hand-welted, pegged and cemented shoe construction methods. At Footwear Symposium 2018 she earned a “shout out” for her hand-welted Balmoral button boots. Deborah is interested in making custom shoes for folk dancers, as well as historical footwear for the stage and for everyday. Deborah has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Printmaking from the University of South Carolina. She has also worked as a potter and a fiber artist.

UPCOMING WORKSHOPS

MARY EARLE SIGLER

Mary holds a BFA in Fashion Design and has worked in NY’s fashion district under a burgeoning designer, as a tailor for Colonial Williamsburg’s Costume Department and a costume designer for community theater. She taught sewing and art to curious and distracted minds in middle school and private lessons. When it was a new thing, Mary started a sewing blog and YouTube channel, The Daily Sew, to explain away all the confusing bits about sewing. Mary continues to teach sewing and patternmaking in person and virtually and always has too many sewing projects going on at one time. Her spark is lit when she can teach anybody how to sew, sew better, or just fix their favorite sweater.

UPCOMING WORKSHOPS

ELIZABETH STRUB

Elizabeth has been raising some form of four-legged animals (sheep, goats, llamas and alpacas) and two-legged animals (chickens and geese) since moving to her current acreage near Weaverville in 2001. “ Hobby” is the important word in her farm name: this work is a passion for Elizabeth. She settled on Jacob sheep (heritage breed) as her primary stock and long wool breeds that include Border Leicester, Cotswold and Blue Faced Leicester cross. Elizabeth sells breeding stock, raw fleece, handspun and millspun yarns, roving for hand spinners, hand-dyed rovings and locks in her studio at Local Cloth. She also enjoys teaching beginning spinning workshops.

UPCOMING WORKSHOPS

  • No upcoming events

KIMMY TOLBERT

Kimmy is an artist and art educator who primarily works with fiber, mixed media, and printmaking. She is fascinated by organic forms in nature, intuition and memory, and the concept of place, particularly inner and outer landscapes. She has a Masters of Arts in Teaching from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and taught Visual Art in Chicago Public Schools for 9 years before moving to Asheville two years ago. She loves creating spaces for people to come together and create, and she teaches frame loom weaving workshops under the name Gather Handwoven. She has worked with the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Intuit Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art, the National Arts Education Association, and is a Board Member for the nonprofit Mini Studio.

UPCOMING WORKSHOPS

JOYCE TROMBA

After living and teaching around the world for 30 years Joyce is happily settled into life in lovely Western North Carolina. Her travels have exposed her to many fiber traditions and she has always found groups of fiber folks wherever she was to share her making with. Joyce has 20+ years teaching design, sewing, knitting, quilting and bookmaking and Natural Dyeing to High School students and adults. She has studied fiber and book arts at Penland, Arrowmont and the Center for Book Arts in New York City. She is also a Master Gardener and tends a natural dye garden at the Buncombe county extension office. She teaches natural dyeing and other fiber arts at Local Cloth, John C Campbell and the North Carolina Arboretum.

UPCOMING WORKSHOPS

VASANTO

Vasanto has working with wool and color since learning to knit as a child. She uses wet-felting techniques for hat-making, bags and wall hangings, and nuno-felting to make flexible fabrics for scarves and clothing. Vasanto also dyes her own wools and silks to use in her work. Vasanto has studied with Beth Beede, Chad Hagen, Jean Hicks and others. She teaches in many settings, including the Southeaster Animal Fiber Fair (SAFF), Local Cloth and her private studio.

UPCOMING WORKSHOPS

JENNIFER WOODRUFF

Jennifer grew up on a sheep farm in Marshall north of Asheville in Madison County. Her mother taught her sewing, weaving, spinning and natural dyeing in the late 1990s. Jennifer later learned knitting and crocheting to teach handwork at a Waldorf school. Jennifer has been practicing natural dyeing for 27 years, and plans to continue teaching and creating new products. Her favorite thing about teaching on this subject is the importance of protecting the earth. Jennifer’s business reflects her goal to protect the earth and keep her mother’s legacy alive. A Local Cloth Resident Artist since 2023, she focuses on naturally-dyed clothing and items for the home.

UPCOMING WORKSHOPS


Local Cloth, Inc.

408 Depot Street, #100

Asheville, NC 28801
828.774.5134

Info@localcloth.org

Copyright © 2012-2024 by Local Cloth, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Artists' work and images are property of the individual artists.

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