West County Fiber Arts
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Article on the Blog Nesting in the Fibershed: West County Fiber Arts School
West County Fiber Arts offers private felting lessons with fiber artist Heidi Harris. During the COVID pandemic, lessons are limited to one-on-one with social distancing protocols.
Heidi is a native Californian with a Bachelors’ Degree in Business Management. In addition to founding and running a fiber arts school, she worked as a Law Office manager while also donating time on behalf of non-profits that are closely aligned with her passions.
The vision of the West County Arts school was to create a learning environment that supported the finest teachers in their respective craft and provided a conducive space for each student to open herself/himself to learning and the creative process. After three successful years, Heidi closed the school to pursue other interests.
Heidi’s passion for felting was first ignited when she attended the Fibershed Wool Symposium. She then 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.
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)