The Fiber Craft Studio, formerly the Craft Studio of Sunbridge College, has evolved over the course of 20 years serving the students of the college and offering courses and workshops open to the public. In the summer of 2008 it became a separate initiative and joined the family of institutions that are working under the umbrella of the Threefold Educational Center seeking to put into practice the ideas inspired by the work of Rudolf Steiner.
Over the course of time many individuals have contributed to its social fabric, nurtured its spiritual substance and cared for its physical spaces, gardens, tools and materials. This collaborative working in the service of ideals is still one of its hallmarks today.
Who We Are
Graduated from the first Applied Arts Cycle in 1999. She was a handwork teacher at Green Meadow Waldorf School for 15 years and at the West Side Community School, a charter school in NYC, for 2 years. She is program director for the Applied Arts Program.
Co-Director Fiber Craft Studio
Research Associate and long-time co-worker and volunteer at the Fiber Craft Studio. Her love of plant dyeing combined with her background in clothing design makes her a valuable colleague. She is presently studying in the AAP 9th cycle.
Former Co-Director FCS
Developed and nurtured the life of the studio for 12 years. She returned to Japan in summer 2014. One of her main focuses has been research on the Renewal of the Art of Clothing, which had begun as collaborative work with Renate Hiller. Though her work will continue in Japan, she remains an emeritus member of our Advisory Circle and we look forward to future collaboration.
Currently serves as Mentor to the Studio. She has served the development of the studio since 1989, and continues to participate in the studio"s research activities. She co-founded the Sunbridge College Applied Arts Program in 1996. Renate is indebted to the late Margarethe Frohlich, a celebrated pioneer in teaching handwork in North American Waldorf Schools, for her guidance and years of mentoring.
Former Co-Director FCS
Currently acting as the office administrator for the Fiber Craft Studio. Kei is also an assistant handwork teacher at the Green Meadow Waldorf School. She also teaches after school textile and sewing classes at GMWS. She is parent coordinator for the GMWS parent handwork group. She has been a clothing designer for 19 years. Her children attend GMWS. Kei will begin studying in the AAP 11th cycle.
Jaime Arenas, Renate Hiller, Chris Marlow, Miho Suzuki, Kei Zemlicka
Study / Practice
In our collaborative working as fiber artisans we are inspired by a spirit-imbued image of the human being, nature and the cosmos. Whether we take in the wonders embodied in a lock of wool fleece or in a silkworm cocoon, or whether we observe a plant as it metamorphoses through the seasons, we cannot but be filled with awe and gratitude for nature's gifts. As we become engaged not only with our eyes and our mind, but also with our hands and our heart, nature begins to reveal her secrets - we may sense and feel the creative spirit active in it. As fiber artisans, it is our task and our privilege to continue the work of nature - working with her materials, inspired by her gestures of color and form, to create objects for daily use that are both functional and beautiful. Balancing usefulness and beauty, so that perfect harmony is achieved, is the goal we set ourselves again and again. As we transform nature's gifts, we practice approaching all realms of life with artistic sensibility.
We practice and research the art and craft of dyeing with plants to bring harmonious, truly beautiful colors to the fibers and yarns we use. We grow many of the plants in our dye-garden in the biodynamic gardens of the Pfeiffer Center, or we harvest them in the surrounding countryside. We also use some of the plant materials grown in tropical regions. The living sun-imbued quality of plant colors is a therapy for the senses and brings nourishment to the soul.
Through hand-spinning, knitting, crocheting, felting and sewing - using beautiful, mostly plant-dyed materials - we seek to enliven the art of clothing. Can clothing become a true art again that serves the human being in body, soul and spirit? This is a question we live with, as we create garments inspired by Rudolf Steiner's indications for a renewal of the art of clothing. (Please visit our Gallery to see some of our handmade vests, tops and accessories.)
Our ongoing study, practice and research are the basis for our teaching and all other activities:
Applied Arts Program (Handwork Teacher Education)
This part-time program supports the spiritual and practical growth of Waldorf handwork teachers or individuals aspiring to become teachers. The program explores the art, philosophy, practice and pedagogy of teaching handwork. It is also a forum for sharing insights and experiences arising in the classroom. Participants meet two weeks in the summer and one week in the winter for four years. Preparatory reading and independent research complement the coursework. A new cycle begins every two years. To learn more about the program, find out when the next cycle begins and apply, click here: Applied Arts Program.
We offer several weekday and weekend workshops each year in plant-dyeing, felting, sewing, knitting and other fiber crafts. Each workshop offers the opportunity to rediscover the wonders of natural materials, to learn new skills, and to immerse oneself in an artistic, transformative process. The emphasis is on the process of creation and on working with others.
Click here for a listing of our Current Workshops.
Our "Sheep to Shawl" One-Year Course takes a group of participants through the seasons from January to December (including a summer break). During the course of the year - while exploring the crafts of spinning, dyeing with plants and knitting - several whole wool fleeces are transformed into individualized creations. Study/conversation and artistic classes are included to deepen the hands-on craft activities. To learn more and register, click here: Sheep to Shawl Course.
Open Studio and Sales
We sell our plant-dyed fibers, yarns, fiber craft kits and clothing patterns at our Studio in Orchard House and online. The Studio is open for customers and visitors most Fridays from 2:30PM - 4:30PM. To see a selection of what we offer: Shop
Our products along with some unique offerings can also be found at local events and fiber festivals. We'd love for you to stop by and visit us:
Rhinebeck Sheep & Wool Festival (Mid-October, Yearly)
Fiber Craft Studio Sheep & Wool Festival (Last weekend in May, Yearly)
Fiber Craft Studio
275 Hungry Hollow Road
Chestnut Ridge, NY 10977
Sow the seeds of the future...
Help support our research in clothing, plant-dyeing and children’s handwork education.