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Fiber classes offered this winter at BBAC

January 16, 2013

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Repeat felt tile patterns can be joined together to create garments like this jacket. The BBAC will offer classes on repeat felt tile making in February.

BIRMINGHAM — The Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center is kicking off the new year with new classes that can improve students’ art skills, spirits and even their wardrobe.

For those who want to look as good on the outside as they feel on the inside in 2013, the BBAC is offering a two-day comprehensive workshop where participants will learn about the fine art of felt-making. From 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. Feb. 9 and 16, students will design a repeat tile unit using personal imagery, which will become the pattern for hand-made felt tiles that can be used to create anything from pillows, wall-pieces, quilts, garments and more.

According to Cindi Mills, vice president of programs and exhibitions at the BBAC, the felt tile class and the other fiber courses are a great way for fashonistas to learn how to develop their personal styles even further.

“The BBAC fiber department continues to expand and is very fortunate to be offering three new workshops instructed by talented Michigan fiber artists that will share their expertise in specific areas. These workshops will be very exciting and beneficial to those who sign up,” said Mills in an email.

Learning how to use felt can be just as fun as creating it, which is why the center is offering a class to teach students about pattern-making, surface-design techniques, hand-stitching and more. The Industrial Felt Haversack course, held 9 a.m.-noon Feb. 22-March 15, will give participants the chance to create their own industrial wool felt carryall.

Finally, as winter comes to a close, the BBAC will offer an advanced knitting class to help intermediate and advanced knitting students eliminate hours of knitting and wasted materials on garments that don’t fit. The one-day workshop held 10 a.m.-4 p.m. March 20 will teach students tricks and shortcuts to make knit-wear fit great every time.

President and CEO of the BBAC Annie VanGelderen said the fiber classes featured this winter are a fantastic addition to the art center’s already impressive course offerings, and she hopes students will enjoy the selection of study areas to choose from.

“Diverse, trendy and for all skill levels, there is something for everyone this winter,” said VanGelderen in a prepared statement. “Whether it is ceramics, knitting, jewelry-making, encaustic painting, drawing  … we have it all.”

The BBAC’s fiber classes range in price from $72-$184 depending on the class and membership status. For more information, including a complete list of hundreds of classes, visit or call (248) 644-0866.

The Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center is located at 1516 Cranbrook Road in Birmingham.

About the author

Staff Writer Tiffany Esshaki covers Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Franklin and Bingham Farms along with Birmingham Public Schools, Oakland County Parks and Recreation and Oakland County Animal Control and Pet Adoption Center. Esshaki has worked for C & G Newspapers since 2011 and attended the University of Michigan-Dearborn and Oakland Community College.

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