Local Fiber Incubator

Spring 2018
Instructor: Amy Campos
Upper Division Interdisciplinary Studio (UDIST)

This interdisciplinary class explores the range of local fibers found within a one and a half hour radius of San Francisco, the processing of them into proposals and artifacts, and the documentation and presentation of these resources.  Students connect directly with ranchers and farmers, hand spinners and fabricators and have instructional making time in a studio environment. Projects are arranged around field trips to gather fiber, research and information, and studio time to develop material form studies and prototypes, guided by a series of cumulative projects throughout the semester, which build upon each other to bring the students from small scale material studies to developed, marketable and functioning prototypes, exhibited publicly at the end of the semester. The course develops primary research skills, documentation in hard copy, photographic and video form, as well as hands-on workshops, including felting, dying as well as working in the soft lab and wood and rapid prototyping shops on the CCA SF campus, and finally and exhibition curation and installation. This course partners with a number of entities to enrich and contextualize the students’ making. These include: Fibershed, Black Rock Ranch, Coyuchi, Peace Industry, Stinson Beach Library, Mann Family Farm, and Janice Arnold.

Students develop a strong sense of materiality and place as well as a ‘globalocal’ perspective - on a small scale, by following and documenting fiber from its source through to final products; and on a large scale, by experiencing the economic pressures of small farmers and ranchers working in the larger economic systems of trade and commerce.  Students also develop an understanding of the relationships between rural and urban, local and global, rancher/farmer and designer, and slow and fast cycles.  In the studio, students are expected to gather intermediate skills in felting and will be exposed to potential augmented manufacturing techniques and to become adept at transforming fiber into final products through physical prototyping and development using CCA's labs.