About Pacific Textile Arts
Pacific Textile Arts is a non-profit organization devoted to furthering education, dialogue, and support for a broad range of textile and related arts. We are headquartered on the Mendocino Coast, but our membership now includes fiber people from all areas in California and many from out of state. With the help of generous donors, we have purchased property in Fort Bragg, California, which will soon serve as a small yet energetic center for the textile arts. The property is adjacent to the world renowned fine wood working studio run by the College of the Redwoods Fort Bragg Campus.
An old Victorian fixer upper is situated at the front of our property, leaving a more than adequate space behind on which to build several teaching studios.We have provided the house with a good foundation, fresh exterior paint and many other improvements. Two upstairs bedrooms are now serving as “demonstration” studios. A small front bedroom houses our rapidly growing library which boasts of over 1300 catalogued volumes covering every imaginable area of textile study. The former dining room was recently transformed into a very functional office space holding our files, archives, textile collection, desks and work tables for processing library books.
We hope to build four small studio living units to be rented to fine wood working or weaving students, bringing a steady source of income to make our whole operation self sustaining in the future. In the Fall of 2000, we constructed a storage shed near the rear of the old building to house some of the high quality equipment that has been donated to us. We are now rewiring the old house and will follow that with new plumbing and the renovation of the remaining rooms in the house. These will be used for hospitality, exhibit, and meeting space. Because of our proximity to the Fort Bragg Middle School and the Senior Center, many worthwhile activities designed for sharing skills with the young and the elderly will easily be carried out at this site.
What Are Textiles? We can trace the history of man through the study of textiles. From the time of wearing skins to the earliest spinning of fiber, to the rich and diverse development of garments, bedding, home adornments for furniture and walls, we see the progression of our ways of maintaining body warmth and decor. The study of past household textiles and creation of contemporary wall coverings such as rugs and tapestries are both educational and valuable as a creative outlet in addition to providing employment. Spinning, weaving, surface design on cloth, knitting, crochet, ornamental braiding, embroidery and lace making are just a few of the textile activities which come to us from the past and which deserve to be studied and preserved. There is a vast cottage industry available for people who must, or who prefer to work at home, especially those caring for small children or elderly family members.
Educating and Communicating
View of California Rug Project showing uncut knots,
handspun warps and a section of the design cartoon.