CHARIS BIRCHALL is a textile designer based in Calgary, Alberta. She earned her BFA in Fibre from the Alberta College of Art & Design. Her work has been shown at Arts Commons, the Leighton Arts Centre and the galleries at the Alberta College of Art & Design. She has also participated in several self-directed, juried residencies.
Charis’s clean and simple designs are either block- or screen-printed onto natural fibres using water-based, solvent-free inks. The designs begin as sketches, which are turned into repeat patterns that she either burns onto a silk screen or carves into a rubber block. Charis has always loved textiles, however the first time she realized she would pursue it seriously was when her first-year drawing teacher at ACAD allowed her to sew her assignments.
Charis is an active volunteer in the arts community, including her role as Vice President of Contextural, a dynamic group of textile artists who foster a cooperative, creative environment in support of the production of new artistic works. She also co-chairs Timeraiser150, a unique program that supports local artists and nonprofit organizations and promotes volunteerism in communities.
When she’s not printing, creating designs or dreaming up new things to make, Charis is hanging out with her two awesome kids and equally amazing husband. www.charisrose.com
CAROLINE FORDE was born in Hamilton, Ontario and graduated from Sheridan College's Craft and Design Textile Program in 2015. She has traveled out west to Calgary to complete her BFA in Fiber at the Alberta College of Art and Design.
While pursuing her craft education Caroline has been the recipient of two textile residencies at Peters Valley School of Craft in Layton, New Jersey and at Harbourfront Center in Torontro,Ontario.
In the studio Caroline creates hand printed textiles that focus on surface design for interiors and apparel. She celebrates how she sees the world through drawing and then translates these drawings into patterns. Currently her work has been focused on experimenting with natural dyes and pigments through dying and printing techniques. The patterns she creates are hand drawn and screen printed onto natural fabrics.
Caroline’s practice is highly influenced by sustainability, she strives to create products that are friendly for the environment and customer. Through her work she hopes to show the world just how much handmade objects and Canadian design has to offer. www.carolinefordedesigns.com.
BILL MORTON graduated from the Alberta College of Art, Calgary in 1967 and worked for Alberta Culture for three years. In 1970 the artist moved to Japan to study and work for Kunio Isa [a noted dyer in Kyoto] until 1983. Upon his return to Canada Bill began teaching at ACAD, until present. The artist has participated in numerous solo and group shows, he is a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts (RCA). His work is collected and shown in the United States, Japan, China and Canada.
“My process is open-ended, offering limitless opportunities for exploration of colour and pattern. Each piece reflects a particular state of mind. The techniques I use take time and patience and require focus as unanticipated variations can occur when material, colour and process coalesce into something new.”
KARIN THORSTEINSSON is an alumni of the Alberta College of Art + Design (BFA Fibre) and a recent graduate from the the Glasgow School of Art (MLitt Fine Art Practice).
Born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Karin’s work is primarily focused on the use of brushed on dye and wax resist to create landscape paintings on silk.
"The process of brushing dyes on cloth and using resists to create line and depth is an incredibly slow, laborious and contemplative process when compared to many alternative painting processes. I find my connection to and passion for the natural landscape, namely the Rocky Mountains, has grown stronger in the attempt to depict its complexity and vastness using a medium with natural limitations."
CORINNE COWELL is a mixed media artist who was born in Toronto, Canada in 1970. She received her BFA, with Distinction, from the Alberta College of Art and Design. Her work is retained in many collections both commercial and private.
She began her graphic design company in 1994 and in 1996 won a first prize in booth design for Health Canada at the Edmonton Womens Show. Corinne also won 2 gold and 1 merit award for printing excellence in graphic design in 1997. She started getting back to her fine art roots in 2001 when she participated in a group show in Calgary.
After pausing to raise her young family, in 2010 she decided to refocus her career entirely on visual arts. She re-discovered a love of fibre in 2011 and has been developing and refining her technique in order to create a unique style of presentation for her mixed media felted work. Her pieces have sold nationally and internationally.
Her current work deals with narratives and memories as well as the environment and our place within it. She uses whatever media supports her imagery and theme ranging from needle and wet felted wool, acrylic paint and photo transfer, to silk, paper, and horse hair to express her visual stories.
Her work is available through the Alberta Craft Gallery and she participates in the Art Market at the TELUS Convention Centre every year. This juried exhibition showcases the talents of over 200 fine artists from across Canada.
Corinne lives and works in Calgary, AB. www.corrinecowell.com
JOLIE BIRD is a Canadian artist currently residing in Calgary, Alberta Canada. In April 2013, she received a Masters of Fine Art in Craft from NSCAD University, Halifax Nova Scotia. She is currently employed at the Alberta College of Art & Design as the Educational Art Technician for the Fibre Program. Her work has be shown throughout Canada and the United States including Fiberart International 2013: An exhibition of contemporary fibre art presented by the Fiberarts Guild of Pittsburgh, Fibreworks 2012: A biennial juried exhibition of Canadian fibre art and In The Making: A group exhibition of Alberta College of Art + Design alumni that investigates conceptual intersections between contemporary craft and emerging digital media. Bird’s practice incorporates simple yet laborious techniques that focus on the making while presenting an invested length of time and the transformation of ordinary objects into functional and non-functional precious works of art. www.joliebird.com
IRENE RASETTI spent several years in Milan, Italy where she received a diploma in Fashion Design. She won an internship at Genny and went on to work for various design houses including Gianfranco Ferre and Gianni Versace. After a decade of working in fashion, she moved back to Canada and continued her exploration with fashion and textiles through varying degrees.
Presently, Irene continues to design and produce a small batch, ethically made clothing line with a key focus on natural dyeing and botanical contact printing. Flora, plant matter, and non-toxic metals and minerals are used to create her one-of-a-kind garments and accessories. She also enjoys sharing her knowledge through teaching workshops and classes on eco-printing and bundle dyeing. www.irenerasetti.com