2017 Workshop Instructors


ash alberg
 is a queer femme and fibre witch who seeks to create beautiful and practical designs using sustainable methods. equally importantly, they seek to nurture the skills, knowledge, and creativity of fellow fibre witches to achieve their goals. ash can also be found at manitoba fibre festival as a vendor (drop by for the launch of their second knitwear design book, Ferðaskór), and is the curator of the first ever manitoba fibre festival pattern collection, the flatlands collection. you can find ash at crafted this november, where they will be teaching another indigo-based workshop involving quilt tops. ash is the creator of the creative coven, an online shawl design course. 

Mandy Furney (Mandyz; the zed is silent) teaches about religion in the evening, but during the days while she is keeping kids out of trouble she likes to knit, crochet, and spin.  She also enjoys designing knit items with a focus on designs for hand-spun yarns.

Linda Glowacki has worked in oils, watercolor, acrylics, pastel, conte crayon, pencil, and pen and ink; she has also dabbled in sculpting clay and carving wood. The acquisition of a flock of Shetland sheep, and the resulting treasure trove of naturally colored fibre led to experiments with felting and needlefelting. When Linda “paints with fleece” the spirit as well as substance of each subject is captured with a vibrancy and texture difficult to achieve on canvas alone. Each work of fibre art is a delight not only to the eye, but to the fingertips.

Susie Gourlay is a fibre artist and wool judge from Regina, Saskatchewan. She is a professional craftsperson, handspinner and designer with a focus on natural fibre.  She is a member of the Regina Weavers and Spinners Guild, the Saskatchewan Weaver and Spinners Guild, and a Team Leader for Etsy SK.  Susie is a big supporter of the wool industry striving to promote the value of wool.  Her work has been seen on the runway at Sask Fashion Week, in galleries and shops throughout the prairies and in magazines as far away as the UK.

Anna-Marie Janzen – I am the owner/operator of Reclaim Mending, a Winnipeg-based clothing repairs and alterations service. I started sewing when I was 3 years old, at the feet of my grandmother. Years of a love of sewing and mending, and a passion for fair fashion has led me to embark on this journey of small business. My goal is to help people make their clothes last – so we can all reduce our consumption and the strain we put on the planet and on humanity with the fast fashion industry.

Monika Kinner-Whalen is a professional fibre artist specializing in freestyle embroidery.  She is a juried member of the Saskatchewan Craft Council. Her creations are expressions of love for the prairie and often originate from her own personal photographs.  Self taught, Monika explores the texture and intricate beauty that can be achieved by working with fibre. Her award winning work is cherished in private collections around the world including Canada, the UK, USA, Australia, New Zealand, and France.  Monika lives with her family of 5 in Saskatoon, SK.

Cathy Merkley is a partner in the Alpaca Loft, and in T’n’C Farms, an alpaca breeding operation near Lloydminster, Saskatchewan. Cathy has a lifelong interest in fibre arts. She is qualified as an International fleece and halter judge for huacaya and suri alpacas. Cathy is also a certified  halter and fleece judge under the AOBA system.

Laura Reeves, botanist and founder of Prairie Shore Botanicals, regularly shares her passion for wild edibles and wilderness skills through presentations, workshops and guided plant walks. She is the bestselling author of Laura Reeves’ Guide to Useful Plants – From Acorns to Zoom Sticks.

Morag Schonken is an interdisciplinary artist, emerging curator & writer and environmental advocate whose interests include installation, sound, sculpture, weaving, homesteading, and community projects. Born in Zimbabwe, Morag has traveled most of her life, living, creating, and exhibiting in Toronto, Winnipeg, Halifax, Australia, England, Singapore, South Africa, and currently in Pierson, Manitoba. She has her BFA from NSCAD University, Visual Arts Diploma from the Toronto School of Art, Graduated from MAWA’s Foundation Mentorship Program, and a Drawing and Painting Certificate from the Haliburton School of Art. 

Joanne Seiff is the author of three books, including Knit Green and Fiber Gathering.  She’s a long time spinner and knitter, and occasional dyer and weaver.  Her fibre arts articles have appeared in Spin-Off, Vogue Knitting, Interweave Knits and other fibre arts publications.  Joanne has a long time interest in the huge variety of fibres available for spinning.  She wants to encourage spinners to explore diversity in their fibre choices.  She believes this experimentation and exploration widens our knowledge as spinners.  She’s enthusiastic about the history of diversity –from crossbred sheep, fibre plants and rare breed animal conservation.

Diana Twiss is an experienced fibre arts instructor with a background in adult education and fine art. Passionate about fibre, fabric, colour and texture, she has introduced many beginners to the wonders of making yarn and has helped experienced spinners experiment with technique, colour, and fibre to take their spinning to a new level. She especially loves spindles because of their simplicity, beauty and portability.

Living in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, Diana is a regular fibre arts instructor for the Langley Weavers and Spinners guild as well as at Fibres West in Cloverdale, Knit City in Vancouver, and Valley Yarns in Surrey. Since 2010 she has travelled to Haida Gwaii on three amazing occasions to teach 2-day workshops in spindle spinning for the Haida Gwaii Arts Council. Diana taught 4 full-day spinning classes at Old’s College Fibre Week in 2016. She is on the roster to teach again at Olds College Fibre Week 2017, at ANWG 2017 in Victoria BC and the Vancouver Island Fibre Festival in May 2017 in Campbell River, BC.

Ev Ward de Roo is a multidisciplinary artist working with fibre in mixed media, textiles, thread and stones and with music as a soundwork practitioner and sonic mystic.www.nurturingspace.ca, Instagram @wavesongart,www.wavesong.etsy.com