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Susan Mills - Fibre Arts Teacher 

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2009 Teachers

 

Susan Barrett Merrill, Fibre Sculptor, Designer & Certified Life Coach

 

photo of Susan's face

Susan Barrett Merrill was born in New London, Connecticut, USA, in 1946. She graduated from Goddard College in Vermont, with a BA in Art and Education. She received a graduate degree from New Experimental College in Jutland, Denmark; The Aegean School of Fine Arts, Paros, Greece, and Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts. She holds a teaching certificate in Maine.

Susan holds professional certifications in education, career development and life coaching, and is a member of the International Coach Federation. She has been developing life plans with a wide range of clients since 1983. She is a pioneer in the field of fiber arts education for people with disabilities, and has represented the United States at symposia on arts and disabilities in Kobe, Japan and Washington, D.C.

Susan has been spinning and weaving for over 25 years. She has studied advanced weaving techniques at Penland School of Crafts, North Carolina and in New Mexico with Cordelia Coronado. Her work has been exhibited in professional craft shows and galleries on both coasts. She has taught weaving and spinning at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, in Waldorf schools, summer camps, and in studios in California, New Hampshire and Maine.

Susan's Zati masks have seen performance and exhibition in the US and abroad, including the Fiber Biennale in Chieri, Italy. She presents hands-on workshops based on each of the seven keyforms which she developed.  Learn more about her at weavingalife.com. Susan's Zati Mask website: www.zatimask.com.

Sharon Costello, Fibre Artist & Teacher

Sharon Costello is an accomplished fiber artist who has worked in hand-spinning, weaving, and knitting as well as having raised her own flock of naturally colored sheep. Once she discovered feltmaking, however, it quickly came to dominate her fiber fixation. These days, Sharon's work focuses on soft-sculpture dolls and one of a kind and limited-edition wearable art... hats, jackets, bags, boots, etc. While she sells her work at juried crafts shows, her primary focus currently is on teaching. She has also completed special works for clients such as Celestial Seasonings Teas (a tea cozy inspired by their line of teas).
Sharon is an accomplished feltmaking teacher. She offers classes for adults and children through private arrangement, fiber arts guilds and regularly scheduled workshops. She has studied modern and ancient feltmaking techniques both in the US and in Turkey. 
Feltmaking is the most ancient form of fiber art dating as far back as 6,300 BC. In the 19th century, there was a thriving feltmaking industry in Rensselaerville. One can still find the remains of the Huyck Felt Mill just over the footbridge within the Huyck Nature Preserve. It is quite fitting that a new breed of feltmaker (one focusing on the artistic rather than the industrial uses of felt) would make her home in this historic village.

Visit her website at www.blacksheepdesigns.com

Marianne Dubois,

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Marianne has been a weaver since 1985, and began felting in 1991. Introduced to needlefelting in 1995 by internationally renown Felt Master Beth Beede, she has been exploring the design possibilities ever since. She is the principal designer for the duBois deRoche label.  where she creates wraps, scarves, vests, and other wearable items for women who desire unique and elegant wearable designs.

She has taught the technique to groups both large and small in Maine and on the West Coast. In the last few years, she has also been exploring nuno felting, focussing on scarves and shawls. She has now expanded her nuno scarf-making into clothing design.

Visit her website at www.duboisderoche.com

 

Trevor Todd, Bermudian Artist - Bio to come

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ronnie Chameau, Bermudian Watercolorist & Banana Doll Maker

In her art world, Ronnie is a water colorist. In 1986 however, she revived the art of doll making by teaching herself to handcraft dolls using banana and palm leaves and other natural materials. She was presented "The Bermuda Gold Award"  in 2001 for her famous Christmas ornaments, Angels, and Nativity Scenes which often become tourist souvenirs. In May 2003, The Bermuda Philatelic Bureau proudly presented a stamp featuring two of Ronnie’s Dolls. Additionally, she expresses her love for woodworking through her beautiful doll house creations made from a variety of local natural materials including Bermuda Cedar.

Oprah Winfrey, the Smithsonian Archives in Washington, D. C., and the Mashantucket Pequot Museum in Connecticut have her dolls in their collections and she has been featured in many local magazines, newspapers, and overseas travel books as well as on television and radio. Ronnie continues to keep the art of banana doll making alive by teaching her dying art throughout Bermuda.

 

Gail Graham, Stitchery Artist

Since about 5 years old Gail has been stitching, knitting and crafting, having been taught by her grandmother and sisters and sisters-in-law. There has never been a time in her life when she has not been involved in doing some form of handwork. Throughout her teaching career, needlework and crafting was a stress reliever and refuge during challenging periods. No that she is retired, it has become an all-consuming passion!

She does bobbin lace making, cross stitch, haranguer, blackwork, and canvas work on a regular basis. She also does tatting, knitting, Brazilian embroidery, schwalm embroidery, and goldwork occasionally. She especially enjoys trying new techniques, and sharing her skills with others who wish to learn them.

 

Ronnie Lopes – Rustic Furniture

 

Local trees and discarded wood gets a second life through the hands of Ronnie Lopes. Using bay grape, spice, casuarinas, and cedar wood, he creates rustic chairs, tables, benches, bedsteads, and other garden ornaments to include trellises and arbors.

It all started after Hurricane Fabian.  When he went to collect his son Nicholas from school and he noticed an L-shaped piece of tree that reminded him of the side of a chair which he took home and began to create with.

 His friends chided him and called it “The Flintstones Chair” but he carried on, soon realizing that there was an interest in Rustic furniture in Bermuda, but more importantly, that he was developing a passion for creating with wood.

Ronnie uses all types of found wood incorporating both natural local, and discarded milled lumber.  He continues to collect wood from various types of trees that have been felled which he uses throughout his work.

 

Shina Lyons, Fibre Artist - Stitchery 

 

Shina M. Lyons was born in Bermuda and following early education here attended boarding school and college in the United States.  Though she lived abroad for a short time, she returned to Bermuda where she raised her two children and now has a grandson.

Shinas’ stitching interest started with needlepoint when she was about 7 years old when she visited “The Needle Woman” in London while her mother bought supplies during a family trip.  She found a canvas with a duck printed on it that her mother bought for her, and she taught her how to stitch.  Shina has been stitching ever since!

While living in the U.S. she started doing Crewel work and other types of stitching.  After her return to Bermuda, Barbara Henry had opened “Rubarb” and Shina took every course they had to offer!  She continues to visit stitching shops she finds while away and is always trying something new.

About 14 years ago, Shina helped start the Bermuda Guild of Stitchery with some Canadian ladies.  Since then, she has held the position of president, and is currently the longest serving member of the guild. Since beginning the guild she has been teaching various forms of Stitchery.

Shina continues to expand her stitching horizons and a few years ago  took a course in rug hooking from Jill Kemp and loved it!  She is always trying new techniques in this Art, as well as Needlepoint, and takes courses whenever the opportunity arises.

 

 

2008 Teachers

 

Susan Mills, Mixed Media & Fiber Artist

 

A native of Maine, Susan Mills is a graduate of the University of Maine at Orono and the Residency Program of The Maine Photographic Workshop in Rockport, Maine. She lives and works in Bowdoin, Maine.  Her mixed media, Fiber and photographic work has been exhibited nationally.
Susan’s black and white portraits of spiritual healers throughout America are featured in the book Healing Spirits, and published by Crossing Press March of 2001.
 

Critics describe her work as "striking", and "spiritually powerful", "the stuff of dreams".  She uses objects such as eggs, stones and sticks to create settings that evoke sacredness and mysticism. In these settings she places human forms. Critic Donna Gold writes, "Mills... captures mysteries that are so fleeting they can only be alluded to."
 

Susan’s mixed media work embraces natural materials and found as well as fabricated objects which she uses in constructions and installations. These sculptures continue to evoke both the primitive elements of ancient-seeming ritual and the contemporary ones of personal spiritual quest.
 

Examples of Susan’s work can be seen on her web site http://www.susanmills.net/



Michael Patterson, Master Weaver

 

Maine resident, Michael Patterson is a self taught weaver who has honed his skills through workshops since 1984. His emphasis has moved from traditional techniques and functional work to a more open approach encompassing techniques from Japan, India and Africa.

Michael classes himself as a weaver and sees his art as an attempt to give thoughts and ideas a physical presence. The natural disparity that exists between thought and presence demands that he remain open to changes in what and how he does his art. It is the process of connecting thought and presence that drives and evolutionary rather than creative understanding. By doing the work he learns.

Teaching is another way that he learns from students, how to see work and how to share the experience of creating. Pete Seeger said the following: “ The artist in ancient times inspired, entertained and educated his fellow citizens. Modern artists have an additional responsibility- to encourage others to be artists. Why? Because technology is going to destroy the human soul unless we realize that each of us must in some way be a creator as well as spectator or consumer… Make your own music, write your own books if you will keep your soul.” This quote hangs in his studio to remind himself of why he weaves Art and why he teaches.

Michael regularly teaches weaving techniques to children and adults and creates in his studio in Brunswick, Maine.



Ellen Hedglin, Fibre Artist

Maine Fiber artist Ellen Hedglin has been teaching and demonstrating fiber arts to children and adults for more than 15 years. Ellen’s passion for fiber is evident in her diverse portfolio of abilities. A talented spinner, felter, knitter, and basket maker Ellen is constantly learning new techniques in which she can create using fiber as well as related arts. She has developed her many talents by attending regular workshops with renowned teachers and by using her innate ability to teach herself through research and experimentation.
With her easy- going manner, patience, and passion for sharing her knowledge, students find the comfort necessary in her workshops for creating at their best.

 

Shina Lyons, Fibre Artist - Stitchery 

Shina M. Lyons was born in Bermuda and following early education here attended boarding school and college in the United States.  Though she lived abroad for a short time, she returned to Bermuda where she raised her two children and now has a grandson.

 

Shinas’ stitching interest started with needlepoint when she was about 7 years old when she visited “The Needle Woman” in London while her mother bought supplies during a family trip.  She found a canvas with a duck printed on it that her mother bought for her, and she taught her how to stitch.  Shina has been stitching ever since!

 

While living in the U.S. she started doing Crewel work and other types of stitching.  After her return to Bermuda, Barbara Henry had opened “Rubarb” and Shina took every course they had to offer!  She continues to visit stitching shops she finds while away and is always trying something new.

 

About 14 years ago, Shina helped start the Bermuda Guild of Stitchery with some Canadian ladies.  Since then, she has held the position of president, and is currently the longest serving member of the guild. Since beginning the guild she has been teaching various forms of Stitchery.

 

Shina continues to expand her stitching horizons and a few years ago  took a course in rug hooking from Jill Kemp and loved it!  She is always trying new techniques in this Art, as well as Needlepoint, and takes courses whenever the opportunity arises.

 

Louisa Bermingham Flannery, Artist & Teacher 

Louisa has taught art at primary, middle and college levels in Bermuda and the United States. She is presently a Fine Art lecturer at the Bermuda College. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Textile Design and a Master of Arts in Teaching, Visual Arts from the Rhode Island School of Design. Her work is included in many local collections and has been included most recently in the juried exhibitions, The Bacardi Limited Biennial 2008 at the Bermuda National Gallery and The Alpan International in Hudson NY.

Esther Zuill, Needle Worker & Craft Enthusiast Esther, native of Bermuda, has spent most of her life teaching children as an Elementary School and Home Economics Teacher. Though she has retired from her profession she continues to tutor children with reading in local schools. She has enjoyed her varied Art and Craft interest and she enjoys Knitting, Crocheting, Quilting, Basketmaking and woodworking to name a few. Over the years she has taught many how to knit crochet and quilt.

 

Ronnie Chameau, Watercolorist & Banana Doll Maker

Bermudian Artist, Ronnie Chameau was always interested in arts and crafts. In her art world, she is a water colorist. In 1986 however, she revived the art of doll making using natural materials.  She taught herself to handcraft the dolls from banana and palm leaves since there was no one able to teach her. Later, Ronnie decided to preserve the art of banana doll making which she continues to do today by teaching this dying art throughout Bermuda.  She is also noted for her Christmas ornaments, angels, and Nativity scenes which become souvenirs for many tourists visiting Bermuda.

In 2001, Ronnie was presented "The Bermuda Gold Award" for her handcrafted souvenirs and in May 2003, The Bermuda Philatelic Bureau was proud to present a stamp featuring two of the Chameau Dolls.

Some of Ronnie’s creations live famously! Oprah Winfrey, the Smithsonian Archives in Washington, D. C., and the Mashantucket Pequot Museum in Connecticut have Chameau dolls in their collections.  Ronnie has been featured in many local magazines, newspapers, and overseas travel books as well as on television and radio.