Instructor Bios

venessaVenessa Bentley

Venessa Bentley, from the Working Hands Fibre Arts Studio, is a practicing artisan and instructor, as well as a full time primary teacher in a fully integrated fine arts program. Programs that Venessa teaches are focused on the creative process, and building confidence and joy in hand work. A variety of fibre arts programs are taught, year round, at Venessa’s home studio. She has dedicated most of her life to this learning, and continues to explore and dissect each step of her fibre arts work, with a view to staying fresh and current in her teaching. venessabentley


PearlBIOPicPearl Chow

Pearl teaches fibre crafts throughout the lower mainland. Simplifying knitting, weaving, felting and braiding is her passion and teaching others to craft with the least amount of effort and maximum amount of fun is her goal. Pearl ran Birkeland Bros Wool in Vancouver before it’s move to Abbotsford.



catherinedCatherine Dumaine

Catherine is a fibre artist living and working in Port Coquitlam, BC. She has been teaching  in Art Centres and local schools around the lower mainland since 2007. Her work has been exhibited in shows locally including Place des Arts, Port Moody Festival of the Arts and Leigh Square Community Arts Village. She served as the curator for the Craft Year 2007 exhibit “Au Naturel“. Catherine has worked on a multitude of community engagement workshops including workshops at both Place des Arts and external community events. Her recent artist in residency at Place des Arts engaged over 1,000 school students to create a lantern installation that was unveiled during the annual Christmas “A Lantern Affair” event.

lauraoneLaura Fry (Lecture)

Laura Fry chose weaving as a career in 1975 and took weaving classes at every opportunity, including study at Banff School of Fine Arts in Alberta and Varpapuu Summer Weaving School in Finland. She started her business in 1977 and since 1980 has worked full-time as a professional handweaver. Laura’s meticulous approach to weaving quality fabrics is characterized by her attention to wet finishing, a procedure often neglected and little understood by most handweavers. In Magic in the Water; wet finishing handwovens, Laura Fry shares her expertise derived from years of research and experimentation. Her guidelines make professional-quality finishing achievable by every handweaver, hobbyist and professional alike. By examining her actual fabrics, both before and after wet finishing, you will understand why Laura says, “It isn’t finished until it’s wet finished.” laurafry

judithJudith Glibbery (Lecture)

Judith Glibbery has been immersed in all things wool for almost 40 years.  Many years have been spent learning her craft and she is an experienced spinner, weaver, dyer, teacher, lecturer, and mentor to many.   Her past experience as a shepherd and advocate for the sheep industry on all levels has been one of her passionate loves, and she remains involved whenever she can, with the beloved sheep and their beautiful wool.  



sandrakiechleSandra Kiechle

At the age of 4  Sandra began crocheting little rugs and jackets for her dolls. By her teenage years she had knit sweaters that were worthy of her friends borrowing permanently.  In her early 20’s she bought a rickety homemade Indian head spinning wheel and fell in love with making yarn. Since then Sandra has never been without at least one knitting project on the go and enough handspun yarn for a hundred more. Her passion turned to knitting lace and spinning the fine cobweb yarns to make fine, light and often breathtaking shawls.  Lace has entranced Sandra with its beauty, versatility and ease to knit, watching it blossom from a scrunched up cloth to a delicate heirloom still fills her with delight.





kimbioKim McKenna (Lecture)

Kim enjoys helping artists to get past their spinning and dyeing roadblocks, to hone their skills and to develop solid foundations/skills to build upon.

Kim recently had two articles published in PLY magazine, titled “Bulky Singles” and “Plying with Rings”.  She has also written for Spin Off magazine and had an article featured in their ebook edition “Spin-Off Presents:  All About Silk”.

Kim has taught workshops and lectured on the arts of dyeing and spinning for weaving and spinning guilds, museums, Olds College (Fibre Week), schools, arts festivals, arts centers as well as fibre conferences (ANWG), festivals and retreats.  In 2013/14 Kim was the faculty member in charge of the Spinning and Dyeing Program at Place des Arts in Coquitlam.  Kim was also instrumental in the development of Treenway’s Salt Spring Island Series, a line of hand painted tussah silk roving. claddaghfibrearts


JessSilveyJessica Silvey

Weave – to form by combining various elements or details into a connected whole.

Growing up with her paternal Grandmother Jessica spent many hours in the forest, it is still her favourite place to be, surrounded by Cedar trees and silence. Her love of Coast Salish Basketry comes from the cedar root baskets in her Grandmother’s home, baskets of various shapes, sizes and patina’s that were woven by her Aunt’s and Grandmother’s. The memory of those baskets still speaks to Jessica in a silent language that only Weaver’s understand. Jessica has learned traditional techniques from research as well as trial and error. She harvests and prepares her own materials as well as traditional plants for dyes and medicines.

Her love for weaving and fibre arts, coupled with a background in museum curating inspired her concept for an unique Weaving Studio. In 2016 she opened Red Cedar Woman Weaving Studio (an art, craft and lifestyle studio) where she facilitates immersive weaving workshops in Coast Salish basketry, Salish weaving on the floor loom and harvesting traditional use plants for dyes and medicines. Through Red Cedar Woman Weaving Studio, Jessica also offers workshops in macrame, tapestry weaving, natural dyes and medicines as well as hosts guest artists to facilitate their own unique craft workshops.


LaurieLaurie Steffler

Laurie is a fibre artist and O.C.A.D. graduate who fell in love with wool as a medium and began felt-making and dyeing in 1986. Every year she designs a new felt fashion line of hats, scarves and clothing for the annual Circle Craft Vancouver, Art Market Calgary and One of a Kind Toronto show tour. She invents and combines many felting techniques with merino wool, silk, and other fabrics and yarns. You can visit her at the Salt Spring Island Saturday market or her Seaside studio. She is an experienced teacher who started  sharing her wealth of knowledge in 1995 and enjoys supporting her students unique creativity. Her felting kits for the designs she makes will be available for purchase at the show. saltspringfiberadventures



Lenka-Suchanek-1024x768Lenka Suchanek

Lenka is a lacemaker, lace designer, artist and teacher. She learned traditional lacemaking techniques in Europe and has explored their application in contemporary art and fashion for more than thirty years. Her lace artworks, sculptures, wall pieces and wearable art have been exhibited worldwide, and received recognition for merging craft with art, craftsmanship with innovation and old materials with new in a unique creation expression. lenkas


diananewDiana Twiss

Diana is passionate about fibre, fabric, colour and texture. An experienced teacher with a background in adult education, she has successfully introduced many beginners to the wonders of making yarn and has helped more experienced spinners experiment with technique, colour, and fibre to take their spinning to a new level. Her favourite tools for yarn making are spindles because of their simplicity, beauty and portability. You can see how she combines all her fibre intersets and skills by following her pursuits to make yarn from locally sourced wool, llama, alpaca and mohair on her blog 100milewear. You can find Diana’s patterns on ravelry



Janna Maria Vallee

Janna is an interdisciplinary artist working currently primarily in textile and social practice media. Her convictions evoke questions around shared versus independent perception. The media she employs are often guiding forces as she approaches ideas of how human authenticity is either challenged or realized through one’s perception of their surroundings and interpersonal relationships. Janna graduated with distinction from the Fibres and Material Practices program at Concordia University in Montreal Quebec and recently returned to her home province British Columbia after living and practicing in New York City for a number of years. everleatextiles


leolaLeola Witt-McNie

Leola has been weaving for many years and teaching for more than 30. She has studied in Cherryville, Banff, Sweden, California, and New Zealand. She has a vast amount of experience and expertise in weaving, spinning, and the many textile arts. Leola has studied with the best teachers and her passion and enthusiasm is an inspiration to her students. Leola teaches a variety of textile arts such as weaving, spinning, knitting, crocheting, dyeing, woven tapestry, thread painting, quilting techniques and more! Her instruction is unique in that it builds student confidence and nurtures artistic expression. She has the ability to guide the student in developing their personal artistic expression.  There are never more than three students per class, unless it is a workshop. Leola teaches all ages and levels. leolasstudio